What to consider in basement bathrooms vs standard bathrooms?

Most basements will have a bathroom included in the design or added at a later point. It’s a great way to boost value, improve lifestyle, and add convenience. However, when it comes to designing a basement bathroom, there are some key differences from the main floor bathroom.

Cleland Contracting in Calgary has 15 years of renovation experience. They share what you should consider when planning your basement bathroom:

Bathroom types

Standard bathroom designs will vary depending on the location of the bathroom and overall upstairs needs. A master bathroom, for example, will be more spacious and luxurious than a powder room for the main floor. Basement bathrooms, however, are dependent on the overall space and use of the basement. If you have guest rooms or a suite, then a full-sized bathroom is likely necessary. The right location and space will also affect how large the bathroom will be or whether it can accommodate a full shower and bath or just a shower stall. An entertainment room or living room will likely only need a half-bath or even just a powder room for convenience.

Professional plumbing

Basement plumbing is a lot trickier than upstairs, making it particularly important to leave it to a professional. Most times, the concrete floor in the basement will have to be jackhammered to rough in new plumbing. The easiest installation method is to connect to the plumbing and electricity from upstairs. That way, you can cut costs, and the installation will be easier for your contractor. This might determine the location of your bathroom addition.

Additionally, basements need deeper pipelines than the upstairs to ensure proper drainage. The pipes also need to be bigger than upstairs bathrooms, to provide enough space for the drains. A professional contractor will have the expertise to handle these steps and ensure the quality of your bathroom. Otherwise, an inexperienced DIY attempt risks causing damage and even losing the value of the bathroom.

The right flooring

Heated flooring upstairs is a luxury addition, but it may actually be a necessity in a basement. Basements tend to be colder in general, so you want flooring that won’t add to the cold. Another flooring issue in both basements and bathrooms is moisture and humidity. Hardwood or laminate may look attractive, but they are both prone to warping and become damaged from moisture. For those reasons, ceramic or porcelain tile, or luxury vinyl plank are all excellent and resilient options. They retain heat, work with heated flooring, resist water, and look attractive at the same time.


Main floor bathrooms can often maximize natural lighting by installing a window. Any electrical lighting is then installed with more of a design focus and the visual appeal. Basement bathrooms, even with a larger window and deep window well, don’t have that same luxury. The last thing you want is a dark, gloomy bathroom, which makes proper lighting essential. Recessed lights are perfect for overall lighting and won’t take up a lot of visual or physical space. Dual vanity lights will provide plenty of task lighting and won’t cast harsh shadows. Install a secondary task light in the shower, such as recessed, to help chase away any dark spots or shadows.

General Contractors in Calgary

With over 15 years of renovation expertise and customer satisfaction, Cleland Contracting are renovation experts. They pride themselves on their attention to detail both in their work and their customer’s needs and wants. Their services cover a full range from home renovations, deck and fence installation, basement renovations, and more. So, no matter what you need, Cleland Contracting is ready to help.

Contact Cleland Contracting now!

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