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Old 01-25-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


I'm remodeling 2 bathrooms, well, I hired a great contractor to do all the things I don't know how to do. Anyway, for the hall bath, they suggested moving the floor vent to the toekick of the 48" vanity. I thought this is a great idea since the floor vent is in an odd location. My mother has louvered vents in the toekicks of her vanities and they work great.

My question is this: Shouldn't it be venting directly to the new register under the vanity instead of just blowing the air under the entire vanity?

The reason I ask is that I just found out today that they are planning on having the air flowing under the whole vanity and not directly to the register in the toekick. I would have never agreed to this arrangement if I thought it was going to be done this way. They have already repositioned the old floor vent to open up under the vanity bottom, but the vanity has not been cut yet to accomodate a register and the vanity won't be reinstalled for at least another couple weeks.

Any thoughts on this and ideas of standard practices in this situation?

I attached a pic of the vanity before they removed it.

Thanks!

Mary N.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:44 PM   #2
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


The duct should be extended to the front of the toe kick so the heat reaches the room, not trapped under the vanity to find it's way out willy nilly.
Ron

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:01 AM   #3
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
The duct should be extended to the front of the toe kick so the heat reaches the room, not trapped under the vanity to find it's way out willy nilly.
Ron
Thank you, Ron, for the reply. I totally agree with you.

While these guys are good, I still have my own vision of what is right to do, and I am always surprised to find out that the pros sometimes do things in a questionable (at least to me) manner. I have to research everything and ask questions relentlessly, never assuming. It's an amazing learning process. Thank you.

Mary
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 AM   #4
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
The duct should be extended to the front of the toe kick so the heat reaches the room, not trapped under the vanity to find it's way out willy nilly.
Ron
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Let's see if I understand this:
You say the air should be ducted all the way to the toe-kick.
They plan on straight up under the center of the vanity, stopping the duct at the floor.
As long as they also plan on on putting louvers on the front of the toe-kck, for the air to exit, I don't see what the problem is.

And don't get mad at the contractor. I have yet to read a valid reason on this post as to why it shouldn't be done that way.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #6
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Let's see if I understand this:
You say the air should be ducted all the way to the toe-kick.
They plan on straight up under the center of the vanity, stopping the duct at the floor.
As long as they also plan on on putting louvers on the front of the toe-kck, for the air to exit, I don't see what the problem is.

And don't get mad at the contractor. I have yet to read a valid reason on this post as to why it shouldn't be done that way.
Duh!!!!!! Whaaaaaaatttttt????????
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #7
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Let's see if I understand this:
You say the air should be ducted all the way to the toe-kick.
They plan on straight up under the center of the vanity, stopping the duct at the floor.
As long as they also plan on on putting louvers on the front of the toe-kck, for the air to exit, I don't see what the problem is.

And don't get mad at the contractor. I have yet to read a valid reason on this post as to why it shouldn't be done that way.
I need to clarify that I am in no way mad at the contractor and I don't know where you picked that up, LOL! I like them and keep paying them to come back and work on the house. Just so we're perfectly clear on that.

I've researched this particular scenario and while responses overall around the net are mixed, they do tend to favor a direct venting to the toekick rather than the hot/cold air just hovering within a 48x22x4 space.

A point that I left out in my first post is that the plumbing comes up through the floor from the crawlspace rather than the typical wall installation. So there is some concern about the air, if not directed properly, either going back down into the crawl or just coming out under any of the four sides of the vanity, including the side against the wall. We could make the argument that they could seal any gaps around the plumbing of course.

I don't plan to caulk the entire bottom edge to the new floor or the edge against the wall (to seal it) as that doesn't seem necessary or even common practice. So my favored method is to direct the airflow out the front vent to get the most air possible into the bathroom.

The new floor vent (4x10) is positioned very near the left side and about 10" from the wall, midpoint from front to back. The green in the attached photo is the wall behind the vanity. Just interested to hear about methods others have used to accomplish my vision and if its feasible. I believe a duct can be constructed to fit within a 4" tall space and exit out the front.

I'm an optimist!

Thanks,

Mary
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


I think as the customer you get what you want since you are paying the bill. Tell him/her that you want it ducted to the toe-kick and not into the base of vanity. This is not rocket science nor an unreasonable request.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:55 PM   #9
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Ive never seen it routed to the vent. The cabniet base acts as a duct and the louvers release the air into the room. Where do you think the air is going under the cabniet? I do not understand why you would want duct ran to the face its doing the same thing.

Back before fire code got so strict the hvac returns would be a stud bay that was plyed in and sealed. Sometimes main supplies would run like this floor to floor to. Nothing wrong with it except it allowed fires to race up through the building. The toe kick works the same way. This is industry standard so expect an extra charge if you have them run duct.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:26 AM   #10
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Ubenhad4 wrote: Where do you think the air is going under the cabniet? I do not understand why you would want duct ran to the face its doing the same thing.

I don't think the air would do the same thing in a 48x22 space. I think that the air under the cabinet is going to go into the cabinet for starters, being that the plumbing comes up through holes in the vanity base. As well as the other places I mentioned in my above posts. I never considered that this might be a fire hazard, first time I've heard of that reason.

This is certainly an interesting topic to me, with hardly any real reasons given to not do it, but I'm not convinced yet that a duct connected to toekick is wrong or unreasonable. Keep 'em coming.

Thanks,

Mary
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:50 AM   #11
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


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Originally Posted by nolamar View Post
Ubenhad4 wrote: Where do you think the air is going under the cabniet? I do not understand why you would want duct ran to the face its doing the same thing.

I don't think the air would do the same thing in a 48x22 space. I think that the air under the cabinet is going to go into the cabinet for starters, being that the plumbing comes up through holes in the vanity base. As well as the other places I mentioned in my above posts. I never considered that this might be a fire hazard, first time I've heard of that reason.

This is certainly an interesting topic to me, with hardly any real reasons given to not do it, but I'm not convinced yet that a duct connected to toekick is wrong or unreasonable. Keep 'em coming.

Thanks,

Mary
I never said its a fire hazard. I has talking about old chases in older houses. Not a toe kick vent. Your plumbing penetrations from floor to floor should have been foamed by the insulator. If your plumbing runs up through the bottom and your worried about the small air lose throught the trim rings for the pipes just seal those. The size of the chase being larger is no problem the air is forced air so it will not just hang out under the cab. It will take the path of least resistence that being the toe kick vent.

Your other concern is no concern at all. Your worried about losing air to the side of the cab thats installed in the same room your toe kick vent is in. Why are you worried if the air is coming up the side of the cab? Its still entering the room. All vent in my kitchen and baths are toe kicks set up like your hvac guy has them. There might be a little air being blown into the cab but its not air tight and leaks into the room. I dont open a cab door and it feels warmer in there. I think your over thinking this and just going to cause un needed friction between you and the hvac installer over a non issue.

The reason not to do it is it is not needed and not industry standard. It gains you nothing. The same amount of air is entering the room.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:08 AM   #12
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


Ubenhad4...I never gave thought that I should call in my "insulator" after the plumber left today to foam the lines the plumber just replaced.

All these pesky details! Where's my yellow pages? Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:57 AM   #13
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


As mentioned previously install the duct to the toe kick, nobody runs ducts to nowhere it's just plane stupid. You might have to transition that duct from 10 x 4 say to 12x3 or 14 x3 to get a diffuser to fit properly under the kick. NOTE: as mentioned previously regarding return air installation using the walls as duct that is standard in the industry there's no pressure on the return air like there is on the supply.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:36 AM   #14
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As mentioned previously install the duct to the toe kick, nobody runs ducts to nowhere it's just plane stupid. You might have to transition that duct from 10 x 4 say to 12x3 or 14 x3 to get a diffuser to fit properly under the kick. NOTE: as mentioned previously regarding return air installation using the walls as duct that is standard in the industry there's no pressure on the return air like there is on the supply.
First off your wrong. Industry standard is to terminate at the floor and the cab acts as the duct. I have never seen it any other way and I have worked around at least two dozen different HVAC companies. The duct isnt ran to nowhere its ran into the room. The cab directs the airflow. The diffuser for toe kicks is either slots cut into the toe kick or just the grate attached to the front. I dont understand why someone would want to spend time and money on something that just doesnt matter performance wise.
Second place your wrong is on the return. There is negative preassure in the return, how to you think the air get from the grill to the unit? The same pressure thats blown out of the unit has to be sucked in. The blower unit does not make air it cycles air from the return out the supply vents. Please dont give people miss information so that they go get into it with the contractor when hes doing nothing wrong.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:41 AM   #15
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Building HVAC vent into bath vanity


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Ubenhad4...I never gave thought that I should call in my "insulator" after the plumber left today to foam the lines the plumber just replaced.

All these pesky details! Where's my yellow pages? Thanks.
All penetrations have to be sealed at floors, ceilings, and attic. This takes care of you air leak concern, as well as fire code. Seal it up install the vanity, cut the toe kick for the vent and your done. The cool part about running it under the cab is it will warm the floor up. If you make a few hole on the side that faces the toilet it will keep the toilet toasty to.

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