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Adding a Bathroom Basement? Read this First


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Adding a bathroom to your basement can make your life easier and boost your property value in the process. If you’ve turned your basement into a guest bedroom, a game room, man cave, or office, a basement bathroom will allow you to enjoy the space without having to climb up and down the stairs every time nature calls.

Even though the addition of a basement bathroom may be a great idea, it isn't something you should dive into without careful thought. There are several things that make underground plumbing projects a bit trickier than those that take place upstairs. But with a little planning you should be able to finish your project without a problem.

Considerations Before Adding a Bathroom Basement

Even if you have previous experience installing bathrooms in your home, the complexity of underground plumbing is a job best left to the professionals. But if you’re a handyman or woman who insists on getting the job done yourself, the least you can do is talk to a plumber, and familiarize yourself with the job requirements.

During the conversation you may realize you'll need a little help. If nothing else, the project will go much smoother knowing exactly what should take place. In addition, you'll have a better idea of how to budget for your new bathroom basement.


Designing Your New Basement Bathroom

First things first, you need to contact your local building authority. With most any building project there are deed restrictions and zoning ordinances to consider. It’s all just part of the process.

Ideally, you’ll want to add your bathroom as close to the existing plumbing and electrical wiring as possible. The best—and cheapest—way to go is to set up your new bathroom directly underneath the one on the upper floor, but this isn't always possible.

Once you've decided where the new bathroom will be, you'll need to make some decisions about design. Here are some things to consider

  • Do you want a full bathroom complete with his-and-her sinks?
  • Would you be happy with only a walk-in shower?
  • Do you only need a toilet and a sink?  
  • Since basements are normally a little chilly anyways, many people choose to skip the shower and/or tub unless it's absolutely necessary.
  • Corner showers are also very popular, although, you'll want to put in a little extra effort when it comes to waterproofing and heating. Be sure to add a good ventilation fan to avoid dampness and excess moisture. 

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Planning for Proper Drainage

After you've obtained the proper permits and decided on the type of bathroom you want, the next big concern is drainage. When inspecting your basement for a bathroom add-on there are two things you'll need to take into consideration:

Pipe Size - If your existing pipes are undersized, you'll need larger ones to allow space for the basement drains. 

Plumbing Depth - In addition, you'll need deep drainage lines. However, many basements were built with an option of adding a bathroom in the future. If this is the case, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. However, if the plumbing depth isn't already deep enough, you may need to include a little floor excavation into your budget to adjust for depth and flow rates.


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Other Considerations

Like any project, the planning is always the hardest part, but it's also extremely critical. However, now you'll get to move onto the more fun and exciting things such as selecting the toilet, sink, paint color, and lighting options.

Adding a bathroom to your basement will give the area a finished feel, not that different than the finishing touch an artist puts on a masterpiece. With the right set-up and some personal touches, your basement bathroom can be just as luxurious as the one on your main floor. Adding a bathroom is necessarily easy, but if you plan ahead and get the right help, it'll be worth the effort.

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