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How to Install a Basement Shower

One of the best returns on your basement-remodeling dollar is the installation of bathroom features. A basement shower will raise your home's value and provide a handy amenity. Due to the sub-grade environment, however, you will have to take precautions regarding water damage when you install your shower.

Install a basement shower.

Things You Will Need

  • Fiberglass shower enclosure
  • Drain
  • Trap fixture
  • Water feeds
  • Water faucets
  • Gravity-flow sewer system (or sewer lift)
  • Dimensional lumber
  • Hand tools for framing and plumbing
  • Sledgehammer or jackhammer
  • Sheetrock
  • Access panel

One of the best returns on your basement-remodeling dollar is the installation of bathroom features.  A basement shower will raise your home's value and provide a handy amenity.

Due to the sub-grade environment, however, you will have to take precautions regarding water damage when you install your shower. 

  1. Locate the drain that was installed when the concrete for your basement was poured. This is a pipe that sticks out of the floor, often with only sand surrounding it. Your drainage will run into this pipe. Although you may locate the shower anywhere in the basement, most people find it easier to place the shower close to the drain.
  2. Locate and design your basement shower so that it will be easily accessible.
  3. Break out a section of flooring where you want to install the shower plumbing. When the basement contractors poured the concrete, they reinforced it with rebar or mesh. Remove this reinforcement to provide space beneath the shower drain to install the trap.
  4. Ventilate your shower drain into your home's outside vent stack if possible. If it is inaccessible, purchase and install an auto-vent for the trap that uses a rubber flapper to promote smooth drainage. Without proper shower plumbing, your drain may overflow, resulting in water damage.
  5. Frame in the support structure for your shower. If you use a fiberglass shower enclosure, refer to the manufacturer's specifications for constructing the frame. Install the plumbing for your water source in an interior wall in order to place an access panel in the adjoining room for easy access. Consider any future remodeling plans you may have for your basement when placing the panel.
  6. Insert and secure the fiberglass enclosure panels and double-check your shower plumbing by running water into the drain and observing any leaks. Address all leaks before proceeding, or you may experience water damage later.
  7. Attach faucets and a shower head. Finish your new basement shower with a curtain or an attached shower door, both for privacy and to prevent water damage.
  8. Tip

    Consider contacting a professional plumber for advice if you're not familiar with installing the water source or providing the correct venting for the drain.

    Warning

    If your basement sewer is not equipped with a gravity-flow system, a sewer lift must be installed to pump waste water into the drainage pipes.

Things You Will Need

  • Fiberglass shower enclosure
  • Drain
  • Trap fixture
  • Water feeds
  • Water faucets
  • Gravity-flow sewer system (or sewer lift)
  • Dimensional lumber
  • Hand tools for framing and plumbing
  • Sledgehammer or jackhammer
  • Sheetrock
  • Access panel

Tip

  • Consider contacting a professional plumber for advice if you're not familiar with installing the water source or providing the correct venting for the drain.

Warning

  • If your basement sewer is not equipped with a gravity-flow system, a sewer lift must be installed to pump waste water into the drainage pipes.

About the Author

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Photo Credits

  • shower image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com
  • shower image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com