Lighting And Ventilation

Lighting fixture selection can make a large impact on the functionality, ambiance, and safety of your bathroom. Good ventilation will help to protect your new bath from humidity, mold and mildew, peeling paint, and other moisture problems.

Selecting the Right Lighting

A good bathroom lighting plan incorporates three types of lighting:

General lighting provides illumination of the entire room. If your bathroom is small, lights over the mirror may be all that is necessary. However, larger bathrooms require overhead lighting, either ceiling mount, recessed, or both.

Task lighting provides direct and focused illumination of specific areas for activities like shaving or applying makeup. Fixtures located next to or above a bathroom mirror are good examples of task lighting. Other areas to consider when choosing task lighting are the shower, tub entry and exit points, or above shelving. Task lighting is an important addition to all areas where you spend time working on specific functions.

Accent lighting can be focused on specific objects or areas in order to create a mood in the room. This type of lighting can also be diffused to send a warm feeling throughout the room. Common types of accent lighting fixtures are track or recessed lights.

Your Curtis Lumber bathroom designer can offer tips about what lighting might be right for your bathroom.


Excessive moisture creates problems for bathrooms. Most local municipalities now require ventilation in bathrooms. This can be accomplished with a ceiling mounted exhaust fan.

Exhaust fans come in a variety of styles and finishes to compliment your decor. Most are quiet and move more air than the bathroom fans of yesteryear. Fans are rated based on how much air they can move per minute, or Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). You will need to calculate your CFM before choosing a fan.

The simplest way to calculate your CFM is:
Step 1: Calculate the cubic feet of your bathroom (Length x Width x Height)
Step 2: Divide by 60 (the number of minutes in an hour)
Step 3: Multiply the result by 8 (the number of recommended air changes per hour)

An example of a CFM calculation for a 10′ by 10′ room with 8′ ceilings:
Step 1: 10 x 10 x 8 = 800 cubic feet
Step 2: 800 / 60 = 13.33 cubic feet / minute
Step 3: 13.33 x 8 = 106.67 cubic feet / minute

This room needs a fan with a CFM of 106.67 or better to exchange the air 8 times in an hour.

Finally, be sure that your exhaust fan is properly installed and ventilated to the outside of your home. If you have any questions about bathroom ventilation, your friendly Curtis Lumber Bath Designer can walk you through the process and ensure that your new bathroom stays beautiful for years to come.