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Tips for retrofitting smaller bathroom fan into larger hole

Tips for retrofitting smaller bathroom fan into larger hole

Old 06-23-18, 01:09 PM
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Tips for retrofitting smaller bathroom fan into larger hole

Doing a bathroom remodel, and the fan that really looks best in the new remodel requires a 9.5" x 9.5" rough opening, and the existing opening is 11.5" x 10.5". So in essence an inch too large on way, and two inches too large the other. I placed the cover (which is round) up next to the existing hole and there is definitely some spillover where you can see the corners of the "too large" opening outside of the round decorative cover.

So clearly it requires a patch, but main question is, it's pretty close, so the patch is very small, so should I try and just and cut an entire 11.5 x 10.5 piece of clean drywall out and patch the whole thing into the hole, then carefully scribe out my 9.5 x 9.5 on the inside of that new patch? Or should I just make an "L" shaped piece that is 2" x 1" and try and patch that little "L" up into the existing space and hope that some good paint work will cover the cracks?

My other question is, if I do decide to go with a 2" x 1" small "L" patch piece, clearly I can't screw that into anything, so what's a good tip for securing the patch? I'm thinking to maybe glue it onto a slightly larger 1/4" piece of plywood that has essentially been trimmed down to the same "L" shape, but has a couple inches of overhang to then glue that onto the existing drywall. Any thoughts on whether that's a good idea or not?

Old 06-23-18, 03:05 PM
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You're in a though situation. My first choice would have been for a larger fan.

I don't think you have much hope of getting that narrow L shaped patch attached and finished to look right. I'm almost wondering if it's better to cut out a larger piece of the ceiling so you can insall a piece large enough to get some screws into.
Old 06-23-18, 03:49 PM
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I'd make a ring and float/finish all the way around it. Otherwise you may make a hump at the corners and your new fan grille won't lay flat.
Old 06-23-18, 07:01 PM
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I just did this exact same thing on a bathroom remodel. I patched and finished. In the drywall department of the big orange box stores they have drywall repair clips. They basically clip onto the existing drywall and you screw through the drywall to hold that side tight. The other side has a flat spot that accepts the patch, you screw down that side. You then snap off the tabs, tape and mud.

Old 06-24-18, 05:44 PM
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The frogs is a good option. They are called frogs because a stack of them looks like a frog sitting. I would fill the opening with five minute set mud. Bond as much as you can to the edges then when it has set add some more. It will probably take three or four coats but you can put one coat on as soon as the prior coat has set. This is more like ten minutes with five minute mud. When it is flush or nearly flush add another coat and tape the joint. I like FibaFuse tape. I think it is thinner than paper tape and as strong. It costs twice as much as paper tape but I think you can get short rolls of it now Then smooth it out with another coat and texture (if any) to match and prime and paint. I would mask the fan bezel and do this with that in place. You probably will damage the repair when you take the fan excutcheon off but how often do you do that? If you decide to put new drywall in cut the new piece or pieces off of a tapered edge. There will be a little orfrset with the new. That is a good thing in this case as you will be less likely to get a hump behind the fan flange. I did some holes around a speaker like this. the speakers were installed in the former square holes and there were corners that needed filled in. Don't try to do this without tape. the vibration of the fan will crack the joint if it is not taped.

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