Soffit in Basement Bathroom with Low Ceiling


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Old 02-12-15, 01:33 PM
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Soffit in Basement Bathroom with Low Ceiling

I am finishing the framing for my small basement bathroom. The room is 53"x63" with a 6'8" ceiling.

The 53" wall will have a toilet to the right and corner pedestal sink ot the left. This wall also needs to get a small soffit as the duct for the exhaust fan runs in a bay until it gets to the wall, then protrudes just a bit as it comes down before going to the outside of the house, through a basement window I closed up. The duct protrusion is in the center of the wall, near the top.

I cant pull the wall out another 2 inches (which would allow me to fully conceal the duct) because the toilet flange is already installed 12.5" from where the studs are.

The soffit would not need to be very big. 6" (maybe 7") inches vertical and only needs to protrude from the wall about 2 inches. But I feel like that would give the appearance of a mistake, or like an unplanned error is being covered up... sloppy work.

So, I am not sure how best to handle this. Some of my thoughts have been:

1) Just build the soffit as small as possible: about 6"x2"

2) Build the soffit out a bit more so it looks more like a soffit that is there for asthetic reasons. Maybe 6x6 or 7x7 or something close to that.

3) Build the soffit out 6x6 and install a small recessed light near the corner over the corner pedestal. Then I figured, the light might be too low and would look silly, and probably wouldnt get used.

4) Build the sheetrock at a slight angle. Kind of like a vaulted ceiling would be. So that the rock is vertical on the wall up until about 6" from the ceiling, and then goes on something like a 45 degree angle to meet the ceiling.

5) Build a soffit just about 4 inches down and maybe 6 inches deep, then build a cabinet below it. It would be a shallow cabinet at six inches and would run the length of the wall--minus the part over the sink (I'd want a mirror there). Probably wouldnt hold anything bigger then bars of soap and toilet paper, but would hold a lot of each since it would run the lenght of the wall. But then I have to start with doors, hinges, etc.

Any of these sound like good options? Or do you have any other ideas?
 

Last edited by rmathome; 02-12-15 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 02-12-15, 01:54 PM
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I would probably change the duct size or shape so that it doesn't dip below the ceiling in the first place. Can't it go right through the joist if the joist is over a load bearing wall? Or straight down the joists and out the rim joist instead of out a window? (include a picture if possible) I thought we had convinced you that a soffit in a bathroom that is that small with a ceiling that low would be silly?
 
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Old 02-12-15, 02:02 PM
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No joist to go through. The wall runs along my concrete basement wall.

A three inch duct would solve it BUT I just put it all in and really dont want to take it out now. Plus the fan specified a 4" so I figured I should sick with that. It was a pain to put it in since the place it is venting to (the window I closed up) was beneath an overhang in the back and getting to it to install the louver was a real pain.

I could probably (maybe) use flexible duct where the issue is (I used non-flexible so I dont restrict air flow. But, I could cut into it and go with flexible in the problem spot which MIGHT solve the problem (will need to look when i get home tonight).

I ran non-flexible in the bay from the fan towards the wall. Then a 90 to go down, and another 90 to go out. It's the 90s that are the problem. If they could get closer to the concrete wall, it would help. The flexible I could probably compress slightly as well, if needed.

The reason I avoided the flexible is because after reading so many reviews of fans, it just made sense. It seemed many people complain that the fan (whichever model they have) doesnt pull as should--and often times used flexible. In hindsight, flexible would have probably been better.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 02:05 PM
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Shortest route usually makes the most sense. Concrete or not, if that's the closest wall, that's probably where it should have gone... right out between the joists. But we can't see it, you can.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 07:13 AM
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Its a regular basement window, high up on the wall, like this one:
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...w=1582&bih=656

But, the joists run perpendicular to the wall, like this:
Google Image Result for http://www.icreatables.com/images/framingimgs/frame-basement-window.jpg

However, you can see in the second pic, the 2x8 that sits on the plate (which sits on top of the concrete). In my case, that 2x8 is not there because there is a 2 foot overhang in the backyard, on the other side of this concrete wall.

So, it would seem that it is even easier without that 2x8. But, there is a mess of wires and copper in the way. Plus, I would need to drill the 4 inch hole (for the duct) from the outside--lay on my back under the overhang since my drill wont fit in the bay (I suppose I could by a right angle drill but seems like a big expense for one hole). Unfortunately, the area in the backyard where I can access this overhang has had 2+ feet of snow--(which turned to ice a long time ago) in the way.

So, in the interest of getting the job done. I ran the duct to the concrete, down with a 90, and then out the window with a 90 (having boarded up the window with plywood first because it never worked anyway. It is partially behind my soil stack, so the window never opened more than a few inches anyway--bad planning I guess when the house was built, or someone misread the plans.

Anyway, when I came down with the 90s, it just doesnt sit quite close enough to the wall and that is where I lose my 1.5 inches. Flexible would probably do it for me, though.

I was able to push it real tight and got to within an inch of where I need to be. I can also probably pull my wall out 1/2 inch and maybe build the wall 1/2 out of plumb. It would never be noticeable (I dont think) and might also do the trick.

What do you think?
 

Last edited by rmathome; 02-13-15 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 02-13-15, 05:51 PM
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Would this be a reasonable solution? the part the goes down the wall could be this thinner duct.

Or would I just be better off switching to regular three inch?
 
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Old 02-13-15, 07:01 PM
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I don't know why you would lay on your back when you could be running the duct straight out that cantilever and through the siding. To me, that's what should have been done in the first place. You can surely avoid any wires in the way. But its just an opinion and I can't see it.
 
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Old 02-17-15, 11:51 AM
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It's probably just a silly approach, but I try to touch/disturb as little as needed. I didnt want to go through the siding--it's cold outside (the vinyl could crack), I dont have any j-channel on hand, no good way to tell where a stud might be.

The underside of the cantilever was just 3/4 sheathing and seemed much easier.

In any case, I shoveled the ice away, drilled a 4 inch hole on the underside of the cantilever, and ran the duct there. It took far less time (maybe an hour) than I spent thinking about it--which seems to be the case for most of my jobs.

So, all is fine. No protrusions in the bathroom wall. A straight run of duct with one elbow.

Thanks for all of your time and input.
 
 

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