How to Fit a Bathroom Extractor Fan

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy a product or service from an affiliate such as Amazon after clicking a link on this website, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Whenever you have a bath or shower, the steam generated from the hot water in your bathroom will eventually cause the moisture in the air to linger around and form a mist.

And if you stay in the bathroom long enough your walls will start to “sweat” – even if you have a window or door in your bathroom open. To combat this problem, many people have extractor fans installed in their bathrooms.

The idea of the extractor fan is to literally extract the moist air out of your bathroom and vent it into the atmosphere. If your bathroom does not have an extractor fan installed, then continue reading our quick guide below on how to install one yourself.

What level of skill do you need to fit an extractor fan?

Installing an extractor fan in your bathroom can be a bit involved, as it depends on where you want to install it. There are three options – window, wall or ceiling. The average DIYer who knows a thing or two should be able to do most of the prep work themselves, but if you’re not a qualified electrician, you should bring one in when it comes to wiring in the fan.

What tools do you need for the job?

Ideally, you should have the following tools:

  • Power drill with a masonry drill bit set (you might find a cordless drill easier to use than a corded drill)
  • Insulated pliers
  • Insulated wire strippers
  • Insulated screwdrivers
  • Cable detector
  • Plasterboard saw
  • Club hammer
  • Bolster chisel
  • Cold chisel
  • Tape measure

Because this is going to be a messy job, I recommend wearing overalls so you won’t damage your clothes. Alternatively, wear some old clothes you aren’t bothered about.

How to install a window extractor fan

If you are installing a window fan, then you will need to make sure that you have a new piece of glass or a double-glazed window from your local glazier.

  1. Draw a plan on paper of the window pane, so that it shows the exact diameter and position of the hole you want.
  2. Make sure the hole is slightly bigger than the fan, as the fan housing is going to be larger than the fan itself.
  3. For sash windows, the top sash must be sealed shut with screws. Fit some sash stops to each side of the window so that the fan is not damaged when the lower sash is raised.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fitting and wiring.

How to install a wall extractor fan

Before commencing the installation of your wall fan, you will need to firstly decide on the location of the wall fan and then using your cable detector, check for any existing wiring or metal that may be lurking beneath the surface. You should also check the exterior wall for any obstructions such as soil and rainwater pipes.

  1. Mark the centre of the hole where your wall fan will go, and drill a hole – ensuring that your drill is pointing slightly downwards.
  2. Using a 10 millimetre drill bit, drill a series of holes (again slightly downwards) at intervals of 35 millimetres around the circle’s edge.
  3. Grab your bolster chisel and club hammer to knock out the waste, and use a cold chisel to smooth out the rough edges.
  4. You might need to chisel out a groove for the wiring and a conduit, in which case you may have to replaster the area afterwards.
  5. Fit the aluminium ducting and fan according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and then seal around the fan ducting with cement and sand (on the exterior wall) and filler or plaster (on the interior wall).
  6. Use some decorator’s caulk to fill-in any gaps between the fan and wall.

How to replace a wall extractor fan

Video source : Ultimate Handyman on YouTube

Featured image from B&Q.