How To Vent a Bathroom With No Outside Access

Having ventilation in your bathroom is something that is very highly recommended. Venting your bathroom properly can protect from water and moisture damage to the floors and walls. However, your bathroom doesn’t have any access to the outside for proper venting.

So, how are you supposed to vent your bathroom if there is no way to vent to the outside? The easiest way you will be able to do this is with a ceiling vent, but there are other options available to you as well. 

Do You Have a Ventilation Problem?

If you have just moved into a new house, the last thing you are probably thinking about is if your bathroom is being appropriately vented. Older homes are more likely to be without bathroom ventilation or outside access. This will lead to some problems that you will notice pretty quickly.

The first problem that you might run into is mold. When a bathroom is not vented properly, moisture will get trapped for longer time periods. This will lead to visible mold or mildew on the floor and the walls.

Stuffiness is another issue that you will notice. This is a problem that you will notice from your first shower. The air will feel dense, stuffy, and hot because the steam has no place to escape to.

Bathrooms that have poor or no ventilation will also have some lingering smells. Smells will linger in your bathroom for thirty minutes or longer, which can be embarrassing.

Finally, you will notice extra moisture in the air. Bathrooms deal with a lot of water since they have a sink, shower, toilet, and tub. When your bathroom is not vented properly, you might notice moisture in the air even if you haven’t been in the bathroom recently.

How To Vent a Bathroom With No Outside Access

If you are trying to add extra vents to your bathroom, it might not be a straightforward job for you to do on your own. Adding vents means you should probably hire a professional to complete the job; that way, you know it is being completed properly. 

While it may not be very easy or possible to do this job on your own, there are different venting options you have available to choose from.

Add a Ceiling Vent

A vent or fan that goes in the bathroom ceiling is an excellent option for getting rid of steam and moisture in your bathroom. The moisture and steam will work their way through your attic and your roof. They are not invasive, so you do not have to worry about it looking bad in your bathroom. 

In some cases, ceiling vents might also have lighting fixtures attached to them, making them work for more than just one purpose. 

Add a Floor Duct Vent

If you are looking for something that is even more discreet than a ceiling vent, you can add a floor duct to your bathroom. For an even harder-to-sight vent, you can have it installed next to your toilet. These floor vents are grates and send the air under your floor and outside.

Floor ducts are also suitable for bathrooms that might not have ceilings that are not right for a vent. Floor ducts are also one of the most durable types of bathroom vents available to you. 

Expand Your Existing Ducts

If your bathroom already has some exhaust vent system and you are noticing a ventilation problem, you might not have enough ventilation. If this is the case, you will need to add more ductwork to your existing system. 

This will require the help of a professional. They will be able to expand the ductwork and add more venting if necessary.

Install Commercial Ductwork

This is an option that makes more sense for an apartment or commercial buildings. If you are a landlord and try to figure out how to vent your tenant unit bathrooms, commercial ductwork will make the most sense for you. This allows all of the bathrooms to vent properly, and your tenants will be happy.

Commercial ductwork unifies airflow between the units and maximizes the breathability in the bathrooms of each unit. This will drastically reduce the moisture in bathrooms throughout the building. 

Temporarily Use a Fan

If you aren’t interested in hiring a professional to install ventilation in your bathroom and need some extra airflow, you can temporarily add a fan to your bathroom space. You need to plug it in and let it run while you do what you need to do.

This is the cheapest option, but it is only for temporary use. This will be beneficial when working on a bathroom project, such as painting or replacing parts of the sink or shower. 

How Much Does It Cost to Add Bathroom Ventilation?

It depends on which type of vent you are planning on getting installed, but the pricing is a number that you might not be opposed to paying. Most of the installations are very moderately priced. The average cost will be somewhere between $230 and $537 for a regular exhaust vent fan.

However, if you need ductwork added to your home to make the ventilation work, it will cost you more than that. Adding ductwork can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $3,000. If you live in an older home, ductwork might be necessary to be added, and the price could end up being even higher.

If you add a simple vent like a plug-in fan vent, the cost will be significantly cheaper. You can usually add one of these to any house.

Should You Hire a Professional for the Job or Complete it Yourself?

While it is technically possible to vent your bathroom by yourself, it is also possible for it to be done incorrectly. If you are worried that you might not install the ventilation correctly and are not comfortable doing it yourself, you should hire a professional or ask a friend who knows what they are doing.

Even though labor costs might be on the pricey side, it is worth the price to make sure the job is done correctly. If you were to mess up the job yourself, the bathroom would not get the ventilation that it needs. You would end up still holding moisture in the bathroom and could have mold damage. 

The cost to repair a mistake that you make would skyrocket past the cost of hiring a professional in the first place. It would be in your best interest to avoid this and hire a professional to do the job for you.

Cost of a Professional

Different costs would be associated with hiring a professional to vent your bathroom. If you are installing a fan vent, it would cost somewhere between $300 and $700 depending on how intricate the job ends up being in your situation.

If you need brand new ductwork installed in your home and bathroom, this will be a little more expensive. It can cost you from $500 to $2,000. This is a large chunk of change, but it can save you more money in the long run. 

If you did decide that you wanted to try to fix the problem yourself and got stuck, there is also the option of hiring a professional to estimate what it would cost you for them to complete the job from the point you got to. 

When you get a professional quote, it usually includes the cost of the materials and the labor to complete the job. It will usually not include the cost of cleaning up. When you are looking for the right person to hire, call around and ask what is included in the price of the quote. 


If you live in a house with a poorly ventilated bathroom, it will be frustrating to deal with. Your bathroom will start to trap moisture and smells and even allow for the growth of mold and mildew on your walls. Adding ventilation to your bathroom will give it some breathing room to prevent these issues.

Luckily, there are ways to add ventilation to your bathroom, depending on what your needs are for space. Most people run into venting their bathroom because it is not exactly a DIY project. If you try to do it on your own, it can cause damage that will cost you more than anticipated.

The price might be steep to hire a professional, but the cost will be worth it. A professional will be able to guide you on which type of vent you should install. It would be worth every cent that you spend to have a cleaner bathroom that is less humid.