Chandelier over a bathtub? Well, you shouldn’t be able to stand in your bathtub and change the lightbulb. Here’s why.
I spied this little thumbnail on Houzz today. White bathrooms are still enormously popular, and always look so fresh and clean for a perfect ‘after’ photo.
While the image is aspirational, and the oversized plant and armchair seem out-of-place to me (a matter of taste), there is one detail could violate your local codes. It’s the chandelier.
According to the National Electric Code (NEC) from 2011, there is a restriction for the placement of lighting around the wet area of a bathtub. The reason for the restriction is that you shouldn’t be able to change a lightbulb or grab the light fixture while inside the bathtub, standing, sitting, or otherwise.
So they require that any part of a light fixture, even the non-lightbulb embellishments, must be at least 8 feet above the highest portion of the bathtub’s walls. This no-light-zone also extends horizontally 3 feet around the tub rim.
If you want to hang a chandelier above a bathtub, you’ll need a taller than average ceiling and a light fixture that is rated for wet or damp locations. And yes, local codes can be different. Always check with the local code office to find out what restrictions for a chandelier over a bathtub have been adopted in your town. They could be more stringent or less so.
And while I spied four more images of lighting inside the ‘no-light-zone’ when I clicked on that Houzz article, many other favorite design inspiration and home how-to sources share images that feature the problematic, yet romantic, chandelier-over-the-tub look.
While I love the look of chandelier over a bathtub, too, it could be achieved with a non-electrical crystal chime or something else that sparkles, shines, and bounces the romantic light above that soaking tub?
If you want to check out the details on the NEC restrictions on placing a chandelier over a bathtub, click here.