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Things to Consider Before Adding a Bathroom to Your Basement

basement bathroom

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.

As smart of a move as this home project may seem though, adding a bathroom to your basement isn’t something you should just dive into. Several things make underground plumbing projects a little trickier than those that take place upstairs. Address these things before you get started and you should complete your project without a problem.

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 will need a little help and things will go much smoother if you’ve already ensured that you know what should be going on. Knowing what adding a bathroom to your basement will entail beforehand can also help you set up a budget.


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 existing plumbing and electrical wiring as you possibly can. The best—and cheapest—way to go is to set up your new bathroom directly beneath one on the upper floor; if possible. Once you’ve decided where you will add the new bathroom, you need to consider what type of bathroom you want.

Do you want a full bathroom complete with his-and-her sinks? Would you be happy with only a walk-in shower? Or do you only need a toilet and a sink in your basement hideaway? Since basements are normally a little chilly anyway, it’s usually suggested that you skip adding the shower or tub unless it’s just an absolute necessity.

In that case, corner showers are your ideal option, with a little extra effort put into waterproofing and heating your bathroom. You’ll also want to include a good ventilation fan to avoid dampness and excess moisture.


Once you’ve obtained your permits and know what type of bathroom you want, your next big concern should be drainage. When inspecting your basement for a bathroom add-on two things will need to be taken into consideration:

  1. Plumbing depth
  2. Pipe Size

If you’re existing pipes are undersized, you’ll need bigger ones to allow space for basement drains. You’ll also need deep drainage lines. If your basement was built with the option for adding a bathroom later on, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. But if the plumbing depth isn’t already deep enough you may have to include a little floor excavation in your budget to adjust for depth and flow rates.

Other Considerations

Of course, once all your t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted you’ll get to move on to more fun and interesting things like picking out toilets, sinks, paint, lighting options, and things like that.

Adding a bathroom to your basement gives the area a completed feel—almost like 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 the main floor. Building a bathroom isn’t an easy thing to do, but if you plan ahead and get the right help, it can certainly be worth the effort.