How to Build a Luxury Basement Bathroom

How to Build a Luxury Basement Bathroom

The Value of a New Bathroom

Before you start making building plans, you probably want to know how much value does a bathroom add to my home? In terms of financial value, that answer is difficult to pin down, but you can be sure that many potential buyers will prioritize finding a home with a minimum of two full baths and possibly more. One study found that adding a bathroom increased the home’s sale price by 8.7%, which is more than twice the increase you would see if you added a bedroom.

If you’re not looking to sell any time soon, then the value you gain is added functionality. The National Association of Realtors found that over half of homeowners who added a new bathroom to their homes wanted to be home more and had an increased sense of enjoyment since the project was completed. If you’ve ever had to wait to use the toilet or take a shower, you’ve likely daydreamed about how nice it would be to have another bathroom in your home.

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.


Cost To Build A Bathroom

The cost to build a new bathroom addition to your house will cost around $22,000 on average, or $47,000 to $87,000 using high-end materials. Professional plumbers and electricians will chart $85 to $120 per hour and permits for a new home addition cost between $200 and $500.

Cost To Plumb A Bathroom

Cost To Plumb A Bathroom

At $85–$120 per hour for plumbing labor, plumbing your new bathroom can run from $610–$1,180 for labor only using mid-grade items—not high-end components, which cost more to install. You’ll need hot and cold water for both the sink and shower/tub and a water line and sewage pipe for the toilet. If you have a basement or crawlspace, it will cost less than a concrete slab that needs to be cut through.

Electrical Work for a Bathroom Addition

Electricians charge from $85–$120 an hour (labor only) to work on a home addition, depending on where you live. You’ll need new electrical work for

  • outlets,
  • fans, and
  • adequate lighting.

You’ll need to install GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets because of the proximity to water, and you have to add a vent to the exterior if there is no bathroom window. If you add showers and toilets with tech components, you’ll need to wire the bathroom for those as well.

Permits and Legal Regulations

You’ll need to check in with your local building department to find out about necessary permits. Building codes often include minimum bathroom dimensions; the smallest two-fixture bathroom is 5’ x 4’. Some HOAs have regulations about home additions. If you have a general contractor overseeing this job, he or she will know what you need to proceed legally, but in general, you’ll need permits for:

  • Adding additional space to the home and building new walls
  • Any electrical work – all wiring must be up to code
  • Any other plumbing and waste ducts and pipes brought to a new location

Having permits ensures all work is done to meet the building codes in your county. It will be inspected once completed, so you can rest assured that everything is as it should be. Costs vary depending on where you live, but permits run in the region of $200 to $500.

Transition pieces

Don’t forget the slab of stone to put on the step into the shower. I think this was about $200.

Here you might be saying to yourself, oh I won’t need this piece because I’m going to have an integrated shower floor like the very sleek bathroom with tree photo above. Like most things in construction, the simpler it looks the more complicated it actually is to build. I did a flush shower floor in my master bath and it had to be framed in with a dropped floor from the very beginning to accommodate plumbing. This type of floor is pretty impractical in a basement and I’m not sure that saves you any money at all (in fact probably the opposite).

Planning for that flush shower floor way back in June

Tile Edging and Finishing Pieces

Listen, you have to have something on the edge of your tile, you can’t just have the raw edge hanging out there. It’s like leaving your fly open. It’s bad manners and creeps people out. Edge pieces are one of the reasons that it’s hard to plan way ahead and get your orders in all together. Some of these edges don’t become clear until you’re a little further along in your project.

In any case, you have a few of options for this:

  1. Put some grout on the edge: In some cases, this is totally fine but can look a little messy and eventually cracks. It doesn’t work very well with a round tile, like a penny tile or tiles that aren’t a standard thickness. For instance I used a lot of cement tiles in my house which are much thicker than standard porcelain or ceramic and a grout line like this wouldn’t cover those edges.

2. Schluter Metal Edging: This is a little strip of metal that they used to line the edge of the tile. I think this is a fine solution and probably what I’ll do in my basement bathroom. If you’re thinking it looks a little cheap, I’d agree and posit that it looks cheap because it is cheap. It’s about $5–6 per 8 ft piece. So $0.75/linear foot. Cheap AF.

3. Pencil tile or other decorative edges: These are little pieces designed to finish off a tile edge. I think they are objectively a nice and thoughtful way to finish tile but they didn’t really go with my minimalist thing I was doing in this house. I didn’t get quotes on these but I suspect they are similarly priced as the bull nose.

4. Bull nose: Such a good name. This is a tile that has a finished edge (can be rounded or square). I think this is the nicest way to finish off an edge but it’s also pricey. The bull nose I used in my upstairs bathrooms was something like $2.25/per piece ($3.37 linear foot). Not nothing.

These prices can drastically range from style to style and not every tile you like will have a correlating bull nose, pencil or finishing piece to match. In fact I would say most don’t. You also often have to run the bull nose in a different direction which is why you end up with some edges looking like this:

Was originally horrified by this but have now deci
Was originally horrified by this but have now decided this is perfectly a. o. k.

In my guest suite (are you guys buying this or should I just go back to calling it a basement?) bathroom I only needed 10 linear feet of edging, but in my master bath I needed 60 linear feet because you need this to go around the door and window in the shower. For the basement bath the price was negligible but the more complicated the space, the more edging you’ll need and it can add up.

Bull nose tile

In any case, edging/finishing tile is a whole thing. Once you pick this out, promise yourself that you will never question, nay, think about it ever again. It is the only way.

Who knew I had another 500 words in me about tile? And I haven’t even touched on grout. I’m going to stick with telling you, I paid about $40/bag of grout. I needed about two bags per bathroom. As for color, there is nothing I could say that would be more comprehensive or illuminating than what Emily Henderson has to say about grout color, so I’ll just point you there.

Step 12: Installing Plumbing Electrical Fixtures

Now, install the sink, toilet and tub per the manufacturer instructions. If you were doing a shower it would have been done before drywall.

Also, install any lighting fixture, switches, outlets and covers.

Does flooring go under toilet?

If you’re installing a new floor, pedestal sink, and toilet, you should install the laminate flooring first so it’s under the sink and toilet. Because laminate flooring floats above the sub-floor on top of underlayment, it will expand and contract slightly with the temperature and humidity of the room.

Step 3: Framing Walls

Frame the walls with 2×4 construction per your plan. If ductwork or plumbing can be easily moved out of the way, do that. If not, you will have to frame in the duct work as shown.

Common questions about adding a bathroom

Is there existing water and waste piping near your new bathroom?

Before installing, check to make sure that water flow exists for your new bathroom. If it doesn’t, you may need to hire a professional plumber to sort out your needs and get water flow to the room of your choice.

Do you have enough space for a bathroom?

An important question to consider, as not every space can fit all the bathroom necessities you may require. The starting point for most bathrooms is roughly 25 square feet-this size gives you just enough room for a small bathtub, a toilet and a sink, though keep in mind this size may be too small for you.

Does your city code allow you to add a bathroom in your designated space?

Another tricky subject as every city will be different and it is important for you to consult your nearest authority on the matter. Many cities do not permit alterations to your home or some extensions may be too large for city code without the right permits, so it is best to understand what you can and cannot do to your house before you begin.

Should you have a professional assist with adding a bathroom?

The short answer is yes. In many cases, electrical and plumbing alterations must be handled by a trained professional. If you are confident of your abilities and have the requisite experience, then some steps can be DIY, but ultimately, utilities must be handled by a professional.

Adding a bathroom to your home can help to increase the value of your home, but it would be best to consult a professional to assess your situation to prevent any unnecessary building mishaps that may occur and further costs as well.  

Tips for Revamping a Current Bathroom

Whether you want to improve the value of your home or improve the way you feel about your bathroom, you can also consider giving an existing bathroom a facelift. This is a more affordable option than adding a whole new bathroom and can still achieve some great results. Consider these tips to help you revamp a current bathroom:

  • An affordable way to give your bath, shower or sink a new look is to replace the faucets with ones that have modern appeal.
  • Painting is a tried-and-true means of giving any room a fresh new look. You may also want to consider an accent wall with a fun wallpaper, tile or wood planking you love.
  • No one wants a dimly lit bathroom, especially at the vanity where you likely spend time getting ready. You also don’t want to have outdated light fixtures. If you’re dissatisfied with your current light fixtures, replacing them with bright ones you love is a great move.
  • The mirror over your vanity may need an update if it’s a plain, builder-grade mirror. Instead of replacing the whole mirror, consider adding a frame to give the mirror a more stylish look.

Bathroom Addition Cost

The average cost to add a bathroom addition to an existing space is $7,600 with some homeowners paying as little as $2,500. The cost to build a new bathroom addition to your house will cost around $22,000 on average, or $47,000 to $87,000 on the high-end.

Average Cost To Add A Bathroom
National Average Cost $7,600
Minimum Cost $2,500
Maximum Cost $25,000
Average Range $4,500 to $12,400

How do I build an upstairs bathroom?

How to Add New Plumbing Upstairs for a Bathroom Step 1: Get a Permit If Needed. Step 2: Cut Drywall to Access Lines. Step 3: Turn Off Water Supply. Step 1: Find the Drain Line. Step 2: Cut Existing Drain/Waste Line. Step 3: Apply Adhesive to New Fitting. Step 4: Install New Fitting. Step 1: Locate Existing Supply Lines.


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