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Basement Remodeling - Flooring and Cabinet Options
My basement remodeling company will install a new bathroom, a wet bar, or both, in more than 75% of the basements that we finish for our clients! Any basement can easily have either a bathroom or a wet bar added during construction!
There are a few "tricks-of-the-trade" involved when adding bathrooms and wet bars to basements because of the unconventional ways in which these areas drain waste water. Being so far below grade normally forces you to add some type of "pump" into the mix to make this possible.
ALL of the bathrooms that have this drainage problem require a "Sewage Ejector" of some type to pump the bathroom waste water "up-and-out" to the home existing waste water drainage lines. Very few basements (maybe 10% or less) will enable you to drain the bathroom waste water directly in plumbing waste lines "below" the concrete floor level. If you have waste lines that exit the basement at a level that is higher than the finished concrete floor level you WILL NEED A SEWAGE EJECTOR SYSTEM INSTALLED!
These systems are not rocket science to install, although i do recommend that persons with no prior experience installing these animals NOT try it themselves! These sewage ejector pump systems are installed in the floor below the concrete level and require the installed to cut the concrete floor, dig-out a large and deep hole (about 3' deep!) and then install a sewage ejector pit and pump system! Not for the timid!
But, once installed by you or a plumbing subcontractor, the bathroom waste water from the toilet, sink and shower/tub will drain into the floor just like any other bathroom you have in your home! These Sewage Ejector Systems work very, very well, and are very dependable if installed and vented correctly. CALL A PLUMBER TO DO THIS FOR YOU! The systems usually cost around $ 400.00 complete + labor costs over and above this cost.
If the wet bar is positioned "friendly" and conveniently to the sewage ejector location, it too can be drain directly into this system "killing 2 birds with one stone"!
If the wet bar is NOT in a "friendly and convenient location in reference to the Sewage Ejector System a "Tray Pump System" can be used instead. This system does not go in the floor like the Sewage Ejector system! This Tray Pump "bolts" directly to the strainer cup of your bar sink under the sink inside the sink base cabinet! This convenient little pump will pump all "liquid only" waste up and out into the homes existing waste water lines with no problem!
The hot and cold water lines that feed the bathroom and the wet bar areas are traditionally plumbed just like any other pluming fixture in the house. It's ONLY the waste water drainage that makes basement bathrooms and wet bars different to plumb versus any other pluming fixture in the house!
The Do it Yourself Basement Remodeling Guide
We have finally arrived at the planning stage of remodeling your basement. By now you have should have a basic idea on how much room you will have to work with and a general idea of what you wish to accomplish with your space. You also should have solved any water,mold,and radon issues before going any farther. Now lets talk about where you can go from here.
There are many options for your basement space from a new media room to a rental apartment. This will all depend on your desires and the funds you have to work with. For the purposes of our article we will go with a apartment style layout to cover all installations from the kitchen to the bathroom.
Hopefully your water heater,electrical panel, and furnace are all located closely enough to be separated into one separate room. If so then you are one lucky homeowner. For the rest of us with major separations between all of our "utilities" we need to plan for access and ways to hide them from the start. Generally speaking most people will design a layout that allows them to put each of these in a closet in their addition. Make sure when laying out your closet you have enough room to get to anything you may need to access at any point down the line.
If you find you do not have the space or desire to go with multiple closets the next option is moving your water heater. You can move any of the above mentioned utilities but the water heater will be the least costly in the majority of cases. You may find that in the case of a natural gas water heater you will not be able to move it where you would like due to venting issues. Have a certified plumber come in and assess the area and feasibility before designing or moving on with your remodel.
Next you will need to design the layout of your bathrooms and kitchen. Do not forget to take the extra height of your future subfloor into account. This can add two to four inches in height and severely complicate installations later if not planned for. Also to be remembered is the ceiling height from the lowest hanging object in the room. Once you have factored these in layout your cabinets and plumbing designs.
Now that you have these laid out bring in a plumber to help with the design of your system. In a basement problems with wastewater disposal may arise if your existing sewer system is higher then your basement floor level. If this is the case you will need the plumbers expertise in designing a new system or retrofitting a pump to your basement addition plumbing
That is all for layout and design in this part of my series. Next up we will continue on with electrical layout and lighting choices.