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size for over-tub chandelier

Posted by bbstx (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 14:10

The alcove for my tub is about 5'x7'. The total size of the bathroom is 10x16. There will be 2 can lights in the ceiling in the main part of the room and 2 sets of 4-light vanity lights, so amount of light is not an issue.

What size should the light over the tub be? I don't want it to look skimpy. I like chandeliers to be slightly over-sized, but not ridiculously so.

I know the general formula for a room is length + width treated as inches (ex, 12x15 room would need a chandelier that is appx 27" in diameter). Should I use that formula for my bathroom, even though the chandelier will be off-set to one side in an alcove?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

I'm terrible at figuring scale for things like this, so hopefully someone else wil come along that can help you. I'm posting to share related info when it comes to hanging a chandelier over a tub:

When bidding out the remodel of our master bath, we interviewed 3 different contractors. Three times we heard that codes don't allow hanging light fixtures above a tub unless there is 6' of clearance between the top rim of the tub and the lowest section of the fixture. Then, the fixture has to be "damp conditions" rated. So, that eliminated our ability to do anything except a fixed (rather than swinging) fixture above our tub. FYI!


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

Thanks, Jewel. Due to tall ceilings, we have the required distance and are not required to have the "damp conditions" rating.


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

That's great! Jealous! :)


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

I have never seen that formula before. But I just googled and voila. I don't have an answer for you but I recently bought 2 ceiling lights of different sizes. The one that i thought would be just right is, in fact, too small. And the one that I though would be overkill for the closet is exactly right and works beautifully. If you're in doubt I vote go a little bigger than you think is necessary and will still keep it out of reach while someone is in the tub.

All the ones I have seen on houzz.com that really make a statement seem to be at least 18" and often more. Go for it!


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

I thought it was actually 8 feet above the rim of the tub according to code. All my research came back as that. Just wanted to mention it in case I'm right and someone has the impression its 6 feet. Or someone can correct me and tell my how its 6 O.o


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

Maybe it changes by state?


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

Building codes are location specific. My town has adopted the ICC Building Code but then made amendments. Another town an hour away has also adopted the ICC Building Code but made totally different amendments. So, on the surface it appears to be a uniform code, but it isn't.

My builder builds in both places and has to remember where he is and what the differences are. Yesterday we got to talking about a light fixture in a closet. Something as small and mundane as that is treated differently by each locality.


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

I don't think they are allowed in our area....but I could be wrong...


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

Ok, I was under the impression everyone was bound by the NEC..good to know!


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RE: size for over-tub chandelier

While there are several versions of building code out there, they sort of all intertwine. And for sure, code doesn't apply in all locales. And some areas do have state and local amendments that pile on top of whatever code does apply in those areas.

IBC, NFPA, IRC, NEC. They all sort of come full circle. With regards to this discussion about lighting over a tub, here's the general text. It's worded similarly in all of the codes, but the reference paragraphs are different:

Bathtub and shower areas.
Cord-connected luminaires, chain-, cable-, or cord-suspended-luminaires, lighting track, pendants, and ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans shall not have any parts located within a zone measured 3 feet (914 mm) horizontally and 8 feet (2438 mm) vertically from the top of a bathtub rim or shower stall threshold. This zone is all encompassing and includes the space directly over the tub or shower. Luminaires within the actual outside dimension of the bathtub or shower to a height of 8 feet (2438 mm) vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower threshold shall be marked for damp locations and where subject to shower spray, shall be marked for wet locations.

The goal is that to keep pendant fixtures out of the reach of a bather that is in a tub or shower. If someone was in the tub or shower and slipped, they would not be able to instinctively reach out and grab a lighting fixture.

The "wet" and "damp" restrictions address corrosion issues, for fixture and conductor durability.


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