Should You Install A Chandelier In Your Bathroom? Here's What To Know

Maybe you're scoping out decor to give your bathroom an identity beyond the traditional fixtures normally found in a primary bath or powder room. Or maybe you're sick of the cringey Hollywood bulb bathroom lights that were installed before you moved in or, have found the atmosphere is a little off with the sterile recessed lighting. Has anyone suggested a chandelier? These intricate fixtures are full of personality and bring bright light and dazzling displays or bold texture into any room. While you've seen them in foyers, dining rooms, and bedrooms, their statement silhouettes also make a convincing case for jazzing up a bathroom. 

But can you install a chandelier in your bathroom in the first place? The short answer is yes. In most bathrooms, it is possible and completely workable to install a chandelier. Although, it may not be the best lighting choice for smaller bathrooms. Here's a breakdown of everything you should consider before dangling one of these lights above your tub and what alternatives you have if you decide against it.

The pros and cons of having a chandelier in your bathroom

The single most important factor in deciding whether or not to place a chandelier in your bathroom is safety. The National Electrical Code (NEC) puts requirements in place to prevent dangers pertaining to electricals throughout the home. According to its guidance, suspended lights like chandeliers and pendants in the bathroom must have a distance of 3 horizontal feet and 8 vertical feet from the bathtub or shower unit. This includes the fixture itself and any cords that aren't hardwired. This also plays into size — another important aspect to consider for lighting for your bathroom. If you don't have the space for safe installation, avoid this type of light at all costs. Visually, a chandelier also might crowd a tiny bathroom that's not fit for a fixture that large. 

If your ceilings are tall and your walls are wide enough, it could be an interesting pick that surpasses traditional options. There are several other pros and cons with having a chandelier in your bathroom. The perks are aesthetic and ambience. A chandelier can offer a warm glow to a bathroom and with the wide variety of styles, you'll be able to find one that matches the theme of your bathroom. As for other pain points? Cleaning and maintenance. This goes for having a chandelier anywhere in your home, but with how detailed and ornate many chandeliers are, they can be more difficult to clean and keep up, whether it's dusting off a multitude of shades or changing out multiple bulbs rather than just one.

Alternative bathroom lighting options to try instead of chandeliers

If you don't have the ceiling height for a chandelier in your bathroom or aren't interested in its more involved cleaning and maintenance, a bathroom chandelier might not be for you. Yet there are plenty of bathrooms with inspiring light fixtures out there that feel fresh and stylish. To infuse character in your space in a way that's similar to a chandelier, think about installing pendant lights, which also drape down from the ceiling but usually only feature one bulb and can be found with smaller footprints.

If you're looking for texture or structure but not necessarily in a hanging format, wall-mounted lights are a reliable choice. These don't have to be boring, either. Sconces with eye-catching transparent bulbs, farmhouse-style metal shades, and colorful funky bulb and shade combos are all out there as possibilities. Devote some time to musing over the style of your bathroom — this can point you in the right direction.