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Basement Finishing and Basement Remodeling
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!
Basement Remodeling Step by Step Guide
You are finally to the point in the remodel most people are waiting for. The framing, plumbing, and wiring have all been completed and now you have a few design choices remaining. This is a critical period in your new basement remodel that will make or break the room. Lets take a walk through some of your choices.
Let us begin with the flooring, depending on your choice you may need to have it installed before your cabinets or plumbing fixtures. There are many,many choices of flooring available for your home today. Popular options include the ever durable carpet, tile of many varieties, free floating laminates, and hardwood flooring. Hardwood is available in many variations and tends to be costly in initial installation. This is only recommended in basements with a proper subfloor and a guarantee of no future moisture problems. Any moisture underneath your hard wood flooring will cause buckling and discoloration that will prove to be very costly to repair. Hardwood flooring also needs to be installed before anything else in the area. Cabinets and fixtures will need to be placed on top of this flooring. If properly cared for and installed hardwood flooring will have a lasting impact in your room and hold its value quite well.
Laminate hardwoods or tile look a like flooring is another very popular option nowadays. These floors are free floating and easily installed by homeowners. They are less susceptible to moisture damage although they still may warp if heavily saturated. They have the benefit of being able to be installed in a existing area over many surfaces and also easily removed in the future for any new flooring. As a relatively new flooring its not seen how well they will hold there value over time but new products look more and more like the real thing.
Tile is a great option in terms of durability and ease of cleaning. The installation can be complex and requires special tooling and as such this is best left to a professional installer. Costs vary widely with tile depending on types of materials used and patterns you may want laid out in the installation. One thing to be wary of with tile in a basement remodel is it will always be a very cold floor without some type of in floor heating system.
The last flooring option we will discuss is good old fashioned carpeting. Carpet is available in hundreds if not thousands of varieties and is readily available. Installation costs are cheap per square foot and installation usually can be done in a day or two. This is also a great option if you are worried about the warmth of your floor as it provides a great heat barrier. Carpeting is also easily repaired or replaced in the future at a low cost.
The last thing I would like to mention in your remodel is the placement of your cabinetry and plumbing fixtures. If you have laid down a subfloor in your basement you can install these before almost every flooring option we have discussed. As mentioned earlier if you have decided to go with hardwood it is best to wait until it is installed before placing your cabinets. Another area to be careful in is the bathroom fixture installations. Many plumbers and flooring installers will recommend having your flooring installed in here before placing anything in the bathroom. Im sure you have seem a unsightly remodel where the toilet has been tiled up to and permanently encased in the floor. This is not only unappealing but also costly to repair if the toilet ever needs to be replaced or repaired.
That does it for my articles on basement remodeling. I hope you enjoy your new space for many years to come!