Relocating heat ducts in ceiling to gain ceiling height?

Laila619October 2, 2012


We have a basement bathroom (original to the house) where heat ducts are located in the ceiling of the bathroom. This makes the ceiling height extremely low there--we're talking 6 ft. There is a shower in that bathroom (again original to the house, built in 1977) that basically only a child could take a shower in because the ceiling is so low. A few contractors said it's probably not even up to code. Is it a huge job to relocate heat ducts somewhere else so we could increase the ceiling height and actually have a usable bathroom/shower down there? We only have one other bathroom in the house, so we don't want to lose this one. Thanks for any advice!

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It is difficult to answer your question without knowing the layout of your duct system. Is the furnace next the bathroom? If it is, then this may be the main duct feeding the house and moving it may be difficult.

Do you have a drop ceiling in the bathroom? Are you able to see the duct work above the ceiling?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Hi Mike,

The furnace is in the laundry room, which is next to the bathroom, yes.

You can't visibly see the duct work as it's hidden in a soffit in the ceiling. That soffit is where the shower ceiling is, which makes it low. Other parts of the bathroom ceiling are taller. I don't understand *why* the original builder of the house would put a shower there. If you're over 5 ft 7, you simply cannot use it. It's ridiculous.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Maybe another option could be to replace them with flatter ducts, so the height could be raised? That would probably only buy us a few inches though. No idea if this is possible though, I'm just tossing out anything.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:31PM
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How high the basement ceiling? The shallow duct may work, but it would have to be wider to conpendate for the reduced cross sectional area.

I assume the duct work is running perpendicular to the ceiling joists. If the duct is running parallel then you may be able to run the duct between two joists.

If you can't move the duct then perhaps you can move the shower. It is more money but in the end you will have a shower you can use.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:29PM
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