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Pros and Cons of Flush Mount Ceiling Fans

Flush mount fans come in many designs and are a great option for rooms with lower ceilings or for preserving the spaciousness of a higher ceiling. However, while there may be positives for safety or longevity, it also impacts the effectiveness of the fan and can make it look odd and noisy.

Flush Mount Ceiling Fan ProsFlush Mount Ceiling Fan Cons
There is variety in both designs and featuresIt does impact the effectiveness of the fan
It can be installed on low ceilingsIt can look odd on a higher ceiling
It doesn’t artificially lower the ceilingThe closer fit can result in more noise
It can help reduce fan-associated safety risks 
It’s easier to install without a downrod 
It may be less prone to wobbling 

Pros of Flush Mount Ceiling Fans

Comes With a Variety of Designs and Features

Choosing a flush mount model for your fan in no way limits your options for style and design or for the features that the fan possesses. You will still be able to browse through designs from minimalistic to rustic, from antique to modern and sleek. You can even try the new retractable ceiling fan.

42 inch Dimmable Retractable Ceiling Fan Light Color Temperature 500K-6500K Modern Ceiling Fan 6 Speed Forward and Reverse Ceiling Fan with Lights Retractable Blade Chandelier Ceiling Fan for Bedroom Living Room

If you have a specific décor idea in mind for the room, you can find a flush mount ceiling fan to match. You will also be able to purchase a flush mount ceiling fan that comes with other features just as with the standard downrod versions.

These fans still come with the traditional pull-switches as well as with remote-controlled versions, and you can always purchase the unit with a light fixture (even dimmers) included if that is what you are looking for.

Hunter Fan Company, 51061, 42 inch Low Profile New Bronze Low Profile Ceiling Fan and Pull Chain
  • CLASSIC CEILING FAN: The traditional ceiling fan comes with weathered oak/wine country reversible blades that will keep home interior inspired; Measures 42 x 42 x 7.53 Inch
  • MULTI-SPEED REVERSIBLE FAN MOTOR: Whisper Wind motor delivers ultra-powerful airflow with quiet performance; Change the direction from downdraft mode during the summer to updraft mode during the...
  • PULL CHAIN CONTROL: Turn the bronze ceiling fan on/off and adjust the speed quickly and easily with the pull chain
  • ROOM PLACEMENT: Indoor fan is designed to be used in rooms with low ceilings, the low-profile housing fits flush to the ceiling; Ideal fan for living room, lounge, bedroom, children's room and nursery
Harbor Breeze Mazon 44-in Brushed Nickel Flush Mount Indoor Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote (3-Blade)
  • Brushed nickel finish ceiling fan with 3 silver finish plywood blades
  • Integrated matte opal glass light kit with 18-watt LED module included
  • 16 degree blade pitch for increased airflow, making it ideal for rooms up to 225-sq ft

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Allows Installation With Low Ceilings

The main selling point of flush mount fans is that they cater to rooms with low ceilings. There are specific clearances associated with ceiling fans, and when it comes to the floor clearance, no fan is permitted to hang within 7 ft of the floor. The blades have to be at least 7 ft high or above.

Standard mounts offer extra ceiling clearance with the downrods. This is because downrods themselves are between 3-6″ in standard lengths. This can be problematic with a lower ceiling because increasing the ceiling clearance decreases the floor clearance.

You cannot easily alter the height of your ceiling, but you can change the mount of the fan.

Flush mounts can sit as close as 6″ from the ceiling, which gives you extra room to meet the floor clearance and can make the difference between whether or not it is safe to install a fan in the room.

This is helpful in spaces like lofts, which often have lower ceilings but attract heat (heat naturally rises).

Many standard model fans also accommodate a flush mount installation, so you can choose which version you want.

Flush mount ceiling fan clearance

Doesn’t Artificially Lower the Ceiling

Even when your ceiling is high enough to have a standard mount with a downrod, a flush mount can prevent the ceiling from feeling lower than it is. Having something hanging in the middle of a room’s ceiling can crowd the openness of the space.

When you have a flush mount fan that sits closer to the ceiling instead of using a fan that is dropped in the air space, you can preserve the feeling of spaciousness in a room or even create that sense of openness.

This effect is especially true for a room that has a ceiling tall enough to accommodate a downrod, but only just. Using the standard mount, in this case, can crowd the head space of the room, making you feel like you need to duck under the fan even though it complies with safety clearances.

Reduces Safety Risk

Ceiling fans cannot sit less than 7 ft above the floor. This clearance is partly intended for functionality, but it mainly keeps you safely away from the fan blades. You further reduce the safety risks of the fan if you can have it higher, simply because it is physically further away.

Optimally, you would like your fan between 8 and 9 ft for floor clearance. However, if your ceiling can only just fit a standard mount fan, or your family is above-average height, you might appreciate the spare room a flush mount fan provides.

You might also be more comfortable with a fan that sits higher in the room since hands and arms can potentially reach the blade space even though a head doesn’t.

If you are planning to install the fan in a room you will also use for gym or yoga, you might need the extra few inches to work through your full range of motion comfortably. It can also help keep little hands and heads safe if you have a game of bedroom trampolines or “the floor is lava”.

White flush mount ceiling fan

Easy Installation

The length of the downrod in a standard mount fan is significant in how it influences the length of wires needed.

You have to thread the wires through the downrod. This is simple if you are laying the wiring specifically for a standard mount fan. However, this can be problematic in old constructions (which means that you are installing the ceiling fan post-construction) or with the replacement of old fixtures.

A flush mount ceiling fan requires shorter wires than other mounting options, whether connected to a stud or brace.

This is helpful if the electrician or previous homeowner didn’t leave enough wiring for the fixture point or if the wires were in poor condition and needed trimming.

Also, if you are replacing an old fan with a flush mount, it will be easier to keep that type of mount than having to fix or redo the wires that are too short for a standard mount.

Less Likely to Wobble

Any ceiling fan, regardless of which mount it uses, should be wobble-free if it is correctly installed and balanced.

If your fan is wobbling after you put it in, I recommend checking that the fixture and blades are secure. Balancing kits are also available for fans, to check and address problems with a swinging or unstable fan.

3 Set Ceiling Fan Blade Balancing Kit,Fan Balancing Kits Include 3 PCS Plastic Balancing Clip and 9 PCS Metal Self-adhesive 3G Weight

However, looking at the practical side of one connection point for a flush mount and two for a standard mount (the ceiling and the downrod as opposed to just the ceiling), you might find that a flush mount ceiling fan is less likely to start wobbling as it ages.

Cons of Flush Mount Ceiling Fans

Effectiveness Is Slightly Diminished

Ceiling fans need space between the blades and the ceiling boards in order to move air around and into the blades. This is where ceiling clearances come in. There is an optimal clearance that ranges from 8-10” of distance, but acceptable clearance is 6-14”.

Flush mount fans generally have a ceiling clearance within the range of 6-10”. The problem is that when a fan sits closer to the ceiling, it affects airflow. The less space above the blades, the less effectively the air is moved, and the less effectively the fan cools you.

So, while the 6” clearance of the flush mount fans is acceptable and your fan will still work, the effectiveness of your fan can be decreased. More so for rooms with higher ceilings.

Ceilings that are beyond the more common 8-9 ft in height generally require an extended mount, involving a longer than standard downrod.

In tall rooms, a flush mount can make a significant difference in whether the fan can circulate air in the room properly to help with cooling.

Can Look Odd in Room With High Ceiling

Not only can the effectiveness of the fan be negatively impacted by using a flush mount in a tall room, but it can actually make the space look odd. Extended downrods come in a range of 6-120″ because the fans need to be positioned for functionality but also for stylistic compatibility.

If you have vaulted ceilings in your living room, sticking a flush mount fan on the ceiling many feet above you is going to look more than a little strange. Just as it would, in comparison, look odd to have a fan sitting at hip height under a lower ceiling. It would not suit the scale of the space.

A flush mount ceiling fan in a room with a spacious and tall ceiling could detract from the décor of the room, no matter how well the actual design of the fan fits with the theme.

Can Be Noisy

Ceiling fans generally make unusual noises when there is something amiss with the components of the unit or the wiring. However, there is a difference between being able to hear the fan functioning and it making odd noises.

Flush mount fans may seem to be noisier as they are more closely situated to the ceiling, which could result in the sounds reflecting or bouncing off the ceiling. This may magnify the sound of the fan.

Flush mount ceiling fans can be noisy

Another potential source of noise from the fan is the motor.

A flush mount fan motor has to work harder to achieve sufficient airflow because it is less effective than a standard mount. This comes from the reduced space between the ceiling and the blades. Hard-working motors are louder in general, but are also more prone to developing strain-related noises like clicking and humming.


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