Can You Install a Fan Over a Bathtub?


A nice hot bath or long shower can relax you and wash away the day’s tensions. All that tension can come running back if you find mildew sprouting in the room. Stay relaxed by installing a fan in the room, either in the main portion or directly over the bathtub.

Bathroom Fans

  • Fans in bathrooms are important parts of moisture control. Bathrooms often have poor ventilation; they are small, with a single doorway and rarely have windows. Every time someone takes a shower or runs a bath, the humidity levels in the room rise. Over time, this can lead to mildew growth inside the tub enclosure, behind hanging towels and even on the walls and ceiling. Vent fans help to pull moisture out of the air, funneling it away and making the bathroom less prone to fungal growth.

Over Bathtub Installation

  • Fans of all different strengths are available for installation in bathrooms. You can install any of them in the room, centered over the floor and away from the bathtub. If you want to install one directly over the bathtub, then you need to look for one that says it is rated for use in wet areas and says it is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter. The GFCI cuts all power to the fan in the case of a current surge, protecting you and your family from electrocution.


  • Start running the fan in your bathroom before you even turn on the taps in your bathtub. Let the fan run the entire time the bathtub or shower or is in use, and continue running it for 15 minutes or so afterwards. Whether you install the fan over the tub or closer to the vanity and toilet, choose one with a CFM rating of the square footage of the room plus five. If your bathroom is 60 square feet, the fan’s CFM rating should be at least 65. Otherwise, it won’t be strong enough to pull the moisture from the room, no matter where you install it.


  • Installing a fan over your bathtub takes more than just mounting the fan on the ceiling; you must also install ductwork leading to the exterior of your home so the moisture is safely vented outdoors. If you are replacing a fan installed in the center of the room, you might be able to run the ducting through the same path as the original fan. If you are installing a fan in a bathroom that has never had one, you might wish to contact a general contractor to help with ductwork installation.

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