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How to Finish a Basement Bathroom

Bob Jackson
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by Bob Jackson

How to finish a Basement Bathroom project series for the Do-It-Yourself handyman or homeowner. Links to each construction phase are summarized below, beginning with the bare walls to the finished bathroom, with cost of materials and total days of labor to complete the job.

The toilet, shower and sink empty into a sewage basin set in the concrete slab floor. A sewage ejector pump lifts the effluent overhead to drain into the main sewer line.

Basement Bathroom Finishing Cost

Finished Basement Bathroom: Vanity, Toilet and Shower
Finished Basement Bathroom: Vanity, Toilet and Shower

I did all of the labor working mostly weekends with occasional help from my teenage son. Total labor for this project was about 8 to 10 man-days; I emphasize quality and neatness when working so I may be a little slower than others. Setting the tile is by far the most labor intensive part of the project.

The total material cost to finish the basement bathroom was about $5,600 as follows:

  • $1700 porcelain tile, grout and thinset mortar
  • $500 shower stall bedding cement, metal lathe, shower pan liner, cement backer board, screws, glue, etc.
  • $1000 vanity cabinet, sink, faucet, vanity mirror
  • $600 for copper- and PVC pipe and fittings
  • $100 shower valve
  • $550 sewage pump and high water alarm
  • $150 exhaust fan
  • $200 electrical wiring, junction boxes and misc.
  • $30 building permit
  • $100 2×4 boards and plywood sheeting
  • $350 toilet and fittings
  • $150 towel racks, toilet paper holder
  • $75 paint
  • $100 tile wet saw rental

I already had all the tools necessary for the project except for the tile saw which I rented from Home Depot.

How to Finish a Basement Bathroom

This is a big project described in the following phases:

  1. Part 1 – Project overview, rough-in plumbing connections, painting the walls.
  2. Part 2 – Floor plan and fixture layout, relocate the shower drain in the concrete slab floor.
  3. Part 3 – Build the tile shower stall and shower floor.
  4. Part 4 – Tile measurements and layout.
  5. Part 5 – Tile the shower stall walls and floor.
  6. Part 6 – Solder shut-off valves on the sink and toilet copper water lines.
  7. Part 7 – Installing the shower head and valve. SharkBite solderless fittings.
  8. Part 8 – Hot and cold water copper plumbing connections to the main water lines.
  9. Part 9 – Sewage ejector pump installation and connect to the main sewer line.
  10. Part 10 – PVC sewer and outside air vent plumbing.
  11. Part 11 – High water alarm wiring and installation.
  12. Part 12 – Instal the toilet flange, setting the toilet, hooking up the water line.
  13. Part 13 – Bathroom vanity, sink, faucet, drain and water supply plumbing.
  14. Part 14 – Vanity light and switch electrical wiring and installation. Wiring diagram of the “before” and “after” branch circuits.
  15. Part 15 –  Wiring the light switch. Overview of the GFCI, exhaust fan and vanity light switches.
  16. Part 16 – Wire and install the vanity light.
  17. Part 17 – Bathroom exhaust fan installation overview.
  18. Part 18 – Sewage basin closure and testing for odors; overview of the water and sewer plumbing.

Finished Basement Bathroom Before and After Photos

In the beginning, the basement bathroom was bare walls and concrete slab floor with roughed-in plumbing stubs:

Finish a Basement Bathroom: Plumbing Rough-In
Finish a Basement Bathroom: Plumbing Rough-In

The bare walls and floor were transformed into an attractive basement bathroom:

Finished Basement Bathroom - Toilet and Shower
Finished Basement Bathroom – Toilet and Shower

Before – Hot and cold copper water pipes and PVC drain pipe plumbing rough-in for the toilet and vanity:

Finishing a Basement Bathroom: Plumbing Rough-In for Vanity and Toilet
Finishing a Basement Bathroom: Plumbing Rough-In for Vanity and Toilet

Finished basement bathroom toilet and vanity:

Finished Basement Bathroom - Toilet and Vanity
Finished Basement Bathroom – Toilet and Vanity

Basement bathroom vanity and light:

Another view of finished basement bathroom vanity, door and tile:

Finished Basement Bathroom Vanity
Finished Basement Bathroom Vanity

I hope you find this bathroom project series informative and saves you money by:

  • Helping you plan your Do-It-Yourself project.
  • Understand the scope of work if hiring a contractor and knowing if your getting quality results.

Finish the Basement Bedroom

After completing the basement bathroom, I converted a basement utility room into a nice bedroom in How to Finish a Basement Bedroom.

Thanks for reading,
Bob Jackson

basement bathroom plumbing rough-incost to finish a basement bathroomhow to finish a basement bathroomsewage pump
Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
Technology product manager by day and a prolific handyman in the evenings and over the weekends. Bob was the founder of the original Handyman How To website and that tradition continues on this site with excellent new handyman content into the future.
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