Can You Add a Basement Bathroom?

If your family is expanding or you’ve decided to remain in your home for a few more years until the real estate market stabilizes, you may have decided to finish a part or all of your basement. Perhaps a family or game room would be nice – maybe with a big screen TV and a state-of-the-art audio system for watching movies and your favorite sports team or an area with a pool table and wet bar for when friends and guests visit. Of course, you’re not going to want everyone to have to run upstairs every time a bathroom is needed so you’ll definitely want to add a basement bathroom to your remodeling plans.

Before you start picking out plumbing fixtures and putting your RTA vanity cabinet on order, you first need to figure out if a basement bathroom is feasible – it’s not quite as easy as just throwing up four walls.

Basement Plumbing Rough-Ins

If your home is fairly new, there’s a chance the builder placed the plumbing rough-ins for a future basement bathroom in your concrete slab. Water supply lines are usually not very difficult to extend over to a basement bathroom location, but the drain lines are another matter. If you’re lucky, the drain line for the toilet will be stubbed up and capped off above the surface of the slab and the drain for a tub or shower will also be in place. When those are there, there usually isn’t much work involved in adding the toilet, shower, and vanity. However, if you live in an older home or don’t have these rough-ins, calling a plumbing contractor for advice might be a good idea before your plans get too far along.

Adding a bath may still be possible, but you might not want to hear about the costs. Depending on where the under slab drain lines for the home are located in relation to your future bath, quite a bit of your slab may have to be cut up. A plumbing contractor can help show you the most cost efficient location for your bath if this is your situation.

Sewer Elevation

If the main sewer line exiting your home is above the elevation of your future basement bath, you will need to have a sewer ejector pump installed for drainage to work properly. This isn’t the end of the world and many basement bathrooms have them, but it can add significant costs to your remodeling project. This is another issue where it can help to consult with a professional plumbing contractor.