Jun 28,2014

If more folks knew just how easy it really is to add a bathroom to their basement project I think everyone would have a bathroom wor ked into their basement design!

Sure there’s some technical stuff…but it’s easy stuff to learn how to do. I’ve taught a few thousand diy’ers this stuff since 2008 and most have had awesome success building their basement bathrooms.

So if you’re planning a nice new bathroom as part of your basement project, I’d like to help you get this project to the finish-line with the least number of mistakes. We’ve got the technology.

And it’s not expensive to build a bathroom. A lot of new diy’ers get intimidated because they think it’s going to break the bank by adding a bath…well it’s waaaay cheaper than most people think.



Cost To Build a Bathroom

Well this really depends on the bathroom amenities you choose to install. If you want 18K Gold plated faucets and a hand painted porcelain sink with a matching toilet it’s going to cost you a bunch more than a bathroom full of average priced Home Depot fixtures. The costs that remain constant in the bathroom no matter what fixtures you purchase are: the framing materials, drywall, electric supplies , plumbing supplies, trim and doors. What raises and lowers the price of your bathroom are your choice of fixtures, flooring materials and bathroom accessories.

If you plan on doing all of the work yourself expect to spend about 15% to 20% of your total basement project budget on the bathroom materials and fixtures. But hears the good news…the labor costs that you will be saving can average 5 x’s the cost of the bathroom materials and fixture cost combined…so that’s a HUGE chunk of money you will be saving doing this project yourself!


Popular bathroom Designs

bathdesign-300x249There are a few “stock” bathroom designs that work super well in the basement environment. These stock designs are the most popular floor plans chosen by my basement remodel clients. If your thinking about  either a half bath (toilet & sink), 3/4 bath (toilet, sink, shower), full bath (toilet, sink, tub w/ shower) you’ll need a bathroom floor plan that’s both functional and that will work in your particular basement space. I have designs for each that work really well even in basements where floor space is at a premium.FRAMING BATHROOM WALLS

Framing  walls

The framing phase of a basement bathroom is no different than the rest of the basement your framing. It’s done exactly the same way.You’ll need to “layout” the bathroom floor space in such a way that all the fixtures fit nicely and functionally inside the bathroom. But…that’s simply you following the blueprint/design you created before the basement project even started. It’s all spelled-out and laid-out on the floor plan in exact detail where to place and build each bathroom wall. Then it’s just a matter of applying the wall framing training you learned watching the basement framing training videos.


Rough-in Bathroom Plumbing

bosch_brute_working-297x300The bathrooms in the rest of your house are most likely built on top of a framed and plywood sub-floor structure. In the basement we’re dealing with a concrete floor. ENTER THE JACKHAMMER…dun…dun…dun! “Say hello to my little friend!” You will most likely be needing to rent this fella for a little “Jackie Chan action”. If your basement has existing roughed-in plumbing for a bathroom sticking up through the concrete floor we’ll need to talk about that…you may or may not be able to use these pre-existing PVC pipes…

But for now…DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT! I will explain exactly how to handle those PVC pipes in detail in the training.

The basement bathroom plumbing project shouldn’t scare you off. You can do this yourself and it’s very rewarding when you have it all completed.


Basement Bathroom Electric

During the basement bathroom project there just a few electric projects to tackle…none of which are hard to complete. Normally you only have the following common electric components to install for the entire bathroom project:

  • GFI (ground fault interrupt) outlet
  • vanity light and 1 switch
  • light/ exhaust fan combo and 2 switches
  • tub/shower light and 1 switch

And that’s it for electric projects in basement bathrooms. Not many huh? I know…and these are super doable projects that I can teach you how to install with just a few rough-in electric lessons.


Bathroom Fixtures to Purchase

Here’s where you can save a lot of money or spend a truck-load! Fixtures are where you will spend the majority of your bathroom budget. I’ll use a “Full Bath” as our example for discussing what bathroom fixtures you will need to purchase for your project, because a full bath has em all!

You’ll need:

  • Toilet
  • Vanity and Vanity Top or a Pedestal Sink
  • Sink Faucet
  • Tub/Shower Unit
  • Shower Faucet

depot-dog2These fixtures can really change drastically in price as you probably already know. I’m talking 1000% change in price if you wanted to make that happen! But for those of us working on a tight budget (which is most of us:-) there is good news. There are some GREAT deals on fixtures right up the street at the home improvement super stores! I’m a Home Depot fan and I always get a great deal for my money at this store. You just have to shop around and you will find great deals on bathroom fixtures. Deals are everywhere!

Bathroom Tile

Bathroom Tiling projects

Nothing makes a bathroom  sweeter than the element of some beautiful tile setting! I love tile, especially in the bathroom. I like to see it on the bathroom floor, the shower walls and tub walls. If I’m feeling extra adventurous I really love a custom walk-in tile shower…man this is the baddest-boy-on-the-beach when it comes to bathroom remodeling! For the most part ceramic tile is cheap to buy! On average it costs $2.00 to $4.00 per sq. ft. which isn’t bad at all considering the average bathroom tile floor area is only 30 to 40 sq.ft in size. And an average tub/shower wall job is only 90 sq. ft.. It’s easy to see how the total price for the tile can be kept under $500.00 for the entire tile project. Then all you need to purchase is the tile adhesive and grout and you have all your tiling materials.

Sewage Ejector System

One last item we need to mention is the Sewage Ejector system. This is the grinder pump device that will be grinding up debris in the bathroom waste water and then pumping that waste water “up and out” of the basement to your public water system or your private septic system. This system consists of a few items such as the ejector pit and the ejector motor pump. Together these two its will cost roughly $350.00 to $400.00. All items for this system are available at the Home Depot and other “big box” home improvement centers.

I have training for the complete installation of the sewage ejector system inside the plumbing section in the members area if you would like to install your own. Doing this project yourself can save you $750.00 to $1,200 in plumbing fees! Join the Basement Finishing University “Members-Only” area here.

Well…good luck with your basement bathroom project. I’m always here if you have any questions about this project. Leave me any questions and comments below and I’ll respond the same day!



Posted in: Basement Bathrooms, Basement Finishing Articles, Basement Plumbing

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