Installing a toilet in a basement is not difficult, particularly if you already have sewage and water supply. Further, by installing a basement toilet yourself, you can turn your basement into a living area at a relatively low cost. We do recommend attempting this project only if you have some DIY experience and the proper tools.
Let’s get into how to add a toilet in your basement:
Table of Contents
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 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 could be 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 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 require the utility company to cut off the water. Also, if you plan to add a shower, a tub, or 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 made from 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 don’t forget to stuff it with a cloth 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. Make sure to buy the proper adhesive based on your flange and drainpipe material.
Next, insert the flange, ensuring it has enough adhesive applied. Fix the flange to the ground using concrete screws, and your flange is installed!
Install the Shutoff Valve
Installing the shutoff valve is pretty simple – similar to the flange, you’ll start by turning off your water supply. Then, cut the end of the pipe and de-burr the rough end with sandpaper. Slide the compression nut onto the pipe, making sure that it goes as far as possible. Once the compression ring is in the right position, ensure that it fits properly, and 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. To start, install the closet bolts. If you have any plastic clips to hold the bolts in place, be sure to add them. Then, install the flange seal, but be careful – you can use wax for the seal, 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. One helpful approach 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. First, you can cover the pipes with fabric or decorative tape. Second, you can paint the pipes so that they match the bathroom color, or alternatively, paint them with an accent color to add a unique look to your bathroom. Finally, you can hide the pipes by building a box to cover them.
Note that you might also need to install a fan in your bathroom depending on your municipality. In general, a fan is a great way to control moisture and avoid bad smells in your bathroom.
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, which is helpful to keep in mind when picking out your toilet.
What Is the Total Cost of Adding a Toilet to the Basement?
The average price for installing the toilet in your basement is around $1500. However, the price can greatly differ depending 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 could go over $2000.
Is there a way to Install the Toilet in a Basement without Breaking Concrete?
If you don’t want to break the concrete, you can 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 ideally someone to help out. As long as you follow the installation guidelines for your toilet carefully, you should have your new toilet installed in no time!