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Old 12-03-2008, 09:06 AM   #1
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Putting a bathroom in the basement.

We are renovating our basement, and need to put in a full bath. The floor is concrete, there is no rough in, is it possible to do this, and does anyone have any ideas on cost of this project?



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Old 12-03-2008, 10:16 AM   #2
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Adding a bath is reasonably possible in most cases. You have to locate your main building drain under your basement slab and tap into it. That involves cutting a path out of the slab for the pipe to the drain, and various paths within the bath area for each fixture. Backflow devices are normally installed between the bath and the main drain to prevent sewage backup in the event of a sewer problem/clog.

The cost of plumbing the basement would be pretty insignificant if you do it yourself. Rental costs for a concrete saw and jackhammer, gravel, plumbing materials, and concrete would be all.

Actually telling you what it would cost would be a total shot in the dark. We have no idea of any of the job's specifics.

If you pay a plumber to do it....Well, this is a DIY-only site and we'd suggest getting a number of bids.


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Old 12-03-2008, 10:21 AM   #3
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All I can say is ouch. A lot of work! When a house is built with a basement bathroom in mind the houses main sewer line is placed lower, that way the drains from the basement shower & toilet can maintain pitch. When you try to retrofit you usually run into the problem the shower & toilet drain will end up at or below the level of the houses sewer line causing pitch problems. To overcome this, you can put the bathroom close to the main sewer entrance of the house (which is the lowest point of the sewer line), use a pump, or run extensively long runs at minimum pitch until the line you have to tie into is below. We didn't want a pump, placed the bathroom in the center of the basement, which caused our drains to end up lower than the nearest part of the main drain line so we had to run the bathrooms drains diagonally at minimum pitch until we finally reached the point the main line was below and could tie in (so we had some pitch). Even then we were forced to run extensively long pipes to tie in as close to the entrance of the house as possible and had a hard time trying to maintain minimum pitch which brought about it's own set of issues.

To try to get as much pitch as possible our toilet's 90 happens immediately it's almost a right angle. Our first basement toilet wouldn't flush half the time even when nothing was in it so we got another toilet (different make) and did the same damn thing. Got a plumber and he hadn't ever seen a 90 turn so fast and said it interferes with proper flushing, only a pressure toilet (like the ones you find in fast food resturaunts that sound like a jet taking off when you flush) will likely be the only ones that will work. Our bathtub drain too has it's own set of problems having such little pitch it clogs all the time. 2 showers/day we can go about 2 months when the tub clogs and takes about 45 minutes to drain and we have to rooter it. It drives my wife crazy.

Your cheapest route is to get a pump and tie the toilet & tub into a basin and have it pumped up and over to the main line. You wouldn't have to have excessive cutting of cement, wouldn't have to worry bout pitch, and bathroom can be placed anywhere but it is a pump, requires electricity, and can fail. Otherwise, renting a cement cutter isn't that expensive and not difficult to use particularly on a floor, the main "issue" to focus on is dealing with pitch, if your houses main drain is particularly low (perhaps the builders put it low incase you wanted to add a basement bathroom later... yeah!!!) then you're golden! Otherwise you will likely have to try having the shower/toilet drain be as high as possible and may find out afterward even tying right near the sewer entrance to your house your pitch may end up being less than the minimum... which that being the case (as is ours) get a pressure assist toilet (make sure it's a true one, Home Depot doesn't sell them far as I'm aware but their toilets are called pressure powered, and power flush, and advertise they suck down softballs confusing matters), and pay the extra for a brass trap under the tub/shower cause there's a good chance you may be rootering it a lot like we do and the brass trap will hold up to the constant abuse.

I highly recommend a basement bathroom we LOVE having one. Work on how you're going to deal with pitch, once you overcome it the rest is easy.

Last edited by Piedmont; 12-03-2008 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips, I appreciate it. We plan on doing a lot of the work ourselves, but figured we would need a professional to do the plumbing work. Sounds like it could be a real pain in the butt. My mom is moving in with us, so she really needs her own bathroom, I might have to get a porta potty instead
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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You may want to consider a Plumber and you doing the labor intensive work like cutting the concete. You could get an estimate on this from a Plumber and have hime lay out the path of the piping so you would know where to cut. You may also consider a Saniflo macerating toilet. They have inlets for a tub/shower and sink. About $1000 for these units. I am sure a porta-potty would get old real quick.
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