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Bathroom Fan Installation Costs

Bathroom fans have virtually become the industry standard when renovating. Whether replacing an existing fan or adding a brand new model, the cost of bathroom fan installation can vary to some degree. Given its low cost, the benefits, such as mold prevention, far outweigh the risk of not owning one. Therefore, the cost of installing a bathroom fan of any kind is usually a sound investment.

National Install a Bath Fan Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 1263 cost profiles


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Most homeowners spent between:




National Install a Bath Fan Costs
Average reported cost $339
Number of Cost Profiles 1263 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $65
Maximum reported cost $794
Most homeowners spent between: $262 to $377

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Table of Contents 

  1. Bathroom Fan Prices
  2. Bathroom Fan Cost Factors
  3. Why Install A Bathroom Fan
  4. How to Install A Bathroom Fan
  5. DIY Vs. Hiring A Pro
  6. Find A Pro

Bathroom Fan Prices

Brand new bathroom fans can vary greatly in both necessity and price. Ranging in price from about $60 to almost $800, bathroom fans are no different than most products as the price does, in some sense, dictate the quality. On the other hand, purchasing the most expensive fan on the market is also illogical. A quality, reasonably priced bathroom fan installation should be priced in the area of $100 to $350, depending on the job in question.

Bathroom Fan Cost Factors

First and foremost, existing ductwork and electricity will greatly affect your total bathroom fan investment. If neither is in place, your new fan bill just went up. If there is an existing bathroom fan, the ductwork that provides the necessary airflow is already in place. The electric wires and switch supplying power to the fan is also something that can greatly affect the cost. In most cases, if there was an existing fan, the electrical wires are also already run. Of course, with safety being the first priority, as long as there are no frayed, crimped or damaged wires, there is no need to replace them. If the existing ductwork and electricity are both undamaged, you’re left with minimal labor in addition the actual bathroom fan.

On the other hand, if new ductwork and electricity are needed, this greatly increases the price on both labor and materials. Generally, this requires a licensed electrician to run new wires and install a switch, as well as a plumber to install the air ducts themselves. The involvement of additional subcontractors, or even just additional labor itself, is the main reason the price can substantially increase. In addition, most people do not supply their own raw materials – such as wire, switches, electrical boxes or ductwork – making it very easy for the contractor to mark these items up a substantial percentage. Again, the installation of a brand new bathroom fan may add a few hundred dollars more for labor and material costs related to a renovation, but it can save money in the long run. 

Finally, the type of fan you buy will certainly play a role in your bathroom fan installation price. Bathrooms can vary greatly in size, shape and construction. As such, you may need a specific fan to stand up to the task at hand. If you’re installing yourself, make sure your fan has an efficient CFM, or cubic feet per minute, rating. Expectedly, the bigger your bathroom, the higher the CFM rating you’ll need (and the more expensive it will be). Furthermore, the CFM should be high enough to replace the air in your bathroom eight times per hour. 

Why Install A Bathroom Fan

Believe it or not, besides defogging your mirror after your shower, there are other reasons to install a bath fan. Bathroom fans prevent mold and mildew. Bathroom fan, at least good ones, sucks warm, moist steam out of a room to prevent condensation. This excess water from steam can damage tiled surfaces and finished wooden ones as well. While replacing or repairing certain tiles and wooden surfaces are not expensive, it’s an expense and timely chore that can easily be avoided.

Additionally, fans can improve your health as well. While we like to think we’re living with clean air all around us, sadly toxins and other harmful substances can enter our homes. Bathroom exhaust fans limit those toxins and improve our indoor air quality.

As you can, given its low cost and relative high health risk, it’s no wonder homeowners are installing bathroom fans across the country.

Bathroom Fan Cost Factors

How to Install A Bathroom Fan

Installing a bathroom fan is not a simple process, but one that the average DIYer can accomplish. Depending on your DIY experience, it could take awhile, but with a good guide in front of you, you should complete the installation in less than a day. As such, we broke down all the steps for installing a new bathroom fan.  

Step 1: Plan the Project

The first step in any home remodeling project is planning. Before installing your bathroom fan or beginning any electrical work, be sure you have the required permits. Failure to do so is illegal and may invalidate your homeowner's insurance. If you’re replacing a bathroom fan, please skip to step 2.

Then, make sure you know the exact route all that extra steam will take to exit the home. If you’re installing one through the roof, be sure you have access to the attic and have enough duct area to go from the bathroom to the top of the home. The same process goes for installing a fan on the side of the house. The manufacture’s instructions will greatly help with this step, as well as the entire process for installing a bath fan.

Before purchasing your ducts, check with the fan’s instruction and your city codes. Some may require steel pipes while others may need aluminum or insulated ducts. 

Step 2: Pre-Wire and Mount the Bath Fan

Turn the power to the circuit off. Then, follow the instructions from the manufacturer to carefully pre-wire the bath fan. Next, depending on the location of your fan, you may have to cut out a piece of drywall. If you’re venting through the roof, you may just need access to the attic. Mount the bath fan to a joist (like a stud) with nails. Make sure it’s sturdy.

Why Install A Bathroom Fan

Step 3: Run the Ducts and Drill Exit Point

Use your ducts to mark the exit point of the steam (through roof or wall). Mark the center point with a pen. Drill a hole or nail from the inside of the home through this center point so you can locate it from the outside. For roof installation, make sure the vent exit is as close to the unit as possible. You can use a utility knife to score the opening if you don’t have a drill.

Step 4: Complete the Exit Route

If you’re installing a bath fan on the side of the house, be sure to add some sort of covering over the exit hole. This will prevent rain or snow from entering the home. Make sure you use heavy-duty caulk or glue to attach the outer piece to the home.

For roof installation, remove the shingles around the exit point to match the shape of the vent. Add some roofing cement or heavy-duty caulk to the bottom of the vent and slide it into place. You can add that same caulk around the vent or seal the vent with nails.

Attach the ducts to both the vents (roof or wall) and tape around the connection so no steam will leak. This is especially important if your ducts are running through the attic. Connect the ducts to the actual bath fan and complete the wiring according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Turn the power on and you should be good to go.

To visually see how it’s all done, please watch the video below.

DIY Vs. Hiring A Pro

As you read and watched above, installing a bathroom fan is not a one step process. It takes time and precision, especially if existing ductwork and wires are not in place. While we always encourage homeowners to challenge themselves around the house, most tend to hire professionals for this remodeling project given their low cost.

As a gentle reminder, the price above includes professional installation. If you install the bath fan yourself, you’re just looking at the product cost, which generally ranges between $50 and $175.

Find A Pro

Bathroom fans have to be replaced every 10 years. Luckily, even if you hire a pro, their replacement cost is nothing more than $340. If you plan on hiring a pro, make sure you get multiple quotes from local bathroom contractors.

Last updated on Jun 28, 2016

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