Best decorative bathroom exhaust fans

Top 5 Best Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fans

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Kevin Jefferson

March 24, 2022

A bathroom exhaust fan doesn’t have to be just that – a sterile-looking appliance that removes excess moisture from the bathroom. It can also contribute to the beauty and aesthetics of your bathroom with its design. 

In most cases, such exhaust fans include lights and look almost exactly like your regular light fixtures. Don’t be fooled by their looks, though – they’re just as efficient as those big white boxes most people have in their homes. 

In this article, I’ll be taking a closer look at the 5 best decorative bathroom exhaust fans and also provide some additional info to help you choose the right model for your needs. 

Overview of the Best Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fans

 Winner    
ModelHunter Garden DistrictBroan-NuTone AER110LBN RoomsideHunter 81030 HalcyonAir King DRLC702 RoundHunter 90052 Saturn
ImageHunter 80705 Garden District Brushed Nickel Bath Exhaust Fan and Light (Vent)Broan-NuTone AER110LBN Roomside Bathroom Exhaust LED Light, Brushed Nickel, Energy Star Certified, 110 CFM, 1.5 Sones Bath FanHunter 81030 Halcyon Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Light in Contemporary Cast ChromeAir King DRLC702 Round Bath Fan with Light, NickelHunter 90053 Saturn Decorative Bathroom Ventilation Fan with Light in Brushed Nickel
CFM70110907080
FinishBrushed nickel baseLow-profile coverCast-chromeNickel finishBrushed nickel
Special FeatureWhite glass shadesIntegrated LED lightSwirled marble glassFrosted light coverMarble lens
Price$144.89$175.00$144.99$89.26$129.99
AmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

The Best Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Hunter Garden District 

Hunter garden district fan

Features: 

  • 70 CFM 
  • 1.5 Sones 
  • Three lights 
  • Brushed nickel base 
  • White glass shades 

Out of the five decorative bathroom exhaust fans reviewed in this article, I consider this one to be the best. It’s an extremely stylish and attractive appliance equipped with sleek white glass shades. 

To balance the overall eye-catching design of the fan, Hunter also gave it a contemporary look by adding a brushed nickel base. As a 70 CFM-rated device, this particular model is suitable for bathrooms with a square footage of up to 75 sq. ft. 

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Reviews of the Best Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fans

1. Broan-NuTone AER110LBN Roomside

Broan Nutone Decorative Fan

Specifications: 

  • CFM rating: 110 
  • Sone rating: 1.5 
  • Dimensions: 15” x 15” x 10.25”

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A minimalistic but sleek-looking appliance with a decorative finish, the Broan Nu-Tone Roomside is a worthwhile purchase for homeowners with larger bathrooms. 

The first thing to notice about this particular model is undoubtedly its low-profile lens cover. As you can already guess, it blends extremely well into any kind of bathroom decor. The base of this bathroom exhaust fan, on the other hand, sports a brushed nickel finish. 

As I mentioned above, most decorative bathroom fans have built-in lights. The same is true for AER110LBN Roomside – its integrated LED light is energy-efficient and can be dimmed. 

However, the primary selling point of this device is its 110 CFM rating. This turns it into a suitable choice for bathrooms whose square footage stands at around 125 sq. ft. The unit is also exceptionally easy to install and is backed by a limited 3-year warranty.

If you want to check out other fans with lights, check out our best bathroom exhaust fan with light reviews.

Pros:

  • Brushed nickel finish 
  • A 110 CFM-rated fan 
  • Energy-efficient & dimmable LED light 
  • Low-profile light cover 

Cons: 

  • The lens is synthetic (not glass) 

2. Hunter 81030 Halcyon

Hunter Halcyon

Specifications: 

  • CFM rating: 90 
  • Sone rating: 2.5 
  • Dimensions: 17” x 17” x 13.5” 

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Three out of five decorative bathroom fans reviewed in this article are made by a company called Hunter, and for a good reason – their products typically feature a lovely design and provide solid performance. The same applies to their 81030 Halcyon model. 

As far as I’m concerned, the decorative appearance of this particular exhaust fan fits well with almost any kind of bathroom aesthetics. Swirled in beautiful marble glass, the light cover features a minimalistic but charming cast-chrome design. 

The integrated LED light, on the other hand, is totally dimmable and does its job quite well. The overall cast chrome design of the entire unit, which I have mentioned above, gives the light a very specific and pleasant tone. 

As a 90 CFM-rated appliance, Hunter 81030 Halcyon is a suitable choice for bathrooms that are no larger than 100 square feet. And while it’s not a whisper-quiet bathroom fan (2.5 Sones), it comes accompanied by a generous 5-year limited warranty.

Pros:

  • Swirled marble glass cover 
  • Lovely cast-chrome design 
  • Excellent performance 
  • 5-year limited warranty 

Cons:

  • Somewhat difficult installation 

3. Air King DRLC702 Round

Air King round bathroom fan

Specifications: 

  • CFM rating: 70 
  • Sone rating: 4.0  
  • Dimensions: 21” x 15” x 15” 

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A premium-quality bathroom exhaust fan from Air King, the DRLC702 Round has both an eye-catching, decorative design and a functional light. 

While the model’s grille, which is situated at its base, features a nickel finish, its lens cover is made out of glass and comes in a beautiful frosted & ribbed style. 

Behind the lens cover, you will find two light bulb slots. As always, I would recommend using LED bulbs – their energy efficiency is hard to beat. The accompanying adjustable hanging brackets, on the other hand, make installing this decorative bathroom fan as easy as it gets. 

Unfortunately, this is not a flawless device. First of all, it is rated at only 70 CFM, which makes it unsuitable for bathrooms whose size exceeds 75 square feet. Secondly, it is quite loud (4.0 Sones). If you’re searching for a decorative model that is also whisper-quiet, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use adjustable hanging brackets 
  • Grille with a nickel finish 
  • Ribbed & frosted light cover 
  • Two light bulb slots 

Cons: 

  • Loud (4.0 Sones) 

4. Hunter 90052 Saturn

Hunter saturn fan

Specifications: 

  • CFM rating: 80 
  • Sone rating: 2.3  
  • Dimensions: ‎14.76” x 14.17” x 9.33”

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Here we have another decorative bathroom exhaust fan from Hunter – 90052 Saturn. Its appearance is quite similar to some of the units reviewed above, as this model also features an eye-catching marble glass light lens that sets it apart from the regular-looking appliances of this type. 

Besides the marble glass light lens and Hunter’s traditional brushed nickel finish, this bathroom fan also sports two light bulb slots. Once again, make sure to use LED light bulbs – they’re much more energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan. 

In terms of performance, this is an 80 CFM-rated bathroom exhaust fan. The unit’s motor does its job well and effortlessly removes excess humidity and moisture in bathrooms that are no larger than 80 square feet. 

The only major disadvantage of this particular model is the fact that it comes accompanied by poor instructions – there is almost no text at all, only pictures. If you’re not a DIY-savvy homeowner, this might make the installation process a bit tricky.

If you are interested in round fans, check out our post on the best round exhaust fans.

Pros:

  • Solid performance 
  • Brushed nickel finish 
  • Marble glass light lens 
  • 5-year limited warranty 

Cons:

  • Poor instructions 

5. Hunter 80705 Garden District

Hunter garden district fan

Specifications: 

  • CFM rating: 70 
  • Sone rating: 1.5
  • Dimensions: 17” x 15.75” x 14.63”

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While not the most powerful decorative bathroom exhaust fan on my list, Hunter 80705 is certainly the prettiest – this is a genuinely great-looking model that is bound to enhance the look and ambiance of your bathroom. 

Unlike all of the units described above, this one comes with three lights. You can wire these lights to the same switch that controls the fan itself or wire them independently to a separate switch. 

The Hunter 80705 Garden District features silk-road white glass enclosures and a brushed nickel metal base. And while its performance is not the best one out there, it is exceptionally quiet in operation (1.5 Sones). 

Due to its rustic design, I consider it to be a perfect choice for homeowners with older and more stylish bathrooms – as long as they’re not too large, that is. Just like the other two Hunter fans in this roundup, the 80705 Garden District is also backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

Pros:

  • Phenomenal design 
  • White glass enclosures 
  • Quiet in operation (1.5 Sones) 
  • 5-year limited warranty 

Cons: 

  • Not for larger bathrooms 

What Exactly are Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fans?

Small modern luxurious bathroom

As their name suggests, these are bathroom exhaust fans that sport a stylish yet functional design, which turns them into an excellent addition to any bathroom. In most cases, they will look almost exactly like standard light fixtures. 

If the regular-looking appliances of this type don’t fit well with the aesthetics of your bathroom – or if you just don’t like their plain, boring design – decorative exhaust fans are a perfect choice for you. 

Almost all of these eye-catching devices come equipped with a light. As far as I’m concerned, that’s probably because giving a bathroom fan that has just a vent grille and nothing else a stylish look can be quite challenging.

So that your new fan will always be in good condition, check out our guide on how to clean a bathroom fan.

The Performance of Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fans 

If you’re looking to buy one of these appliances, the design is probably your most important consideration. 

However, don’t forget to take the performance into account as well – you want your new fan to be able to efficiently remove excess moisture from your bathroom. And for this, you will have to get a model with an adequate CFM rating. 

Basically, you will want the number stated in the fan’s CFM rating to match the square footage of your bathroom. So, for example, if the size of your bathroom stands at 70 square feet, then you’ll have to purchase a 70 CFM-rated exhaust fan. 

If the square footage of your bathroom is well above 100, your best bet is to base the CFM calculation on the number of plumbing fixtures you have. You can read more about this in my CFM sizing chart for bathroom exhaust fans article. 

Will I Need Extra Wiring for My Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fan? 

Due to the fact that almost all fans of this type come equipped with lights, you’ll have to deal with the wiring issue. 

Those who want the exhaust fan and its light to turn on and off at the same time won’t have too much trouble with the wiring, though. After all, both operations will be controlled with just one wall switch. 

However, homeowners who would rather have separate wall switches for the fan and its light will have to install some extra wiring. Obviously, this makes the whole fan installation process a bit more complicated and costlier. 

The electrical wire coming from the wall switch for the light will have to be fished to the exhaust fan. You can expect to pay up to $400 for the installation of one of these appliances, and this optional extra wiring can add to the overall cost.

Check out our post on the best bathroom window fans as well.

Are Decorative Bathroom Exhaust Fans Quiet?

Fan on a yellow wall

Besides performance, another vital consideration you’ll have to take into account is how loud your new decorative bathroom exhaust fan will be when it’s in operation. 

The noise created by these convenient appliances is measured in Sones. A bathroom exhaust fan whose Sone rating is 1 or less is very quiet when it’s working. 

The models situated in the 1-3 Sone range, on the other hand, are considered to be moderately noisy bathroom fans. Finally, an appliance of this type whose Sone rating stands at 4 or higher will be very loud. 

Some homeowners actually prefer to have a bathroom exhaust fan that is loud rather than quiet – such a model creates white noise that can come in very handy whenever you’re using the toilet. Other homeowners – myself included – prefer whisper-quiet devices with a low Sone rating instead. 

You can read more about all of this in my bathroom fan sones article. If you would like a quiet fan, check out our post on the quietest bathroom exhaust fans.

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