Bathroom Ventilation

Bathroom Ventilation

The only proper source of water in the bathroom is the water supply lines. Any other source is a problem that must be eliminated. Chief among these is condensation.

Condensation is a continual problem wherever there are wide variances in temperatures present, such as the hot water of a shower or whirlpool, or the heat from a steam or sauna unit. Vaporized water will condense on any cold surface and can potentially cause damage.

To prevent this, the super-saturated air must be removed from the room. Building codes dictate that this air should be vented to the outside. The ventilation fan serves this purpose.

Ventilation fans are available in a wide variety of sizes and with a number of options.

The volume of the room that is to be ventilated determines the size of the fan needed.

The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), a trade association representing the manufacturers of 95% of the residential fans in North America recommends that a bathroom exhaust fan be able to deliver eight air changes per hour (ACH). Most building codes only require a minimum airflow of 50 cfm from a bathroom, which has a capacity of providing eight ACH for a room 8 ft. x 6 ft. with an 8 ft. ceiling.

To calculate the cfm rating of the fan you should select, follow the following steps:

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)


For bathrooms above 100 square feet in area, HVI recommends a ventilation rate based on the number and type of fixtures present, according to the following table:


Bath Tub

50 CFM
50 CFM
50 CFM
100 CFM


This table is cumulative, so that a room containing all of these fixtures would require a fan rated at 250 CFM, but usually multiple fans are installed to achieve the desired results.


  • Steam showers
    it is best to have a separate fan in the steam room that can be turned on after use.
  • Tub/Shower
    Typically the exhaust points are located over or near the shower or tub.
  • Enclosed toilet rooms
    must have an operable window or a fan for ventilation. With windows closed, exhausted air will be replaced by makeup air from adjacent rooms or forced air system registers.
  • HVI recommends that the exhaust points be located away from the supply, thereby pulling the supply air through the room. Bathroom doors need to be undercut to allow makeup air to enter the room.

Most fans are rated between 50 CFM (cubic feet per minute) and 250 CFM. These fans are mounted in the ceiling.

Larger fans can be installed in the wall or ceiling. These fans use ball bearings motors and are not as prone to lubrication concerns when placed in the wall.

Smaller ceiling fans up to 110 cfm generally should not be used in the wall due to concerns about orientation of the motor for bearing lubrication and the built-in damper on the discharge side of the fan.

If these fans must be installed in the wall, the duct needs to be pointed up to allow the damper to operate. However, the bearings may not last as long due to insufficient oil flow within the sleeve bearings.

Fans installed above kitchen ranges must be listed for that application by UL and must be designed to handle the grease in the exhaust air and the high temperatures of a potential grease fire. Most bathroom ventilation fans are not suitable for this purpose.

HVI recommends that the fan be left on for 20 minutes after use of the bathroom. A timer is a good solution, allowing the fan to turn off automatically at the proper time. Alternatively, ventilation may also be provided on a continuous basis at other rates. This may complement the use of fans to provide the HVI recommended rates

The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) publishes a directory of certified products. (Call HVI in Chicago at 1-847-526-2010 to request a copy).

Virtually all fans lose flow as the static pressure (resistance) increases.

This is measured in inches of water gauge, expressed as 0.1″ w.g. or 0.25″ w.g. (equal to a column of water one-tenth or one-quarter of an inch tall).

Most bath fans operate at between 0.1″ and 0.25″ w.g. The Home Ventilating Institute rates almost all bath fans at 0.1″ w.g.

Undersized ducts or tight roof caps can increase this static pressure to 0.5″ or 0.7″ w.g. and there will be virtually no flow.

Most fans are designed for use with a four-inch duct.

Avoid using three-inch duct; this creates very high static pressure, reduces airflow dramatically, and over the long term, reduces motor life in the fan. The ability of a fan to overcome static pressure is shown in the fan curve for a particular fan. In the example below, note how the airflow drops off as the static pressure increases.

The selection of the ducting for a particular installation can drastically affect the performance of a fan. As the duct run gets longer, the static pressure increases and the flow decreases. This limits the size of room that a particular fan can reasonably ventilate.

The loudness of a ventilation fan is measured in Sones. The sone is an internationally recognized measurement of sound output.

Sones translate decibel readings into numbers that correspond to the way people sense loudness.

Sones follow a linear scale, like inches. Double the sones is double the loudness.

In contrast, decibels follow a logarithmic scale which is a multiplying of numbers instead of adding.

Sones readings offer easy, quick and accurate comparisons for laymen and engineers. In technical terms, the sone is equal in loudness to a pure 1,000 cycles per second at tone at 40 decibels above the listener’s threshold of hearing. One sone is equivalent to the sound of a quiet refrigerator in a quiet kitchen (source HVI). The loudness of most fans ranges between .3 Sones and 2.5 Sones, with the average around 1.0.

Optional features on some models are lights, often wired separately for independent operation, motion sensors to turn on when a person enters the room, night-lights, timers, and adjustable humidity sensing circuitry.

Some models can be installed in the ceilings of showers where they are protected by GFCI circuitry.

Many are shielded or operate at lower temperatures so they can be installed in insulated ceilings.

Most have built in dampers to prevent back draft. They should be equipped with thermal cutoff fuses.

Looking to Remodel?


Design Build Cincy Has You Covered! 

This article was originally published by Katie Clavey on Cincinnati Refined.

For all you home owners out there… get excited! The second annual Design Build Cincy event is coming up October 30 through November 1 at Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine.
The event showcases Cincinnati designers, architects, contractors and makers. Since there are so many things to talk about, we’re going to preview different building and design topics each week leading up to the event.
First up…


To get an education on what kitchen and bath remodeling really entails, we caught up with Dave Dressler, Showroom Manager from Keidel Cincinnati. Here’s what we learned.

Let’s begin in the kitchen.

It’s not uncommon for people to look at their kitchen and end up ultimately performing a complete gut. And here’s why…
At least 70% of the time, homeowners make the determination that their current kitchen configuration and cabinetry will not support what they want to do from a design standpoint. Or they’ll decide that the current configuration doesn’t support the appliances the homeowners just have to have. Or their cabinetry is insufficient for the countertops they need to install.
There are homes configured for specific system applications, so let’s say you want to add a decorative hood over your stove. Unfortunately, some (actually, most) kitchens don’t allow for air to move outside the kitchen easily, so if you want a ventilation piece added to your kitchen, you have to determine how and where the air can move from inside to outside. 
Remodeling a kitchen is like that song we sang when we were kids…”The hip bone’s connected to the backbone. The backbone’s connected to the neck bone…” Kitchen components are interconnected and, as a result, a complete gut is mandatory.
No need to freak out, though. Design Build Cincy will be hosting loads of great companies like Keidel that will be happy to give advice on remodeling, design, and product selection.

Moving on to the bathroom a.k.a., the water closet.

Let’s say you want a brand-new shower with all the bells and whistles to create a spa-like experience. What ends up having to happen when you want to create your own personal spa is… you must break through walls.
Typical shower configurations found in 30- to 40-year-old homes here in Cincinnati either have two handles that control a shower head, including a hot and cold valve OR a single valve that controls a shower head.
If someone wants to upgrade their bathroom, they have to — at a minimum— open the wall where the shower valve is located. Because you have to change the plumbing in the wall. Usually the plumbing shifts include adding components like a pressure-balance valve (something that wasn’t available years and years ago) that allows for thermostatic control.
So. Let’s say your roommate or spouse starts the laundry or turns on a sprinkler, the pressure-balance control value maintains temperature and pressure so you don’t get blasted with cold water or lose power. In short, if you want a baller shower, be prepared to break out a sledgehammer.

The Pros Have Your Back

Lucky for you, businesses like Keidel and many other remodel-esque vendors will be on hand at Design Build Cincy to make your next remodel easy and enjoyable. And, of course, they’ll show you all the appliances, cabinets, countertops, and fixtures that are hot now!

Do you really need a designer for your kitchen or bath project?



The answer is usually yes!

A designer works with your blue prints and/or floor plans. They make the most use of the space and make sure that everything fits as it is supposed to. But the biggest advantage to using a designer, is the product knowledge they have. They know who makes what, and in what sizes and shapes. They know where the trends are going. And, more importantly, they design for you and your lifestyle.

The average cost of a kitchen remodel is almost $20,000, and the average cost of a bath remodel is over $9,000. These costs rise if you select quality products. You are spending a lot of money to put in your new kitchen or bath! You want to make sure it’s done right. Whether it will be considered out-of-date in a few years depends on the fixtures, appliances, and cabinets you select. Hiring a good designer will design for the future, including your changing lifestyle.


  • Architect
    An architect is state certified to design structures that conform to the building codes. If you are building a new home, an architect has drawn, or will draw your plans. Most states require an architects stamp before approving construction blueprints. For larger, more complicated remodeling projects, architects can help you detail exactly what you want, draw up plans and list material specifications.

  • Kitchen & Bath Designer
    These designers have very strong product and specialized design knowledge within their specialties. Because of their expertise, they are the best choice for high-dollar jobs where expensive materials, cabinets, and appliances will be used. They work with your architect, builder, plumber, or contractor to make your new home or remodeling project a dream come true! Meet our designers.

  • Interior Designer
    An interior designer is not a decorator. The professional interior designer is qualified by education, experience, and examination to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces. They prepare working drawings and specifications for non-load bearing interior construction, materials, finishes, space planning, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment. They work with architects, builders, and remodelers.

  • Home-Center Staff Designer
    The staff at your home center, offer a quick and economical route to basic kitchen and bath design ideas. They often have some experience with lower budget jobs, using stock materials, cabinets, and appliances. Design skill varies widely.

  • Building Designer
    Their designs tend to be more basic and practical to build than those of an architect, making them an affordable choice for some remodeling projects.

  • Interior Decorator
    Interior decorators are specialists who offer advice on furniture, wall coverings, colors, styles, and the overall physical appearance of your project. Skills vary widely.

Industrial Lighting


The Industrial Look

The industrial look is trending right now and our lighting companies are at the forefront. Industrial lighting uses the unexpected connections and contrasting influences of industrial style and glamourizes those principles with nostalgic bulbs and fine materials. See some of our most favorite industrial lighting products, including the chandeliers, pendants, sconces, and outdoor fixtures below.


1. Hinkley Belden Place Outdoor Fixture. A modern take on a vintage gas lantern, the oil-rubbed bronze and Edison bulb contrast with the pristine glass and clean lines.

2. Hubbardton Forge Erlenmeyer Pendant. This great pendant has an adjustable head and metal gear.–Item.HTM.

3. Hudson Valley Heirloom Pendant. Early-electric socket holders are the primary feature of this pendant. There is also a paddle switch, making it stand out against similar fixtures.

4. Troy Lighting Murphy Pendant. COMING SOON! This rustic industrial pendant is available Fall 2015. It uses rope and a hook to hold the light. The glass is hand-blown and the nostalgic bulb ties it all together. We can’t wait to see it in person!
5. Kichler Pendant. Kichler’s industrial pendant light has a Frensal lens and classic industrial style.

6. Kichler Cobson 3-light Pendant. This is a retro-industrial combination with three nostalgic bulbs and a midcentury-inspired metal shade.

7. Kichler Colerne Linear Chandelier. A “flea market find” fixture that is very versatile. It creates a rustic/industrial style with the look of reclaimed wood and antique, distressed metal. One of our all-time favorites!

8. Minka Downtown Edison Semi Flush. We liked this industrial light so much we put the pendant version on display in our showroom in oil-rubbed bronze.

9. Minka Downtown Edison 15-light Chandelier. This fixture has all the drama you could want from a chandelier. We think it would look great in an open, loft space.

10. Minka Downtown Edison 3-light Vanity Light. We can’t forget about the bathroom! Minka’s 3-light vanity fixture is perfect for the industrial bathroom. The bulbs provide a soft glow and the fixture matches the other fixtures in the Downtown collection for a whole-home industrial look.

11. Savoy House Orsay 3-light Vanity Light. This light was designed by Brian Thomas and combines vintage lighting and glass globes. There are several fixtures in the Orsay collection you can see here:

12. Hudson Valley Wall Sconce. This is a durable wall light in a distressed bronze finish. It creates the hearty appearance perfect for an industrial space.

Barry Keidel to Retire as Keidel Supply Executive

Keidel Supply’s Barry Keidel Retires After 44 Years


Barry KeidelCINCINNATI—25 June 2015—Keidel Supply announced today that executive Barry Keidel will retire effective July 2, 2015. Barry has worked for Keidel Supply, Cincinnati’s largest local plumbing supplier and wholesale distributor, for 44 years.


Barry grew up in the business, working many different positions at Keidel Supply. He joined shortly after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and took over as President following his father in the early 1990s. Under Barry, the company grew from a neighborhood supply shop to a large showroom and distribution center. Keidel Supply currently has three Ohio locations.


“I’m honored to have spent 44 years with Keidel, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish during my tenure,” Barry said. “I’m excited about my future and confident the company is in good hands.”


In 2009, Barry brought on Mike Barton as CEO. The company will continue to operate under Barton’s leadership. Barry will remain on the board.



# # #





Keidel Supply Co. Inc. was founded in 1911 in Norwood, Ohio.  A Cincinnati-based company, it is now a full-service distributor and showroom, filling the plumbing, PVF, cabinetry, lighting, and appliance needs of residential and commercial plumbing contractors, builders, remodelers, and homeowners.


For additional information, visit:


Bathtub Basics


Most homes today have at least one bathtub. Unfortunately, many tubs are casually added to blueprints without much consideration to the homeowner’s needs. Tubs are great for bathing children, relaxing, washing pets, or cleaning large objects. They’re durable (some last 50+ years) and beautiful and they generally aren’t subject to many of the passing trends other fixtures in the home face. So if you’re building or remodeling, spend some extra time planning for your bathtub.


The most important factor when selecting a bathtub for personal use is comfort. A 6’4” person will likely feel comfortable in a different tub than a 5’3” person. For example, a standard tub is 14” to 17” deep while a European style is 18” and a Japanese or Greek tub may be 22” or more. There are tubs with ergonomic design and built-in arm rests and some with additional accessories like seats or trays. Tubs are designed in hundreds of sizes, shapes, and materials.


It’s important to “try out” tubs in a showroom environment to make sure they’re right for you. Often, large items like bathtubs cannot be returned if you don’t like them.


As we mentioned earlier, tubs come in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials. Bathtubs are typically made from porcelain on steel, acrylic, fiberglass or cast iron. The material you choose depends on taste, budget, lifestyle, and architectural limitations.

Porcelain on steel – $

These are the bathtubs many of us recognize from the homes of our parents and grandparents. They consist of one-piece thin stamped steel shells coated with a heat-fused porcelain enamel. The finishing process forms a smooth finish resistant to corrosion and abrasion. They are durable, sanitary, and maintain their glossy finish better than some synthetic material. POS tubs can be loud, depending on the gauge of steel used, and the surface of the tub can chip.

Acrylic  – $$

Thermal-formed acrylic is another popular bathtub material. It is vacuum-molded from sheets of acrylic and reinforced with fiberglass. These tubs are lightweight and keep water warmer longer because acrylic is an effective insulator. Another benefit of acrylic is its flexibility of design. Because it is so easy to manufacturer, there are many more style and shape options. Cleaning acrylic tubs is very easy, but harsh cleaners containing acetate should never be used because the composition of the acrylic will break down.

Fiberglass – $

Similar in appearance to acrylic, gel-coated fiberglass (FRP) tubs are formed by spraying a pigmented polyester resin onto a mold. The finish lacks the depth and resilience of acrylic, but it is equally easy to maintain. Most shower/tub combination units are made of fiberglass.

Cast Iron – $$$

Enamel-coated cast iron is the most durable bathtub material. These tubs are made by pouring molten iron into a mold. The finished product is thick and extremely resistant to chips, scratches, and dents. It also displays the most highly polished finish. If properly cared for, a cast iron tub will last an entire lifetime. This is the best material to use to create a vintage look.

Other – $ to $$$

There are many other kinds of material for bathtubs, we’ve just touched on the most popular. Some other materials include:

  • Copper
  • Cultured marble
  • Natural marble
  • Solid surface
  • Wood
  • Mosaic/Ceramic tile

For more information on tub material, contact our showroom experts 513-351-1600.




This style of tub is the most common, with millions of wall-to-wall units sold each year.



These bathtubs are dropped in* a surround. They tend to be more expensive than built-in models.

*please don’t drop your bathtub!

Victoria and Albert Freestanding clawfoot bathtub


Increasing in popularity, freestanding bathtubs are finished on all sides. They also act as a focal point of a bathroom.



A whirlpool tub is a soaking tub fitted with piping, a pump, and jets. The pump circulates the water through the pipes using an underwater suction fitting and several water jets. Combined with the weight of the water and the person bathing, these bathtubs can weigh more than 1500 lbs—so additional floor supports are a necessity.

Bath oils and salts should never be used in a whirlpool bathtub. In fact, using these products could void your warranty!


Air tub/Bubble tub

Air tubs differ from whirlpool tubs. Air bubble tubs force warm air through tiny holes, creating an effect similar to champagne bubbles.


Soaking tub

Soaking tubs are deeper and typically wider than standard bathtubs. They do not have jets or bubbles. The water is always at rest—perfect for soaking.


If you’re building a dream bathroom and want a dream bathtub, these are some additional features you may want to incorporate:


ADA Compliance

Individuals who find standard a bathtub difficult to maneuver in might consider purchasing an ADA compliant tub, like the one shown above. If you’re planning to stay in your home past retirement, you may anticipate future needs by installing an ADA compliant bath.



Offered by Kohler, chromatherapy is “a lighting system that uses the soothing qualities of color to let your mind and body drift and dream as you relax into a warm bath.” More info on Kohler’s site.


Another special Kohler feature, VibrAcoustic Hydrotherapy blends music with water. Plug in your audio device and a VibrAcoustic tub sends corresponding vibrations through the tub.

Heated surface

Heat is the ultimate stress reliever. For added heat during your bath, select a tub with a heated surface.

For more information on baths, schedule your appointment or stop by our showroom!

Lighting Showroom Updates

Because we stay on top (and ahead of) design trends, we’re always changing and updating our showroom. This month we’ve added several different light fixtures to our Cincinnati lighting showroom. Check them out below.

Edison Bulb Fixture 3

Edison Bulb Fixture umbrella

Edison Bulb Fixture

Industrial sconce

Kichler vanity light

Chandeliers for 2015

April 2015 Chandelier Cover

Hanging lights are one of the hottest lighting trends for 2015. It’s no surprise–they’re gorgeous and extremely functional, acting as either ambient or task lighting. Chandeliers are also a perfect place to splurge. They last for years, are always beautiful, and become a focal point in any room. We’ve made a list of some of our favorites hanging lights for every homeowner’s budget.

Chandeliers under 500

  1. The Nexus 3-light chandelier. This is a great transitional light by Maxim Lighting for $228.00.
  2. The Parker 4-light chandelier. A transitional piece by Nuvo. This fixture would look great above a small dining room table. $199.99.
  3. A semi-flush chandelier by Kichler. This fixture also comes in brushed nickel. $250.80.
  4. 5-light Kichler chandelier. This small light leans more toward a traditional aesthetic, but could also work in a transitional design scheme. $231.00.
  5. 5-light mini chandelier. A gorgeous Minka Lavery light that comes in a unique distressed silver finish. Image this above a clawfoot bathtub in your dream master bath. $284.00.
  6. Paris Flea Market 4-light mini chandelier. This Crystorama mini chandelier combines high-style design with premium materials. It also comes in a chic white finish. $300.00.
  7. Emery chandelier by Quoizel. A metal-shaded fixture, this Americana-styled chandelier is an elegant nod to the past. Available in three finishes. $380.00.
  8. Delphine 12-light chandelier. Perfect for an industrial space, this fixture is defined by its unique structure and use of bulbs. $258.00.
  9. Linear halogen chandelier. This Kichler fixture would work well in a contemporary space, especially above an island or table. $371.80.

Chandeliers 500 - 1000

  1. Carnaby Street chandelier. This is a spherical shaped chandelier adorned with crystal elements in a rich bronze finish. It would work well in a contemporary or traditional space. $658.00.
  2. Palla 1 light mini chandelier. The Palla collection is more elemental in nature and natural in earth tones. An eclectic design, this fixture would work in many different spaces. $650.00.
  3. Belvedere 12-light. Mixing the orderly structure of straight lines and sharp angles with simple curves, this chandelier blends the clean lines of contemporary design and the glamour of traditional to create something entirely new and modern. $898.00.
  4. Cubist 4-light LED chandelier. Blocks of tiffany glass are assembled into a structure of staggered cubes. A contemporary piece for $818.00.
  5. Contessa 12-light chandelier. This is a traditional piece with cylindrical shades and a contemporary flair. $998.00.
  6. Linear 5-light chandelier. A contemporary piece, this fixture has the clean lines and simple design perfect for a minimalist. $701.80.
  7. Cortina chandelier. With lavish strands of crystal beads and a gleaming center ball, this fixture is all about the glamour. $849.00.
  8. Hampton 8-light drum shade chandelier. Drum chandeliers are very popular right now and for good reason—they’re gorgeous! This Crystorama light offers transitional design and soft elegance. $798.00.
  9. Lucero chandelier. Part of the Jessica Mcclintock Home Collection, this piece features delicate lines and premium material.


Chandeliers 1000+

  1. Rumsford. This piece by Hudson Valley is an industrial frame chandelier in a beautiful polished nickel finish. $1,702.00.
  2. Xanadu. This Fredrick Ramond fixture updates the classic chandelier with a polished stainless steel finish and clear crystal accents. $3,099.00.
  3. Bijou. This light captures the best of modern, Euro-chic design. The clean lines of its laser cut frame feature elegant strands of crystal beads that span the entire fixture. $1,379.00
  4. LED Meridian. A very contemporary design, it is part of Elan’s Meridian collection. Check out their matching fixtures. $2,394.00.
  5. Zen chandelier. This modern cable hung design is the ultimate in eco-chic. Constructed with sustainable environmentally-friendly solid bamboo, this fixture utilizes an energy-efficient LED light source. $1,599.00.
  6. Starburst 31-light chandelier. Crystal balls and large metal offshoots extend from the center orb in the “exploding” fixture. The light reflects off of the polished chrome finish, creating a bright and beautiful ambiance. $6,358.00.
  7. Stanley 9-light chandelier. An industrial interpretation of Art Deco, this gorgeous fixture comes in Kalco’s exclusive volcano bronze finish. $2,482.00.
  8. Chantilly 10-light chandelier. We’re not sure a more elegant and glamorous chandelier exists. This beautiful chandelier by Maxim Lighting features metal frames draped with jewelry chain. $1,400.00.
  9. Dawson 9-light chandelier. This is an antique brass chandelier with sparkling crystals and traditional style. $3,190.00.