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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Get the Air Moving in Your Kitchen & Bathrooms

While it’s usually not given a whole lot of thought, appropriate ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom is important for a variety of reasons. Most people consider this a utilitarian component of the home, but there are a surprising variety of options for both the kitchen and bathroom. Let’s look at some of the things to consider when weighing your product solutions for these areas of your home.

Kitchen ventilation has come a long way since the old recirculation fans with wire mesh screens or above-the-range microwave vents of yore. Nowadays, the vent fan is either cleverly disguised in cabinetry or a central aesthetic component of the kitchen. When locating the vent hood, be sure to consider height so that it accomplishes two main objectives: to draw away smoke and exhaust for better indoor air quality; but also to avoid being an obstacle while cooking at the range. You want it to be just the right height so it works for you. We always coordinate this detail between the client, designer, and project craftsman onsite before installation. Also consider the strength of the motor. You want it to be strong enough to draw the exhaust and get it out of the house, but not too strong so as to draw too much of the conditioned air outside. This is usually decided during the project design phase. Finally, you want the right look so the unit appears part of the design and not just an afterthought.
Like kitchen ventilation, bathroom ventilation has come a long way in recent years. There are a wide variety of products to choose from, such as: standard ceiling mounted fans (but they are much better these days), fans hidden in recessed ceiling lights, wall mounted fans, and small fans in multiple locations with a remote motor. These all operate in different ways and have different cost levels, so they should be discussed as your project is being designed and planned. We always weigh the pros and cons with our clients during design so that they end up with the right solution. Placement of the units in the bathroom is also important to successfully draw all of the moist air from the bathroom to prevent mildew. This detail is always reviewed during our pre-drywall walk-throughs with clients to make sure everything is in the right place and to their liking. A central component of this walk-through is to make sure that when the project is complete, everything works as intended and looks well-planned.
So there is a lot to consider when planning kitchen and bathroom ventilation for your remodeling project. With some careful thought and preparation, you can have practical results and an aesthetically pleasing space.