Where To Mount A Ceiling Fan? Best Location

Wondering what the best location for a ceiling fan is and where exactly to mount it? Here’s what you want to know. 

The best location to mount a ceiling fan is above where people spend the most time in that room. Try to mount the fan at least 7’ from the floor but preferably 8’ to 9’. The tip of the blades should be at least 2’ away from the closest wall or object while also being at least 8” below the ceiling. 

Why all those measurements are important and how you can find the best place for your ceiling fan can be found below. 

What’s The Best Location For a Ceiling Fan

There are a few ways we can talk about the location of a ceiling fan. There is the place in the room but also the height and distances away from other things. There are four things to take into consideration when picking a location for a ceiling fan:

  • Location in the room
  • Distance from the wall/objects
  • Height from the floor
  • Clearance from the ceiling

let’s look at all these things separately and why they’re important. 

Location in the room

The most efficient location to mount a ceiling fan is directly above the location where people spend the most time in that space. 

Many people want to mount the ceiling fan in the middle of a room. While this usually works out pretty well in smaller rooms, in large rooms or with smaller fans, that’s not the ideal location. 

Ceiling fans don’t actually cool down the air in a room. They cool down people and pets through the wind-chill effect. That means you want the airflow from a ceiling fan to be concentrated in the location where people are most often. 

Sure, ceiling fans create airflow outside the area directly underneath but underneath it will be stronger. That makes it more efficient. So instead of just using the center of the room, use center of the location people spend the most time in that room. 

Of course you might want to deviate from that for design or fitment reasons. If you can’t put the ceiling fan in the ideal location, see if you could fit a slightly bigger one. Bigger fans tend to produce more airflow which also means more airflow around the fan so you get more cooling even if you’re not under the fan. 

ceiling fan in living room.
Place the fan over the area where airflow is needed most.

Distance from the wall

Keep the tips of a ceiling fan at least 2’ (61 cm) away from the closest wall or object as to not obstruct free air circulation. Less clearance means the air circulation in the room is obstructed by the downwards airflow coming from the fan. 

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you don’t want there to be any chance that the tips of the ceiling fan run into anything. That would end the fan pretty quickly because it can’t spin. 

However, you want to stay a bit further away from the wall or other objects at blade height than just enough to prevent touching.

Suggested: Are short blade ceiling fans any good?

Ideally you want to stay at least 2 feet (61 cm) away from any objects. That’s because you want to provide free airflow to the fan blades. By turning on the fan, the spinning fan blades push down air. That means there is less air above the fan blades than below them. Of course that can’t go on for long and the air above the fan blades has to be replenished. This happens by air flowing back up.

However, air can not flow against the direction the fan is blowing at. You can’t have a stream of air going upwards through a fan pushing air down. 

That’s why you want to keep at least 2 feet of free space on all sides. This way the air can flow up easily without having to fight it’s way upstream. The fan will be less noisy, produce more airflow and all round just work better if you keep enough space around it free. 

Sometimes bigger isn’t better. And this is on of those cases. Sure, a bigger fan generally moves more air but it needs a little bit of space to breathe as well. So if you can’t keep 2’ away from the closest walls and objects, a slightly smaller fan might be a better option. 

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Distance from the floor

Obviously it’s also important to get the blades of the ceiling fan the right distance from the floor. A ceiling fan has relatively fast spinning blades so getting anything caught in that is going to be an unpleasant experience. 

You want to be able to stand up easily under a ceiling fan without any risk of touching it. How high that is depends on how tall you are but it’s probably a good idea to take visitors into account. Besides just standing up, you ideally also want a bit more space so you can lift your hands a bit above your head. There are some things you might want to do where you actually raise your hand like combing your hair, raising a glass or even just stretching. 

Imagine stretching after getting out of bed and accidentally getting your hand caught in the ceiling fan that will wake you up quickly but probably not the way you like. 

The minimum distance from the floor to the blades of a ceiling fan should be 7 feet (213 cm) although 8-9 feet is much better (244 -274 cm). Most new houses are built with ceilings around 9’ high so 8’ should be no problem. 

If you’ve got really high ceilings, mounting the fan blade at a 9’ height is good. 

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Distance from the ceiling

Just like you want to keep away from the wall and objects, you want the blades to be a good distance away from the ceiling to give the fan room to ‘breathe’. 

However, getting the right distance from the floor is going to be more important. You don’t want your hand or even head to be caught in the fan blades because that’s just a bad time. However, if you have enough ceiling height to easily clear the distance from the floor, it’s a good idea to check if you can also create the right distance from the ceiling. 

This can be a bit of a balancing act and as said, distance from the floor is more important and if you can’t do 8’ from the floor, it’s better to have the fan a bit closer to the ceiling than too close to your head. If you do have the height, try to keep the fan blades at least 8” from the ceiling. 8” is about the minimum but 10” to 12” would be better. More than that is no problem as long as you keep enough height under the blades. 

Most ceiling fans come with a downrod. That basically lowers the fan blades from the mounting point. These downrods come in different lengths to tailor the fan to your available space. So when you’re shopping for a fan, it’s a good idea to look for one where the manufacturer can provide different rods. It’s not difficult to shorten downrods yourself but that will void the warranty so this should be avoided doing on a new fan. 

Use a downrod for your ceiling fan that provides at least 8” (20.3 cm) but preferably 10” (25.4 cm) or more clearance between the ceiling and the fan blades. If this means the fan blades are less than 7’ off the floor it’s OK to use a shorter downrod but this will reduce the efficiency of the fan.

Quick Guidelines For Ceiling Fan Location

Of course you can mount a ceiling fan in any location you like. Some locations work better than others but you will often still get some benefits by mounting it in a location that’s suboptimal. As long as you follow the guidelines below, you’ll be in good shape. This is a quick summary of what is explained in detail above: 

  • Stay at least 2’ away from walls or objects at blade height
  • The minimum height the fan blades should be at is 7’ but 8’ to 9’ is much better
  • Keep at least 8” of space above the fan blades free if possible

Other guidelines

  • Find a location that can support the weight
  • Find a location that makes wiring easy
  • Try not to block lamps with the blades 


Matt moved to a location where the climate is hot and humid year round 8 years ago and got a bit obsessed with ceiling fans as an alternative or supplement to air-conditioning. He just wants the optimal ceiling fan and to get it to work the best for the specific situation. And now you can follow what he learned on ceilingfantips.com

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