Basement Bathroom: To Add or Not To Add

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Finished basements are one of the most popular renovation projects today and offer a great way to expand the living space in your home. Finished basements can provide additional bedrooms, family rooms, offices, and of course, bathrooms. And while adding bathrooms can increase the value of your home, adding a bathroom to your basement requires some special considerations and planning to ensure your project is a success. Read on to learn the top 5 considerations:

Is Gravity On Your Side?

If you’re designing a new home or about to break ground this is an excellent time to at least plan ahead for a future bathroom. Plumbing drain lines for a basement bathroom are quite often the most challenging part of the project. Whether you live in an area with municipal sewer or in a rural area with a septic system, how the sewerage flows out of your home is a design detail that requires evaluation and planning.

Basements Are Different!

Insulating a finished room in a basement is so much more complicated than bathrooms above grade. Fiberglass insulation should NEVER be used in your basement as a primary source of insulation. In order to properly insulate a foundation wall you’ll need some type of foam insulation (spray or board). This is extremely important especially in a basement bathroom where moisture will be attacking the room from two sides.


Moisture is the Enemy

Proper ventilation in a basement bathroom is even more important than in bathrooms above grade. Trapped moisture in a basement can lead to serious mold and mildew problems especially when most basements don’t have a lot of natural ventilation. In addition to properly sizing the bath exhaust fan it is recommend that you install a bath fan timer in order to ensure that the fan runs long enough to exhaust the room, and also to prevent running the fan longer than necessary.

Basement Bathroom Finishes

When it comes to selecting finishes for a basement bathroom the sky’s the limit as they say. Having said that, stick with tile for the flooring even though on upper floors it’s sometimes nice to use wood. It’s important to use good quality latex paints for the walls and the trim. When it comes to plumbing fixtures there are endless choices.

Plan Ahead for A Successful Bathroom Project

Make a wish list of features, fixtures, and finishes that you’d like in your new bathroom. Then make appointments to get bids from at least three reputable contractors. Most bathroom projects of this type are typically beyond the DIY level and will at least require a plumber and electrician.

Adding a bathroom to your finished basement will certainly increase the value of your home and make the basement far more functional.


If you need an estimate for adding a new bathroom in your home, call 410-848-2605 or contact us