Considerations When Adding a Basement Bathroom

It can be hard to find space to add a bathroom to the main part of your house, but your basement usually has room to make a nice one. Be sure to get an expert for the bathroom remodeling work, though, as there are lots of special considerations, including permits.

Drains and Vents

A newer home may already have the necessary drains and vents roughed in. In older homes, your contractor will probably have to dig up the basement floor to install drains, as well as regrade it. 

Basement bathroom remodeling requires careful measuring. If your basement doesn’t have a sewage pipe, one will is usually created and connected to the main waste pipe. Similarly, if there’s no plumbing vent pipe, one will have to be installed and connected to an existing vent or to a new vent in the roof. These are not DIY activities.

If the sewer drain is higher than your basement level, you may be able to install an upflush toilet. This pumps material up to join with the waste pipe.

Lighting and Flooring

Basements often don’t have sufficient windows, so choosing high-quality lighting and plenty of it becomes crucially important. Since your basement ceilings are probably not very high, especially if they’re carrying ductwork, you won’t want to add elements that make them look even shorter. Keep the lights close to, or even recessed into, the ceiling. 

The floor for your below-ground bathroom generally needs an uncoupling membrane, so that when the concrete floor base expands and contracts with changing seasonal temperatures, the tile or other flooring on top of it doesn’t crack. You might want to have your remodeler install floor heating elements while he’s in there.

Adding a bathroom in your basement can greatly increase your home’s desirability. Although it comes with a set of challenges that are not present in above-ground bathroom remodeling, these can be overcome by using a knowledgeable contractor.