For many homeowners, bathrooms or wetrooms are an essential part of the home. But if you’re focused on the longevity of this space, then ventilation is critical.
When it comes to installing ventilation and choosing the best type for your space, homeowners will likely have a lot of questions. Many will be wondering whether a bathroom window is sufficient or if more ventilation is needed.
Ventilation in Your Bathroom or Wetroom | FAQs
Is it a legal requirement to have ventilation in your bathroom?
Yes. Bathrooms must have some kind of ventilation, whether that is a window or a fitted extractor fan.
The Building Regulations Document F stipulates the types of ventilation needed, airflow rates and installation parameters for ventilators. However, if you’re unfamiliar with building regulations around bathroom ventilation requirements, this document can seem confusing.
On top of this, any electrical parts fitted must comply with IET Wiring Regulations, which includes laws on which fans and casings can be used in the different zones of the bathroom.
How do you vent a bathroom with no outside access?
When planning for bathrooms, or adding an en-suite wetroom, it may not always be the case that you have access to an external wall to add a ventilation solution to this space. If this is your predicament, then there are regulations for this.
You need to have adequate ventilation in the adjoining habitable room, which can be a bedroom or similar, even a conservatory. This can be either purge ventilation or background ventilation.
What is Purge Ventilation?
Purge ventilation is manually controlled ventilation that moves air at a high rate, either through a window or a fan.
What is Background Ventilation?
Background ventilation is a whole building ventilation solution that can either be directed to the outdoors or through a system built into the house.
Either of these options are considered adequate to vent the enclosed bathroom through another room.
Why is ventilation in a bathroom or wetroom important?
If you use your wetroom or bathroom frequently for hot showers or baths, then it’s worth watching out for excess water and dampness. Regardless of the wall covering, stagnant damp air will cause problems, such as mould or human health problems.
It’s also against building regulations to not have some form of ventilation, whether that’s a fan, window, or other solution.
Extractor Fans | FAQs
Do you need an extractor fan in a bathroom that has a window?
Depending on the size of the window, you may not require an extractor fan.
However, most professional installers recommend a combination of the two, which create a more effective form of ventilation. In the winter, for example, opening a window can create a cold draught, which can make your wetroom temperature feel uncomfortable.
How long should an extractor fan stay on for?
If you’ve got a particularly loud extractor fan, you may want it to shut off as soon as possible. However, most good extractor fans will turn off after about 20 minutes of continuous activity.
This will largely depend on the type of fan you have installed. For example, a light switch powered fan will likely have a timer, so it deactivates shortly after being turned off.
The most effective and environmentally friendly type available is a humidity meter powered extractor fan. This will activate automatically after excess humidity is detected in the air and turn off again once the humidity meter hits a certain point.
What does an extractor fan do?
In short, this type of fan will extract air from the room and replace it instead with fresh air. This prevents damp and polluted air from lingering in a wetroom and circulates the space with a fresh supply of air.
How does an extractor fan work?
There are two main kinds of extractor fan, including:
- Axial fans connect directly to the outdoors and are good for bathrooms with external walls. They work by creating a pressure difference and force, which produces a flow through the fan, therefore moving air in and out of the room.
- Centrifugal fans move air through a duct (the pipe that connects the fan to an external vent) and are therefore noisier than axial fans. They work by pulling the air through an impeller, which accelerates the air outwards, rather than inwards as a traditional turbine would.
Axial fans can only be used on external walls, whereas centrifugal fans can be used in a variety of enclosed bathrooms.
Wetrooms require good ventilation as the seamless design of this space means that any steam will simply become trapped if it’s not ventilated correctly. Wetrooms are often completely tiled and sealed, so water will not absorb into the walls or painted surfaces but will instead congregate and potentially create mould hotspots.
Choosing the correct ventilation is key in maintaining the longevity of your room, and keeping it a healthy and safe environment for everyone.
Once you have decided on, or want help choosing, ventilation for your bathroom, why not contact the design team at CCL Wetrooms to create your perfect wetroom?
To find out more about wetrooms, get in touch today.