Guide to basement bathroom plumbing

Using glass-block windows can let daylight in without compromising your privacy. PHOTO/unsplash.com

What you need to know:

  • Floor: Finally, homeowners will have to pay extra attention to the basement bathroom floor. Basements are colder than other parts of the house, so choose a floor that is warmer.
  • And since there is always a likelihood of flooding in a basement, consider a floor that is totally waterproof and can protect against water seepage.

Installing a bathroom in the basement is one way of utilising this often underutilised space. It is also a good idea for homeowners who want to save their guests from climbing stairs to use the bathroom. 

Jimmy Mutebi, a plumber notes that if you are adding the bathroom to an old house, you will have to add the necessary drains and plumbing vents. 

Installing the drain requires channeling piping below your floor, which in most cases means breaking up a portion of your concrete to add a drain, not to mention regarding the slope so that the water actually flows into the drain. You may even need to install a special upflush toilet depending on where your main drain line is found in the home. Because basement bathrooms present unique challenges it is critical that this work should be done by a professional. 

Type of bathroom

To choose the type of bathroom, you need to consider who will be using the bathroom and what purpose it will serve. If it will be rarely used, you can choose just a simple layout for the bathroom. But if family or guests will be using the bathroom often for various things, you might want to spend more money on features  such as a shower or a tub. 

Do you want a full bathroom complete with a bathtub or stand-up shower, or would you be content with a half-bath with just a toilet and sink?  Also, because basements tend to be damp, consider adding some form of waterproofing or a high-power ventilation fan to draw out moisture. 

Drainage 

Drainage is the most critical consideration when adding a bathroom to basement spaces. Mutebi recommends placing the new bathroom as close to existing plumbing as possible because it will reduce on expenses for utility connections. The installation will be easy if your existing plumbing drain is deep enough to create enough fall for drainage. But if it is not deep enough to create enough fall, you may need to remove part of your basement floor and excavate the ground below it. 

Toilet options

According to online portal moneypit.com there are several toilet options. An up flushing toilet involves grinding solid waste into extremely tiny particles and does not entail excavation for installation. It is considered to be the most reliable choice for a basement bathroom. 

Pressure-assisted toilets are connected to the main line of a home’s above-ground bathrooms. To make it less likely to have clogs that can occur with standard plumbing, select a pressure-assisted toilet that uses air pressure for forcing waste through pipes. Sewage ejector systems operate as a miniature septic tank. They temporarily hold sewage before the contents are pumped to the main septic tank. 

Another choice is a composting toilet. This type of toilet, which does not require a lot of water, converts waste into compost. But if you choose a composting toilet, be sure you have exceptional outdoor ventilation. 

Next, determine whether or not you have enough room for a full vanity and sink, which would drain into the same plumbing established for your toilet. If not, you could save space by having a pedestal sink. 

Bathtubs or showers

Installing a bathroom in your basement is challenging and expensive. “Installing a tub or shower in your basement carries many of the same concerns as installing a toilet. You may need to break up the floor and excavate to install the plumbing,” says Mutebi. 

To reduce costs, one can opt for half-baths because they generally work well in basements, they are functional and do not require as much maintenance as full bathrooms.

Lighting considerations

Basement bathrooms are inherently darker and therefore need special lighting.  Mutebi says designing natural lighting into your basement bathroom against an above ground exterior wall is one way of bringing light into the space while saving electric bills at the same time.

This can be achieved by using glass-block windows to let daylight in without compromising your privacy. But if you go ahead with electrical lighting, go for bright lights to ensure that the space is well-lit. 

Floor

Finally, homeowners will have to pay extra attention to the basement bathroom floor. Basements are colder than other parts of the house, so choose a floor that is warmer. And since there is always a likelihood of flooding in a basement, consider a floor that is totally waterproof and can protect against water seepage.
 

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