How to Build a 60" DIY Bathroom Vanity From Scratch

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.

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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.

How to Install a Basement Bathroom (Step-by-Step Guide)

As we mentioned before, installing a bathroom is a tough process, especially when it is in the basement. While there are some things you can do by yourself, many other things will eventually require help from professionals.

But understanding what goes into this process might help you to work with the pros. Besides, you may even be able to do some work by yourself as well! So, here is a manual on steps to build a bathroom in the basement.

Step 1 – Planning and Designing

It takes a good bit of research, measuring, and designing before making a bathroom in the basement of a house. Proper planning will pave the way for a smooth project. After all, there’s nothing more unnerving than getting things halfway done only to find out that the measurements are all messed up.

Step 2 – Laying Out the Walls

The next step to planning and designing is roughing in the outer walls. You need to mark the wall locations and do the wall framing. In this step, you’ll need to demolish the concrete and dig a trench to connect the toilet, sink and shower locations to the main sewer line. All of these, however, require hiring carpenters and plumbers.

However, if you’re thinking of adding the bathroom in the basement without breaking concrete, then you could choose up-flushing toilets, sinks, and showers.

Also read: How to Caulk a Bathroom Sink Faucet?

Step 3 – Plumbing

Plumbing for the basement is of special consideration since above-ground bathrooms rely on gravity for draining. This is known as the slope or fall of the drainage system. Basement drainage, on the other hand, cannot rely on gravity much since there isn’t adequate fall.

This poses a problem in natural drainage, and so a system of basement bathroom plumbing with an ejector pump becomes important. It is a special solution for lift-pumping waste and water into the sewer lines.

Another important thing to consider is the ventilation of the bathroom’s plumbing system. Because flushing the wastewater usually pushes the existing air in the pipes.

This can sometimes create a water lock unless it is vented. Knowing how to vent basement bathroom plumbing can save you from spending on plumbers again and again.

Sometimes while trying to make the bathroom, you may find the pipes already roughed in. In that case, you need to know how to finish a basement bathroom with rough-in plumbing. But that’s a separate discussion we’ll keep aside for another article.

Step 4 – Electrical Consideration

You need to call an electrician over after all the plumbing works. There should be boxes for lighting fixtures and outlets. So, installing electrical cables properly is a necessary consideration as well.

Step 5 – Ventilation Requirements

The environment inside a bathroom is humid. Especially those in the basements are infamous for collecting moisture which leads to the formation of mold. Although most household molds are harmless, some are quite dangerous for human health.

Therefore, to save your possession from toxic mold growth, you need to install proper ventilation. After all, you don’t want to remove mold from the bathroom ceiling every month, right?

Step 6 – Installations

There are many things you need to shop for and install in the bathroom. Let’s see what they are.

a) Basement Toilet Options and Installation

There is a wide range of options when it comes to toilets. Although sometimes the toilets used in usual bathrooms work fine for basements, there are some other options which work better.

  • Pressure-assisted Toilets

These toilets will help out a lot when the basement bathroom’s plumbing doesn’t have enough fall. It uses air pressure to force the water and waste through the lines – preventing any clog.

  • Composting Toilet

With this toilet, you can save on water since it can turn the sewage into compost. However, it will require enough outside ventilation, which might be hard to provide in the basement.

  • Sewage-ejector Toilet

People usually use this one for above-ground toilets too. It basically stores the sewage temporarily before pumping it into the septic or sewage line.

  • Up-flushing Toilet

This is an excellent option if you don’t want to break up the basement concrete floor to access the sewer line. You can hook this toilet with the existing sewer lines.

b) Bathtub or Shower

You’ll also have to consider the type of bathroom you’d want: a shower or a bathtub? Depending on the space available, you might opt for a half-bath with a sink and a toilet or a full-sized bathroom.

Regardless of what you pick, balancing and calculating the space is of utmost importance. For the bathroom, you need to consider adding a high-powered ventilation fan as well.

c) Sinks and Mirror

The space available also decides whether you’d install a full vanity sink or just a pedestal sink. Full vanity sinks drain into the same plumbing established for the toilet. And pedestal sinks save a lot of space.

As for the mirror, a cheap builder’s grade mirror won’t look impressive. But if you want to save money, hang a frameless mirror without clips, and you’ll create an upscale appeal.

d) Lighting

The right lighting can turn any room into a luxurious space. And since natural light is limited in the basement, this factor becomes much more important.

You have tons of options to choose from when it comes to lighting. Whether you want to install luxurious lighting or just save money, there is no shortage of great options out there.

Apart from the ceiling, installing lights on each side of the mirror is a great idea. Besides, recessed lighting is also another excellent way to bring a sophisticated look.

Also read: Read 9 Basement Bathroom awesome ideas

Step 7 – Finishing with Tiles and Painting

You need to pick tiles that complement the lighting and the color of the bathroom. There are specialized non-slippery tiles for bathrooms available on the market. The key to making the tile-work look amazing is excellent finishing. A skilled DIYer or a professional should do this job.

Painting is also another important step, and it should help brighten the bathroom along with the lighting and tiles.

How to Plan for a Bathroom Renovation

Decide on Design Elements

Before you start remodeling the bathroom, choose a design that fits your vision, as well as your DIY skill set. There are many different ways to approach this project, ranging from repainting and swapping out the vanity to gutting the space and starting from scratch.

Here are a few details you absolutely need to nail down before you begin your bathroom renovation:

  • Color scheme: Interested in a modern farmhouse look? Or are you looking for a clean, contemporary design to match the rest of your home decor? Find inspiration photos for your vision ahead of time to make sure your new bathroom tiles don’t clash with your choice of paint.
  • New fixtures: Will you replace your shower or tub? Are you installing a new sink? Replacing one or both of these fixtures will add to your project’s timeline and budget.
  • Storage spaces: Where will you keep your towels and toiletries post-remodel? If you’re removing a closet to expand the room, make sure you have shelving or cabinets to make up for the lost storage space in your bathroom.
  • Location of utilities: Do you know where the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes are located? Keep these areas marked to avoid damaging these hookups and having to make expensive repairs.

Gather Your Tools

Beyond what’s already in your home improvement toolbox, there are some helpful tools to have on hand for a bathroom renovation.

Essential Tools and Supplies for a DIY Bathroom Remodel:

  • Safety mask
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone sealant
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Spackle knife
  • Spackle
  • Stud finder
  • Power drill
  • Pry bar
  • Bucket
  • Chisel
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Chalk line
  • Extension cord

Optional Tools We Recommend:

  • Wet-dry Shop-Vac: Very handy in case any water spills while removing the toilet or another fixture.
  • Cordless drill: Makes it easier to move around as you work and frees up your extension cord for other power tools.

These tools are available to rent at most home improvement stores for a minimal cost. You might even have a handy friend or family member who could let you borrow theirs.

Spa Bathroom Vanity

The Space Between

Here's a larger wooden spa-like bathroom vanity plan, one that holds two sinks on the top. Two open lower shelves give you plenty of room for towels and more.

The Space Between's free DIY vanity plans include a supplies list, tools list, color photos, and written building directions.

Spa Bathroom Vanity from The Space Between

Decor

Tack on another $150 for a vanity mirror, $17 for a hand towel ring, $16 for a tp holder (budget choices) and we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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.

Plumbing Tips for Adding a Bathroom

When you’re adding a new bathroom, consider these tips to help make your project a success:

  • Know what you want your new bathroom to look like before you start. Check out Pinterest photos and home improvement sites online for ideas.
  • Place fixtures strategically. If you can place your new fixtures close to existing water and waste lines, you can keep construction costs and plumbing bills down.
  • If you’re installing a door in your new bathroom, install one that swings out or a sliding door. This will maximize the available space for fixtures and make it easier for guests to navigate inside your new bathroom.
  • Keep an eye out for products that will make the process easier, either because they are more affordable, easy to install or both. For example, the Qwik Jon® Ultima Sewage System by Zoeller is designed so you can put a toilet just about anywhere, which is perfect for your new bathroom project. However, adding a toilet to an existing bathroom in an old house will be a huge cost saver as it will drastically cut installation time.

How I Built a DIY Bathroom Makeover From Scratch

To build your own vanity, you don’t have to use the exact resources and materials I used, but here’s the list for you (affiliate links included).

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.

Vintage Style Bathroom Vanity

Build Something

Here's another DIY bathroom vanity from Build Something that has a great vintage look with faux drawers that are actually a cabinet, and a lower shelf for storage.

There are written directions, a tools list, a materials list, a parts/cut list, and lots of diagrams and photos included.

Vintage Style Bathroom Vanity from Build Something

Miscellaneous Plumbing

There are some other random plumbing items that I didn’t cover here and that’s basically because I passed the cost of these on to my contractor. Things like the sink drain and shower drain (which can be basically nothing or up to $600 if you want to do one of those linear drains) I just had him source. The standard versions of these items are pretty inexpensive.

If you trust your GC, which I do, I think this is a good way to go. I don’t think he’s going to go out and buy the most expensive shower drain he can find. I think he’ll just pick the one he usually uses that he thinks works well. To be clear, I’m still paying for the item, I just didn’t buy it directly.

My rule was, I picked the items when it was an aesthetic choice. For instance, everything in my upstairs bathroom is matte black finish so I wanted my sink drains to also be matte black, which meant I picked them out and bought them myself. I’m sure this works differently with many contractors but that’s how we did it.

Wrapping Up!

Before you start planning for the basement bathroom, you need to check it with your local building authorities since some municipalities require extra permits and modifications.

Anyways, we hope this article has helped you understand how to build a bathroom in the basement with proper steps and guidelines. In the end, the most important thing to consider in a basement bathroom is the drainage. Keep that working well, and you’re almost set.

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