What You Need To Know About Installing A Basement Bathroom

Putting a bathroom in a finished basement can add value to your home and make the space more convenient to use. Unfortunately, installing a bathroom in your basement is not as easy as putting one in other parts of your home. Here are some of the challenges you must address if you want to successfully upgrade your basement.

Access to Plumbing Pipes

One of the biggest challenges associated with adding a bathroom to your basement is making sure it has access to electricity and the plumbing pipes. Chances are good that you already have power in your basement, so routing lines to the bathroom should be easy. However, connecting the toilet, bathtub, and sink to the plumbing pipes is not so simple.

Plumbing in the rest of your home uses gravity to pull water and waste through the pipes and to your septic tank or the public sewer system. Sometimes the pipes are planted low enough in the ground that pipes from the bathroom can be easily connected and use the same gravity-fed system. More often than not, though, the pipes are actually located above the basement level, which means you'll have to get creative when addressing this issue.

One option for handling, at least, the toilet waste is to install an upflushing commode that pushes waste upwards through a discharge pipe after macerating it in a small tank. To address drainage issues (e.g. draining water from the bathtub), you may need to install a supplementary tank with a pump that will push the wastewater upwards into the regular system.

It's best to consult with a professional about the different options available to address this particular problem.

Controlling Moisture

Generally, basements may not be the best place to put a full bathroom for a couple of reasons. First, they tend to be cold, though you can address this issue by connecting the basement to your HVAC system or installing an independent heater.

Second, and more importantly, there typically isn't a lot of ventilation in the space. This can be problematic if you put in a shower or bathtub because the excess moisture produced via steam will hang around longer than desired and possibly cause mold and mildew issues.

Thus, you need to be sure to install ventilation in the space or use alternative means to control moisture in the area. For instance, you can place a dehumidifier in the bathroom and run it after ever shower to remove the excess water in the air.

As noted previously, installing a bathroom in the basemen can be immeasurably beneficial. It's important to fully understand the challenges, however, so you can adequately address them. To learn more or get help with this project, contact a plumber.


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