Installing a toilet in a basement is not difficult if you already have sewage and water supply. That way, you can turn your basement into a living area, at a relatively low cost, by saving money on doing the job yourself. However, you should have at least some DIY experience and proper tools. So, let’s see how to add a toilet in your basement.
Locating Rough-in and Plumbing
This is, obviously, the first thing that you need to do. In most cases, the rough-in will be between 10 and 14 inches far from the wall, which makes it easy to find. Also, water supply pipes should be located around nine inches above the floor, usually behind the drain. In some cases, a flange will already be installed, but it might happen that it’s installed too high or too low.
If it’s installed too high, don’t worry – you can simply cut it down and add a new flange. If it’s installed too low, that you will need a flange extender, which you can find in most hardware stores at a relatively low price.
Before you start with the installation, you will need to turn off the water supply to your home. Make sure to check if you can do it by yourself since some homes might require the utility company to do it. Also, if you plan to add a shower, a tub, or some other fixtures, you will need to dig a trench to attach the drainage to the toilet’s drain line.
Install the Toilet Flange
The first thing that you should do when installing the flange is to inspect the drain pipe. It might be metal, ABS, or some other material, so be sure that the flange is of the same material. Then, if the drainpipe is not at floor level, you will need to cut it down. Remove the cap with a hammer and eventually put some cloth in to block the smell.
Notice that the flange has four holes. You will need to make sure that two of the four holes are at the same distance from the wall so that the toilet can sit straight. With a hand drill, prepare the holes in the flange, and then use the hammer drill to make holes in the floor. Clean the drainpipe and the flange with fine sandpaper and add adhesive to both ends. However, make sure to buy the proper adhesive, according to the material.
Then, insert the flange, but make sure that it has enough adhesive applied. Fix the flange to the ground using concrete screws, and that’s it!
Install the Shutoff Valve
Installing the shutoff valve is pretty simple, so start by turning off your water supply. Then, cut the end of the pipe and deburr it with sandpaper. Slide the compression nut onto the pipe, but make sure that it goes as far as possible. Put the compression ring in the right position and ensure that it fits properly. Then, attach the compression valve which goes over the ring. Finally, tighten the compression nut and inspect to ensure that nothing leaks. If everything is fine, that’s it – you have successfully installed the shutoff valve.
Install the Toilet
When installing the toilet, it’s a good idea to have somebody to help you out, since an extra set of hands can be beneficial. At first, install the closet bolts, and if you have any plastic clips to hold them fixed, be sure to add them. Then, install the flange seal, but be careful – it can be wax, but if there is no one around to help you out, it’s better to use a seal with no wax. Put the tank in the right position and make sure that you lift it over the closet bolts. A nice idea is to install the bowl first, and then the tank.
Screw the nuts onto the toilet bolts, but do it carefully – if you tighten too much, you might break the bowl. Then, connect the water supply somewhere between the shutoff valve and the fill valve and turn on the water. Inspect for any possible leaks, and if everything is fine, your toilet is ready for use.
How to Cover Exposed Pipes
Exposed pipes might greatly ruin the look of your bathroom. There are three methods to solve this problem. At first, you can cover the pipes with some fabric or decorative tape. On the other hand, you can paint the pipes so that they match the bathroom color. You can also paint them so that they stand out, which can create a specific look. Finally, you can hide the pipes by building a box that will cover them properly.
Note that you might also need to install a fan in your bathroom, but it depends on the municipality. Anyway, it’s a great way to control moisture and bad smells.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Special Toilet for My Basement?
No, you don’t. However, as you can see, the installation process can be quite different than when installing a toilet in another place in the house.
What Is the Total Cost of Adding a Toilet in the Basement?
The average price for installing the toilet in your basement is around $1500. However, the price can greatly differ according to the model that you want to install, and whether you want to do it by yourself or call the plumber. In some cases, the cost might even go over $2000.
How to Install the Toilet in a Basement Without Breaking Concrete?
If you don’t want to break the concrete, you should install an upflush toilet.
As you can see, adding a toilet to your basement isn’t necessarily difficult. Just make sure that you have all the right tools, and eventually someone to help you around. Also, be careful when tightening any bolts, since if you tighten them too much, you might break the bowl which is not covered by the warranty.