Can A Bathroom Exhaust Fan Be Mounted On The Wall?

When you are planning to install an exhaust fan in your bathroom, its placement is an important decision. You have to find a place in your bathroom where the exhaust fan can work most effectively.

The role of the exhaust fan is to remove the wet, humid air from your bathroom. If there is no suitable ventilation, mold can grow in the bathroom and cause damage.

Can a Bathroom Fan be Mounted Vertically?

While there are several kinds of exhaust fans that come with different installation directions. But can a bathroom exhaust fan also be installed vertically? The answer is yes.

You can install most bathroom exhaust fans vertically. A few exhaust fans come with instructions for a vertical mounting position in the manual. Although you should review the manual before you choose the vertical installation method, it is often possible to do so.  

While the decision to install the exhaust fan in a vertical position is important, there are many other questions. These include the location and the best positioning of your bathroom exhaust fan. Do you want to install it above the shower on a wall? Is another place that is the best option?

Can a Bathroom Exhaust Fan be Installed on a Wall?

installing bathroom vent through wall

Several bathroom exhaust fans are designed to be installed on a wall. However, there are more products that are suitable for ceiling installation.

These fans are less popular than exhaust fan models designed for ceiling installation. This is partly because it is more difficult to install an exhaust fan vertically on a wall. A wall-mounted bathroom exhaust fan may not perform very well because of back drafting.

When you take a hot or warm shower, the hot and wet air rises. In this situation, a wall-mounted fan is likely to have more difficulty in doing its work effectively. A ceiling-mounted fan would work better in this situation.

If you choose the wall-mounting option for your bathroom fan, install it higher on the wall, closer to the ceiling. At this position, the exhaust fan will draw the hot, wet air out of the bathroom more easily.

Several bathroom fans can be installed on either the wall or the ceiling. However, this is not true for all fan models. If you have decided on wall-mounting, it is important that you check this before you buy your fan.

Remember that you should not install an exhaust fan with a heating function or lights on a wall. Also, walls are usually thicker in comparison to ceilings. Keep this in mind as you plan where your bathroom fan will sit and where its ducts will be placed.

What is a Ductless Bathroom Fan?

You also have the option to choose a ductless bathroom exhaust fan. With this kind of fan, you will not have to worry about whether the ductwork will go through the wall? However, the ductless fan is not good for removing moisture from your bathroom.

Ductless bathroom exhaust fans circulate the air in your bathroom using a carbon filter and remove odors. This kind of bathroom fan works well when it is paired with another kind of ventilation for the bathroom.

Can You Install a Bathroom Fan above the Shower?

The purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is to be closer to the source of moisture and humidity. So the question is, can you install the fan right above the shower or bathtub? The answer is sometimes.  

However, it may be a little dangerous to place wiring or an electronic product close to a shower. You can only do so in some situations.

Firstly, it depends on the kind of bathroom exhaust fan you choose. Secondly, look for the product description and check if it has a rating for a shower area. Thirdly, your bathroom exhaust fan has to be attached to the ground fault circuit interrupter.

As you know now that all bathroom exhaust fans cannot be installed above a shower, read the manual carefully. This is important so that you do not buy one that has a heater. That one will have to be mounted in another position on your bathroom wall.

What is the Best Location for a Bathroom Fan?

how to install a bathroom exhaust fan through the wall

A bathroom exhaust fan is supposed to remove the moisture created due to the shower from the bathroom. Additionally, it is tasked with taking out bad odors. Both of these factors prevent damage to the bathroom, such as wood warping, mold, and wallpaper peeling.

For your bathroom exhaust fan to work properly, you need to place it in the right place. The right place for the bathroom fan is where it can pull out the humidity and moisture easily. This depends on the placement of your shower and bathtub.

For a bathroom with just a shower or a bathtub, place the exhaust fan close to or above it. This placement will help the bathroom fan to do its job properly.

If there is a separate shower and bathtub in your bathroom, place the exhaust fan in the middle.

In some bathrooms, the shower or bathtub is in a separate room while the main bathroom is a separate room. In this case, you will need two bathroom exhaust fans. One fan will be installed in the room with the toilet and another in the shower room.

What kind of duct will work best?

While planning the placement of your bathroom exhaust fan placement, you also have to plan the ductwork. Remember that your duct will work the best when they have a short and most direct route. The duct will start in your bathroom and end at the exterior of your house.

It is also advisable to choose low-resistance exhaust ducting for better efficiency. Make sure that you seal any joints in the duct.

Whether you choose a wall vent or a roof vent, it cannot be too long. For good ventilation, the distance between the fan and exterior vent can be up to 6 feet. This helps in preventing leakage and the build-up of condensation in the ducts.  

What are some bad duct placement decisions?

You must not put the exhaust fan near an area from where air can enter the bathroom. This means that the bathroom fan should not be near a door or window.

Do not place the vent of the bathroom exhaust fan in a place where it lets the bathroom air into the attic. The vent should take the damp air and odors outside your house.

It is also important to place the hood of the exhaust fan in a place where it won’t cause moisture damage to the exterior spaces around it.

These are all important factors you need to think about while searching for the perfect place for your bathroom exhaust fan. You have to ensure that while you solve the ventilation problem of your bathroom, you don’t create another one.

Why Should I Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

The purpose of installing an exhaust fan is to prevent moisture build-up in your bathroom. And you are doing this because it is less expensive and much easier to take preventative measures.

If you don’t, your bathroom will develop mold or the moisture may damage your paint or woodwork. In this situation, the expense will be a lot more.

How do I Choose the Best Bathroom Fan?

Choose a bathroom fan that is quiet, energy-efficient among those in your size range. Fans generally come with an HVI (Home Ventilating Institute) rating that helps you compare energy efficiency and noise.

It is also preferable to buy a fan that has permanent lubrication and replaceable parts. The fan should also be appropriate for continuous use. If you have a specified budget, you may have to look for the product with the best value for the money.

What are your Community Regulations?

Before you start any actual installation work for your bathroom exhaust fan, you must check your community regulations. This is because regulations can vary greatly from one community to another.

You may decide to install your bathroom exhaust fan above the shower or on the wall, or anywhere else. But before you do so, you have to make sure that this bathroom ventilation plan meets your community code.

Have you read the Manual?

Lastly, it is very important that you read the product manual for the particular kind of bathroom exhaust fan you want. This will help you to choose the right one with suitable features and the right installation process.

You will also be able to avoid making any mistakes that may damage your bathroom fan during the installation.


Installing a bathroom exhaust fan is very important for the proper ventilation of your bathroom. You can ensure that you install your exhaust fan and vent correctly and confidently when you have the right information.

You can mount your bathroom exhaust fan on the wall as long as you choose the right place according to your bathroom layout. When you have installed your vent properly, you will be able to prevent any mold from growing in your home. A poorly ventilated bathroom can cause a lot of harm and require expensive repairs.