What Size Downrod for Ceiling Fan (Chart + Calculator)

Ceiling fan downrod length is 2 inches to 24 inches with 6 to 12 inches being common lengths. Extension downrods are available up to 72”, but they usually don’t come in the box and have to be ordered.

Did you know? Ceiling fan downrods can be connected with a coupler to make an extended downrod for very high ceilings.

Ceiling fan downrod coupler

What size ceiling fan downrod do I need? That’s a common question when considering ceiling fan size, ceiling height and sometimes ceiling slope too. These are all factors in the best ceiling fan downrod size for your situation.

What is the purpose of a ceiling fan downrod? Knowing why you might need a downrod – sometimes written down rod – is useful for determining the right length for it.

Ceiling fan downrods have two main purposes:

*Lower the ceiling fan to the best height for providing comfortable airflow in all seasons.

*On a sloped ceiling, the downrod lowers the fan enough so that the rotating blades won’t contact the ceiling.

The ceiling fan downrod guide includes:

A downrod size calculator that is simple to use and accurate in results.

A chart showing the ceiling fan downrod length for common ceiling heights up to 15 feet.

Instructions on measuring ceiling slope in order to know the right downrod length to protect your fan and ceiling.

Ceiling fan brands and the downrod lengths they offer.

Ceiling Fan Downrod Length Calculator

Calculating the right downrod length for fans on flat ceilings is easy.

Ceiling Fan Downrod

When the ceiling is either sloped on one side or is a vaulted ceiling sloped on both sides, the calculation becomes more complex.

But this ceiling fan downrod calculator can be used to get the right downrod length for either ceiling type.

Tip: How to measure ceiling slope is explained below the Downrod Size Calculator.

Flat Ceilings

Use the Slider to choose ceiling height, and the right ceiling fan downrod length will be given. Done.

Sloped Ceilings & Vaulted Ceilings

The calculation is the same whether you choose Sloped Ceiling or Vaulted Ceiling. We’re just letting you know that the calculator works for both.

Don’t miss this: The Answer given is the minimum downrod length needed to keep your fan from hitting the ceiling.

The calculator does not take ceiling height into account. Below the calculator, you will find steps to determine total ceiling fan downrod length for a sloped or vaulted ceiling.

Ceiling Fan Downrod Length Calculator

How to Measure Ceiling Slope

Let’s start with 2 definitions:

Rise of the Ceiling – This refers to the ceiling slope as it goes upward

Run of the Ceiling – This refers to how much ground the ceiling covers. It is usually measured by the foot

roof pitch

The issue is, how much higher does the ceiling get for every foot of the floor it covers?

Here is how to determine the rise and run of the ceiling.

1).  Gather a ladder, two rulers (preferred) or tape measures and a level. 12” rulers are ideal.

2). Hold one ruler horizontally with one end touching the ceiling. And use the level to ensure that it is as level as possible.

3). Hold the second ruler or a tape measure vertically at the 12” point (end) of the first ruler with its top hitting the ceiling.

4). The run, using a 12” ruler, is 12” (12 inches). The rise is whatever the second ruler shows to be the distance from the ruler to the ceiling. Very few ceilings will have a run greater than 12” when the rise is 12”. If you have an A-frame design, and the rise is greater than 12”, you’ll need a tape measure for determining it.

The Calculator uses this equation when determining downrod length for sloped and vaulted ceilings:

(Fan radius x ceiling rise/run) + 4 = Downrod Length

Example: Consider a fan that is 44” from the tip of opposing blades. The run of the roof is 12”, and the rise is 7” (a roof with a 7/12 slope).

To simplify, 7 divided by 12 (rise divided by run) is .58.

The equation is:

(44 x .58) + 4 = 29.5 (rounded up to 30)

A downrod length of 30” is the minimum size you will need. Since the longest ceiling fan downrod is 24 inches, you will need to couple two downrods together to make 30” or order a 30” rod from the manufacturer, if it makes one. If coupling two together, 24” + 6” downrods would do it, or 18” and 12” rods.

Measuring tip: If your fan has an odd number of blades, the radius can be determined by measuring from the center of the fan to the tip of any blade and doubling the number.

Sloped & Vaulted Ceilings – Total Downrod Length

OK. Jot down the Result you got when you used the Calculator to determine the Recommended Ceiling Fan Downrod Length for a Sloped or Vaulted Ceiling. This is the minimum downrod size / length.

This is Result #1.

Now, take ceiling height into account.

1). Measure the ceiling height

2). Set the Calculator to Flat Ceiling

3). Choose Ceiling Height

4). Note the Result.

This is Result #2.

Which Result is larger? Use it to choose the downrod for your ceiling fan.

Pro Tip:

If the downrod length for a sloped ceiling lowers the fan below 7 feet high, then you should:

-Choose a fan with a smaller radius, or,

-Move the installation point higher up the ceiling toward the peak

Ceiling Fan Downrod Length for Different Ceiling Heights

Ceiling HeightDownrod LengthHeight Above Floor
Less than 8 feetFlush mount7 feet
8 feet3 inches7 feet
9 feet6 inches7.5 feet
10 feet12 inches8 feet
11 feet18 inches8.5 feet
12 feet24 inches9 feet
13 feet36 inches9 feet
14 feet48 inches9 feet
15 feet60 inches9 feet

This chart gives you quick answers if you have a flat ceiling. The shortest downrod length is 2 inches, which is fine for an 8-foot ceiling.

The reason a common ceiling fan downrod is 6 inches is because so many ceilings are 9 feet.

Can You Mount a Ceiling Fan Without Downrod

Yes, you can mount a ceiling fan without a downrod.

This is called a flush mount ceiling fan installation. See the instructions included with your fan to learn how to:

Remove the attached downrod, if it has one.

Securely mount the ceiling fan flush to the ceiling or the fan base plate attached to the ceiling.

Did you know? A flush mount ceiling fan is also called a hugger or hugger mount ceiling fan because it “hugs” the ceiling.

Mounting a ceiling fan without the downrod is recommended when the ceiling height is 8 feet or less. For higher ceilings, the downrod is useful for hanging the fan at the right height to provide optimal airflow.

Ceiling Fans with Downrods by Brand

Most ceiling fans are available with downrods, unless they are a hugger fan. Often several downrods are included in the box, so you can select the right size for your application.

BrandIn-Box Downrod Length (in.)
Big Ass Fans6, 7, 24 Inches
CARRO6, 12 Inches
FANIMATION4.5, 6 Inches
Generation Lighting4.5, 6 Inches
Hampton Bay3, 4, 4.5, 6 Inches
Home Decorators Collection4.5, 6, 7, 8, 18 Inches
Hunter2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11 Inches
KICHLER4.5, 8 Inches
MINKA-AIRE6, 10 Inches
Modern Forms4.5, 6 Inches
Parrot Uncle4, 4.5, 6, 8, 10 Inches
Progress Lighting6, 8 Inches
TroposAir5, 7 Inches

Note: This data is based on 500 popular ceiling fans that are sold by Home Depot.

Downrod Sizes and Ceiling Fan Brands

Downrod Length (in.)Brand
2 inch downrodHunter
3 inch downrodHampton Bay, Hunter
4 inch downrodHampton Bay, Hunter, Parrot Uncle
5 inch downrodHunter, TroposAir
6 inch downrodBig Ass Fans, CARRO, FANIMATION,
Generation Lighting, Hampton Bay,
Home Decorators Collection, Hunter,
Modern Forms, Parrot Uncle, Progress Lighting
7 inch downrodBig Ass Fans, Home Decorators Collection, TroposAir
8 inch downrodHome Decorators Collection, KICHLER,
Parrot Uncle, Progress Lighting
10 inch downrodMINKA-AIRE, Parrot Uncle
11 inch downrodHunter
12 inch downrodCARRO
24 inch downrodBig Ass Fans

Note: This data is based on 500 popular ceiling fans sold by Home Depot.

As you can see, 2” is the shortest downrod. The most common ceiling fan downrod is 6”. And one manufacturer sells fans that come with the longest standard ceiling fan downrod of 24”.

Those are standard sizes. Most brands also sell extension downrods up to 72”, or 6 feet. Here is the Kichler fan lineup of ceiling fan downrod extensions from 12” to 72”. Keep in mind that these downrods are not universal, but can only be expected to work with this brand’s fans.

Ceiling fan downrod extension rods


What is the shortest downrod for ceiling fans?

The shortest ceiling fan downrod is 2”.

Are ceiling fan downrods universal?

No. Each downrod brand is unique. There are often differences in diameter and thread size.

For safety reasons, it is always preferable to use a downrod designed for use with the fan you’re installing.

Are they interchangeable?

Some are interchangeable from one brand to another. But this is by coincidence rather than by design.

Can ceiling fan downrods be combined?

Yes. Most downrods can be combined using a coupler. However, the pieces and coupler should all be the same brand to ensure they securely fit together. 

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications.
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