Things You’ll Need

Toilet

  • Old rag
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • PVC primer
  • PVC cement
  • Toilet seal
  • Toilet bowl/tank
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Wrench

Sink

  • Mounting hardware
  • Caulk
  • Drill
  • Nuts/bolts
  • Glue
  • Adapter
  • New sink fixture

Bathtub/Shower

  • Glue
  • Mounting hardware
  • New bathtub
  • Side panels/shower panels
  • Faucet
  • Level

Video

Installing a Luxury Shower

With the huge array of bathroom innovations in recent years, there are countless ways to add luxury to a shower—power showers and shower towers (which are actually panels), multiple shower jets, footbaths, waterfall showerheads, steam generators, sauna accommodations, heated towel bars, and more.

However, these mood-altering improvements have more complicated technical requirements than normal baths. If you are seeking a spa-like experience, take a look at our steps for adding luxury to your shower. 

In cold weather climates, plumbing vents need to be increased in size before extending out through the roof

This increase prevents the vent from closing due to frost (IPC 903.2)(UPC 906.7). Check your local code for the appropriate size but usually, it’s 3 inches. This increase should also be made within the building’s thermal envelope. Or in other words, within the heated portion of your home. Again check your local code.

So that wraps us this article.

And maybe your wondering:

Preparing the Site

You can't turn just any spare room or large closet into a bathroom. Whether you are framing a new space or remodeling an existing one, make sure the framing accommodates a bathroom's needs. Remove drywall or plaster from the areas where you will run plumbing. Clear out all cabinets, fixtures, and other obstructions. Check out our handy tips for everything you need to know.

Bathroom Plumbing Venting and why its important

Every plumbing fixture needs to be vented.

The main purpose of a plumbing vent is to protect trap seals. The trap seal (inside the P-Trap) is what prevents sewer gas from escaping into your home.

Waste flowing through a drainage system creates air pressure fluctuations. These fluctuations in pressure can disrupt trap seals. If these fluctuations are large enough, they remove part or even all of the trap seal. And once that precious seal is lost….in comes the sewer gas….right into your home.

A properly installed vent keeps these pressure fluctuations under control…which in turn keeps the trap seal inside the P-Trap.

There are several different methods of venting: wet venting, common venting, circuit venting, island fixture venting, etc…

One of the simplest and most widely used methods of venting is called “conventional venting.” That’s when each plumbing fixture has its own vent, which is called an individual vent. And that’s the method of venting we’re using to plumb this bathroom.

By the way, to learn more about plumbing vents read this article on venting.

Let’s start with…

The Cost to Add Another Bathroom

Many people don’t even consider adding a bathroom because they are sure bathroom remodeling is too expensive. Finding the space and building it out, along with adding plumbing, makes the cost to add a bathroom seem prohibitively expensive. It doesn’t have to be. The key is to find the right approach so the benefit of an extra bathroom outweighs the cost. Remember, adding a bathroom can significantly increase your home’s value, so with the right approach to bathroom remodeling, the ROI can be strongly in your favor.

How much does it actually cost to add a bathroom to your house? Not considering the cost you’ll recoup, the upfront investment can run anywhere from $3,000 if you already have a space in your home to install the bathroom to $25,000 if you have to add on to the footprint of your home.

You can easily spend more than this if you’re looking to install a large, luxurious bathroom, or you can save if you work with your existing layout and opt for simple fixtures, so make sure you get a quote that takes your project specifications into account.

Does adding a bathroom to a house increase taxes? The answer depends on a few factors. If your project requires a permit, then a tax assessor may notice the additional value you’re adding to your home. If you add on to the square footage of your house, you can definitely expect an increase in taxes. Even if you end up paying a little bit more in taxes, the added value to your home will far outweigh this small expense.

Adding a Bathroom is Easier than You Think

Consider the Cost

One of the biggest hurdles to adding another bathroom is the cost. So many people don’t even consider it because they’re sure that it’s going to be far out of reach. However, it might not be as prohibitively expensive as you think.

Being apprehensive is understandable, but a small build-out doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are some smart tricks to adding the extra plumbing and installation work that will allow the benefit of an additional bathroom to outweigh the costs.

Factors that Affect Price

The upfront investment could cost a few thousand dollars if you already have the room to do it. If you need to add to your home, it could run into tens of thousands of dollars. It’s all about how much of a bathroom you want and what kind of space you currently have.

A large and luxurious bathroom is going to cost more than a small one, of course. But what many people don’t think of is the cost of taxes. If property taxes are already a pain in the neck, adding to the value of your home could end up making that annual tax bill climb upward.

Location, Location, Location

Your first major hurdle might come in finding the right space for your bathroom. However, you can add a half-bathroom with just a 15-20 square foot area of space. With 25 square feet or more, you could consider adding a small shower if need be.

So long as there are sufficient outlets, enough ventilation, and some insulation, you can find a way to add a bathroom. Think carefully and you might be able to turn even an underused closet into an extra bathroom.

Transform Unused Space

If your hallway goes to the end of your home, you could have the perfect spot for your new bathroom. Those hallways with no rooms on either side and just a window are excellent spots.

Even a large master bedroom might have some extra space for a bathroom. Partition a little bit of space that you don’t use, and you could give yourself enough space to add an extra sink and toilet for getting ready for bed.

You may even want to consider subdividing existing bathrooms. In homes with one huge bathroom, perhaps the space could be cut in half to make room for a second one.

Be Smart About Plumbing

Plumbing is the biggest hurdle for anyone adding a new bathroom. You need to plan carefully, so you spend as little as possible and avoid making your home more complicated than it needs to be.

Have an idea of what you want the bathroom to look like before you begin. Look at photos on Pinterest, in magazines, and on websites to see what it could look like.

Placement of Fixtures

Before you commit to an idea, design your layout and place your fixtures carefully. If you can put pipes close enough to existing plumbing, you could save a lot on construction costs and even on plumbing bills later on. Your waste and water lines can be a pain to extend, so make sure you do your best only to extend them short distances.

Bathroom Access

Think about your door too. Your entrance needs to get around any changes you make and allow you to make the most of the space you have. Sliding doors are an economical way to get the space that you need without having a door swing out and add a larger footprint for your bathroom.

A Bathroom Addition Can Be a Quick Process

While you should expect the construction to take some time, especially if you’re doing it yourself, it doesn’t take forever. A comprehensive renovation can take upwards of five weeks, but a smaller and less extensive job can take just a few weeks.

If you’re adding to the footprint of your home, it will take longer than it would if you’re adding the bathroom to extra space. That’s all the more reason to make the most of your space with a bathroom.

Final Thoughts

While installing a basement bathroom is a worthwhile project that can augment a basement living area, it usually demands plumbing knowledge and expertise that the average homeowner typically doesn’t possess. While that doesn’t mean the DIYer should recruit a contractor to complete the entire job, it is a good idea to hire a professional to handle the plumbing upgrades such a renovation usually requires.

How will the new bathroom be ventilated?

You will need to run a vent pipe for the toilet and a bathroom fan. Make sure the room you choose has easy access to an exterior wall or roof. The vent pipe and bathroom fan exhaust can be installed through an exterior wall if roof access is difficult. Depending on where you are installing the new bathroom, you may also be able to tap into existing vent pipes and fan exhaust lines.

What’s the Vent For?

  • A plumbing vent is kind of like the air intake on a gas can; it lets in air.
  • Without venting, a slug of sewage racing through a waste line creates air pressure and vacuum in the pipe. That means noisy, gurgling drains. Even worse, the vacuum can suck all the water out of traps, allowing sewer gas to flow freely into your home. Yuck.

Plan the System

  • With a pencil, mark out the whole bathroom on the basement floor: walls, toilet, sink, shower and finally, the drain lines.
    • Pro tip: This is a great way to try different layouts ideas for your bathroom.
  • Mock up sections of the system and lay them out on the basement floor, using sections of pipe and an assortment of fittings.
  • When the whole system is planned, mark it out on the floor.
    • Pro tip: We like to mark up the plan with bold lines of tape or paint. But simple spray paint is fine for drain lines.

Rent a Snapper A cast iron pipe snapper works by tightening a cutting chain until the pipe cracks. They’re available at tool rental stores. Old cast iron pipe can crush rather than crack. If that happens, you’ll have to abandon the snapper and cut the slow way: with a reciprocating saw. If you have plastic pipe, cutting into the main is quick and easy with a reciprocating saw.

Can you add a bathroom anywhere in your house?

The short answer is yes, you can install a bathroom almost anywhere that you can afford it. However, this will largely depend on your plumbing and electrical setup and what style of bathroom you want, which goes into another common question.

Extending an existing bathroom

A popular option would be extending an existing bathroom instead of installing a new one somewhere in your home. The benefits of this would be that you get to keep your existing bathroom design as you would only be expanding the size of your previous bathroom. In addition, any modifications or improvements you make already have an existing framework to build off of which means less stress on your wallet. Depending on the size of a change you want to make, this type of installation will run anywhere from $2,000-5,000+ depending on how large you want your bathroom to be.

What Should I Know Before Adding a Bathroom?

What Should I Know Before Adding a Bathroom?

Before you look to add a new bathroom to your home, you should ask yourself, who is this bathroom for? Below are some considerations you should keep in mind when looking to add a bathroom: 

You Need Room

You Need Room

No matter what size home you have, space is always a premium. Installing a new bathroom to an existing space such as a closet, garage, or an otherwise underused part of your home can drastically increase the amount of available space. The drawback to this is that you may need to alter the plumbing to reach your new bathroom, and adding a new bathroom can be quite expensive-ranging, from $4,000-12,000.

Make it Accessible

Making a bathroom more accessible is always positive, and especially for older individuals, navigating stairs can be pretty troublesome. So before you add a bathroom, consider its accessibility and look to make it easily accessible for all household members. The most significant drawback to an accessible bathroom will also be ensuring that the plumbing lines up.

Decide on Height

Before you look to install a bathroom, remember to make your calculations and position your fixtures and accessories accordingly. You want to ensure you have a rough idea of how large your space will be to ensure that everything fits; otherwise, it will be a great hassle to re-do an area due to improper measurements.

Fit Pipes Well

You don’t want your bathroom pipes to use the exterior walls for plumbing and fixtures. When adding a bathroom, you want to ensure your pipes are aligned to accommodate everything in your bathroom layout. If you don’t have plumbing knowledge, a plumber will charge you anywhere from $700-20,000, depending on the complexity of your home and existing plumbing setup.

Consider Your Wiring

Many bathrooms often utilize a single outlet which can violate safety issues and risk overloading the power in your bathroom. Plan and distribute your wires evenly so you can use multiple outlets to power your bathroom. An electrician will charge you roughly $200-1,000, depending on the size of your bathroom.

Get Lighting Right

Proper lighting in your bathroom can make it more enjoyable and safer. Keep heavy traffic areas illuminated. You can utilize traditional lighting or add a dimmer switch for a more subdued environment. Mirror backlighting is popular as it is less intrusive than conventional setups. Lights range from $100-500, depending on style and size.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Moisture and your bathroom don’t get along, so it’s essential to ensure that your bathroom is properly ventilated. Excess moisture can cause mold and odors, so ensure you have a fan that covers at least 1 CFM per square foot of room area. Installing a new fan with ducts and a roof vent will cost around $350, with higher-end models costing about $800.

Fixture Drainage

The sinks, shower and bathtub must also all connect to the existing drain and waste vent system, which means they must connect to the sewer and to the main vent stack. In practice, the events from all the fixtures often meet in a common pipe that connects to the main stack at a point higher than the highest plumbing fixture in the house. The drains may join, but it’s just as common for each one to have its own connection to the soil stack. Both drain and vent pipes must maintain a minimum slope of 1/4 inch per foot. A vent slopes toward the drain it services, and a drain slopes toward the sewer.

Think Home Climates for Bathroom Plumbing

Plumbing is an integral part of a bathroom remodels. Home Climates offers bathroom plumbing services from shower and toilet installations to leak detection and repair. You could do it yourself, but when you have access to professionals who will do the job correctly, quickly and at a reasonable price with over-the-top service, why should you? If you’re interested in making your life easier by adding a half-bath or a full bathroom to your home in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mount Joy or Hershey, Pennsylvania, contact Home Climates. We’ll give you guidance on all of your plumbing needs. We know plumbing disasters happen at the worst times, so remember we offer emergency service for no extra fee.

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