Improve An Ugly Basement With A Beautiful New Bathroom!

A new basement bathroom adds value and enjoyment

This is a home built in the 1950s, with the living room, formal dining room, kitchen, small bathroom, and bedrooms on the main floor. Only one person could occupy the bathroom at a time. For a family of three, that presented a scheduling problem. There wasn’t enough room to expand the existing bathroom, and the full basement was under-utilized,. The Homeowners wondered if it would be possible to have a new basement bathroom with a two-person shower that looked and felt luxurious. They had an idea, had done some research, and had talked with a couple of contractors, but they were still confused about what to do.

The best location for the new bathroom was below the main-floor bathroom, so plumbing supply, drain, and vent pipes could be extended.The unfinished basement had enough space to comply with ceiling height codes, but there was a large furnace duct that hung below the bottom of the joists. If left like this, it was going to look awkward. An HVAC specialist verified that new wider and shallower ducts would maintain the required air flow. Most pipes and wires wouldn’t be a problem, but the main drain had to be re-routed so it would comply with the slope required by the plumbing code.

The location of an existing window dictated where the shower would be. The rest became a matter of careful space planning, and selecting all of the products, starting with the plumbing. During a shopping trip to look at tile, the husband’s eyes lit up when he saw cobalt-blue glass mosaic tiles. “That’s my FAVORITE color!” Accents like this can personalize your living environment. As a high priority, you should stretch your budget, like they did, to get what you want. Make tradeoffs in field tile that’s good quality, but not expensive. I highly recommend mostly American-made tile, like American Olean, DalTile, and Florida Tile.

During the design phase, the Homeowners stated their aversion to a swinging door. It didn’t matter which way the door would swing, in or out. It would be in the way. They preferred a pocket door to a trendy “barn door”. But there was a built-in medicine cabinet on one side of the door, and switches were located on the other side. The solution became a double-thick wall, so the Homeowners could have what they wanted.

Bathroom exhaust fans are very important, but their importance increases considerably in a new basement bathroom. It’s the nature of basements to be damp, especially in older homes where moisture can wick through the walls and floors. The temperature can vary, affected by mechanical equipment and ducts. The Homeowners selected a Panasonic FV15VQ5 quiet exhaust fan that would provide one full air exchange every 4.8 minutes. To maintain an even temperature, they chose to install radiant floor heating.

Creating a new bathroom is more expensive than remodeling an existing bathroom. According to the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report for Portland, the average investment for a new bathroom is $60,096, with an average ROI of 62.95%. The average investment to remodel an existing bathroom is $36,506, with an ROI of 69.95%. The personal value of a new bathroom is greater, because it can be anything you want it to be to fit your lifestyle and your needs. Establishing a realistic budget, keeping a project spreadsheet, and making necessary tradeoffs is very important.

See before and after pictures of this project .

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