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How to install a bathroom in basement without breaking concrete

Very often, families realize the convenience of having that extra bathroom located in the basement. But, with a major renovation such as this can come a substantial expense. Understanding how to install a bathroom in basement without breaking concrete can be an easy way to alleviate a large chunk of the renovation cost.


It is imperative that the space in which you choose to begin this type of renovation coincides with the closest proximity to the existing plumbing fixtures. This means installing over the plumbing stub-outs that are already there. It is a decision that will most impact how much you will have to spend.

You will have to find a spot on the ceiling where you have chosen your bathroom location and tear out a piece of the drywall. This is the best way to determine where the studs and joists are located. From there, you can begin to plan the layout including measurements. When measuring, line everything up so that it is more convenient to flow to a drain stack. In this way, you will have fewer issues as well as cost with plumbing issues in the long run.

Elevation of floors and ceilings

Keep in mind that the more elevated the floor is in the area you have designated for the shower, then the better it will be for water drainage. There is a standard slope that is an inspection requirement for a drainage system which is ¼” per linear foot of water drainage pipe. So, a higher shower base is needed to encompass this pipe as well as what is called a P-trap that needs to also be a part of the drainage line. All in all, this is about a 6” elevation for any shower area. You can DIY this base or buy them ready-made. Since basement ceilings are usually much lower than anywhere in a home, consider the head clearance for the shower based on this typical element of a bathroom renovation in your basement with the addition of the shower elevation.

Up-Flush Drainage System

This type of flushing system allows for a direct tie-in to your city’s sewer system. It is made up of a pump that will extricate sewage from a central tank behind one of three places—a tub, toilet, or shower stall. Then, it takes the sewage it is housing and pumps it directly into your home’s main drain pipe and out to the main sewer. To alleviate backups, there is also a grinder that will take any solid waste particles and emulsify them. There are several installation options for this type of system including a hidden tank behind a wall or for easier installation, it can be situated within a toilet designed to house it. A dedicated electrical outlet must be part of the bathroom plan for this system which will be run directly to the main drain pipe and your home’s ventilation system.

Other things to consider

For anyone who might consider how to install a bathroom in basement without breaking concrete, there are some other standard considerations:

• Before installing a sink, cutting the cap and attaching the drain connector must be completed.
• Consider figuring out if you have an outer wall that will allow you to work from behind it for easier access and a faster renovation.
• If no outer wall is available, leave a hole large enough to be able to insert one hand to tighten off finalized connections.
• Make sure to do a test fit of everything before finalizing any plumbing.