In the realm of bathroom design, both lighting and ventilation play pivotal roles in ensuring a comfortable, safe, and functional space. When it comes to installing extractor fans and lighting, understanding bathroom zones is crucial to adhere to safety standards and achieve optimal performance. This guide delves into the specifics of bathroom zones for extractor fans, compares them with those for lighting, and recommends suitable Airflow models for each zone.

Bathroom Zones Explained

The UK Building Regulations define specific zones within bathrooms and showers to guide the installation of electrical appliances, ensuring safety from water ingress. These zones are crucial for both extractor fans and lighting fixtures. For extractor fans, there are three key zones to consider:

Zone 0

This is the area inside the bath or shower tray itself. It's the zone that can hold water, and therefore, it's prohibited to install any fans here due to the high risk of water contact with electrical components. You'd most like require some sort of pump if you want to performing any extraction from underwater.

Zone 1

Directly above Zone 0, up to a height of 2.25 meters from the floor, is Zone 1. Here, extractor fans with a rating of IPX4 can be installed if the shower head is fixed and cannot be aimed towards the fan. For movable shower heads, a higher protection of IPX5 is required. Airflow QuietAir models such as QT100 and QT120 can be used. The QT100 is a 100mm size and the QT120 is 125mm, each size is available in standard, timer, humidity & timer and motion sensor timer versions.

Airflow QuietAir

Zone 2

Beyond Zones 0 and 1, extending 0.6 meters horizontally and up to 2.25 meters vertically, lies Zone 2. Fans installed in this zone also require an IPX4 rating or higher for protection against water ingress. These zones ensure that extractor fans are placed at safe distances from direct water exposure, reducing the risk of electrical hazards. Airflow QuietAir models such as QT100 and QT120 can also be used in zone 2.

Bathroom zones for fans

Bathroom Zones for Lighting Compared

Similar zoning principles apply to bathroom lighting, with the primary goal being safety from water contact. Lighting in Zone 0 must be low voltage (max 12V) and entirely immersion-proof. For Zone 1, lighting fixtures must be IPX4 rated or higher, similar to extractor fans, to withstand water splashes. Zone 2 lighting requires a minimum of IPX4 rating, ensuring protection against moisture and offering more flexibility in lighting choices compared to Zone 1.

 Recommended Airflow Models for Each Zone

When selecting an extractor fan for your bathroom, considering the specific zone and its requirements is essential. Airflow offers models suitable for Zones 1 and 2, each designed to meet varying needs in terms of performance and installation flexibility.

Zone 1 Recommendations - QuietAir QT100

Ideal for smaller bathrooms and en-suites, offering exceptional quietness and efficiency with an IP45 rating, suitable for installation in Zone 1 when combined with an RCD (Residual Circuit Device), which you should have as either an incoming device on your consumer unit, or use an RCBO or AFDD.

QuietAir QT120

Designed for larger bathrooms, providing higher extraction rates to handle more moisture, also IP45 rated and suitable for Zone 1 with RCD protection.

Zone 2 Recommendations

Both of the QuietAir QT100 and QT120 models are also suitable for Zone 2, offering flexibility in placement with their IP45 rating ensuring protection against moisture ingress. For both zones, these models ensure efficient moisture removal, preventing mold growth and maintaining air quality, all while adhering to the relevant safety regulations.

bathroom extractor fans


Understanding and adhering to bathroom zoning regulations is essential for the safe installation of extractor fans and lighting. By choosing the appropriate Airflow models for each zone, you can ensure optimal ventilation and lighting, enhancing the comfort, safety, and functionality of your bathroom space. Whether for a compact en-suite or a spacious family bathroom, the right extractor fan can significantly improve air quality and prevent moisture-related issues. More information can be found in this Airflow PDF brochure.