Searching for a not-so-ugly bathroom fan

AboutToGetDustyMay 9, 2012

Does it exist? My husband wants a fan in our powder room downstairs, to prevent smelly guests and family members from embarassment. I don't want something ugly. Any ideas? the powder room will be 4x5 and the ceilings will be barely 8 feet (old house). I'll have a pedestal sink, mirror, sconce and toilet, with hexagon marble tile floor. Thanks!

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Lynne Reno

I don't know what you consider ugly. We have a Panasonic and while it will never be considered a work of art, it's not obtrusive or overtly 'ugly'

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Which one do you have? I regrettably listened to the electrician I hired two years ago and let him install his choice because he convinced me we needed the mother of all fans...well it is obtrusive, cream, and very very large. I'm looking for one that is flat or nearly flat, or fits in design-wise with my plan.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Lynne Reno

We got the Panasonic FV-11VHL2 I posted a link to a picture of one mounted so you can get an idea of how it looks. Our ceiling is white, so it's not very noticeable at all and I love it, the heater is fantastic. We got it at Amazon, I'm not sure if it's cheaper elsewhere- we needed it quick so the GC wouldn't have to wait.

Here is a link that might be useful: Panasonic fan/heater/light

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Would something like this recessed light/fan work?

It would at least be a pretty small "thing" up in your ceiling. :) Might be a lot more work to install, though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Recessed Light / Hidden Fan

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:37PM
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you can get fans that look like lights now. there is not much selection on light styles, but it might look better than seeing fan grates.

Here is a link that might be useful: fan that looks like a light

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:24PM
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We went with somthing like this. It looks pretty good to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: attractive bathroom fan

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Wow, all great ideas. Thank you all so much!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:17PM
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I just had the recessed fan/light installed in my bathroom - it is wonderful - and very quiet. I would advise you install it with a dimmer switch. It takes a PAR30L (long-neck) bulb, which are typically quite bright. I found a full-spectrum bulb made by Reveal and it gives off very clean light.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:42AM
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fwiw, panasonic makes the best fans IMO.
I went with a non light, non sensor fan. As clean a grille as possoble. Paint it the same ceiling color and it's a clean look IMO

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:49PM
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I agree with chefwong about Panasonic being clean - as unnoticeable as possible. We have them in our bathrooms. They look like perfectly flat AC vents without the little lever. Just plain grille that matches the ceiling (off-white) and you can pretty much ignore it. In our new house that we're building, the contractor got Nutone - off-the-shelf from Home Depot. (Don't get me started!) I told him to remove them as soon as I saw them. They are ugly beyond belief unless, maybe, you have nothing else on the ceiling. We will have surface lights and it will look quite ridiculous to have this really cheap white plastic bowed vent sticking down from the ceiling like a pimple next to a nice light fixture. So I'm looking for something like the Panasonic I have in my current house but I'm stumped. I want 150 cfm (contractor really went too small) but he put in 4" duct. The largest have been able to find is 130. Does anyone know of anything more powerful - but not too noisy - that will fit a 4" duct?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Another option is to put a more decorative grille over your fan, and you can find sizes that fit any opening. We found a heater vent grille that we liked better than the plastic grille that came with our fan:

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:58AM
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JM_Seattle, that is beautiful! Did you just measure the opening and look for something that fit? How is it mounted to your ceiling? It looks a little heavy and I might be afraid of it crashing to the floor!

But it looks absolutely beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 5:12AM
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Great topic. jm_seattle, where did you find your grille? I have an older fan and the cover has cracked and I'd love to find a replacement that would fit.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:26AM
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I can't remember the exact details (it was a few years ago), but we had it all planned out before the fan went in (and it took a week or more to ship the cover), so we must have just looked at the specifications of the fan. We were working with a professional contractor, so we just gave him the idea and he ran with it.

And yes, they are heavy. We had our contractor install it, and I do remember him saying that he didn't trust the screws that came with it, so he put in his own (more solid) screws and anchors. And we haven't had any issues over the past 3+ years. I wish I remembered the details of what he used, but I think it's a well understood problem and my guess is there are known solutions once you have the weight you need to suspend. Any contractor (or some of the savvy folks on this forum!) would probably know the right way to do it.

We got the idea from a remodeling book at our local library, so it wasn't something we came up with, and you can probably find other examples and further details if you search around.

There are a number of vendors if you search online, but I believe we got ours from Signature Hardware.

Here is a link that might be useful: Signature Hardware

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Wow, glad this post popped back up. Had no idea that there were decorative fan/light options! Was just about to order two more Panasonic Whisper Fans for our BR renos, as we are very happy with the one in our basement AND was planning to go to lighting store today to look at lights for BR, now that I've seen this, have to rethink my plans. If available in Canada, will definitely be cheaper than the Panasonic...and give me a light to boot! Mmmmm.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Pretty fan/light

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:52AM
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