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Friday, July 3, 2015

Basement Bathroom 2.0

The next step in the basement adventure was finishing the roughed in full bath. This will give us a total of 4 bathrooms which will be a great selling point and plus entertaining in the basement will be a lot easier with facilities down there.

In addition to the water lines and drains they finished all of the drywall which made my life much easier. The fun began when I started to scope out how I was going to wire the entire room starting with one solitary outlet, no lights, switches, fan mechanism or anything.

I didnt take any pics while the electrical was being done but you can see a few of the many holes/patchwork I had to do to fish wires all over the room and the beginning of the sconces that will flank the sink/mirror.

Total cost: ~$1000

We decided to go with a wood tone accent wall. Was thinking about a reclaimed theme like fellow Ryan bloggers dwtimes2.blogspot.com but didn't have a decent resource close to here so it was cost prohibitive.

After much cutting and banging the full wall is done. The pedestal sink and builder mirror are there just for placement and will be gone shortly :) Still need to find a good stain for the edge trim.

Here is the new floating vanity and modern faucet installed. Now its sitting on a bucket as I had some plumbing to do to get everything running properly.

When the vanity went in, being that this space is typically meant for a pedestal sink, there wasnt much elbow room next to the toilet. Which means only one thing (since we love the vanity)...move the toilet drain!

It was a little intimidating at first, but after I got the hang of the jack hammer, it was actually kind of fun :)  I needed to move it to the right about 6-8".

Goodbye, old toilet flange...

While I was doing the toilet, I took a look over at the other side of the room which had the shower drain, which was VERY inconveniently installed right up against the wall. That is completely incompatible with any shower pan so this drain needed to be adjusted as well and since I already had the jack hammer running... :-)

Sink now hung, faucet, water lines and drain fully functional

Started tiling the floor, stopped right before the shower drain while we figure out whats going to happen there.

We decided on a neo-style frameless corner shower stall with privacy glass, very modern looking.
This is just a test placement for spacing measurements. The door swings very wide so were thinking about an alternative idea for the entrance.

The one thing they didn't do was put the water resistant drywall behind the shower, ugh. So I purchased a couple of Wonderboard cement sheets which is required since the tile and grout are permeable and will not protect the wall from getting wet and generating mold.

I have seen people install the cement board right on top of drywall which  makes a little bump out that would be a pain to tile so in order to make the new boards even with the wall I needed to remove the exact size and insert the cement into the cut out.

Inserted, taped and mortar applied.

Now the cement walls and floor need to be waterproofed in case of any leakage. Risk is reduced due to this being the basement with a cement floor, but mold is always a concern. 
Redgard is the standard product for this process and is readily available. Unfortunately, its $50/gallon.

You simply paint two or three coats of it on the floor and a few feet up the walls and it dries as a rubber 100% waterproof membrane. You could paint the entire wall but it is really meant to protect areas from sitting/pooling water which would really only happen near the bottom. Properly grouted and sealed tiles should handle any other moisture. I covered the seams as well for an added layer of of protection at those vulnerable points. 

It goes on light pink and dries to a bright pink/red. Wait for each coat to dry before applying additional ones and carefully examine corners and joints for missed/exposed spots.

Let the tiling begin!

Shower pan foundation in place. If youre making your own like us be VERY detailed in your measurements and angles. These are 22.5 degrees for this layout.

Complete the tile...


Left the center tiles open to handle the plumbing handle/shower head
Nice mosaic accent tiles for this area. 

And details for the bottom front edge of the pan which gets covered in cement board and Redgard for a complete waterproof pan

Cement board going around the edge of the pan

Cover the seams in fiberglass tape and mortar

 Now I needed to add some slanted pipe and joins to move the drain further away from the wall as I really had zero clearance.

Filled with gravel aggregate, always keep a bag in your drain to keep things from falling in there.

Cemented and graded just a little to keep water from pooling in the corners

Now Redgard-ing the floor again up over the edge of the pan sides for an additional waterproof layer. The sealant goes all the way to the edge of the drain.

The square shaped Kohler drain is a 3-piece gadget which raises the floor of the shower about 1-1/4".
So I added two additional layers of cement board to gain some height.

Taped for protection

More Redgard applied

I went up the tile about a 1/2" just for overkill

The red on the sides will be covered up with edging tile cuts

Now the pan is ready for tile, laid some out for a visual, and started the decorative front edge

Adds some nice character to the front

Top edge tiled with flooring pieces.

Just keep swimming...


Now to get some water running in here. First comes the shower valve and rainfall head.

Handle on

Of course the 2x4 hit exactly in the middle of the plumbing space, had to trim it, will replace cross piece when done.

Plumbing done, a 2x4 goes behind this piece for stability

Door, rainfall shower head.

Looking sexy :)

Toilet drain all buttoned up and ready for install


Still toying with the idea of darker wall color and leaving the trim its natural color as it kind of fits the palette. And YES, that oval builder mirror is on its way out as soon as we find something suitable.

Next up: Showcase Wall & Deck 3.0!


  1. So far, so good. It seems that you are really looking ahead. What a basement simply needs is for it to be waterproof and immune from flooding, as well as remove all traces of molds that are present to begin with. It must not always be kept fresh, but also set up to be fresh. Thanks for this sharp breakdown of your basement.

    Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions

  2. Looks great as always!!! Good alternative to the nature preclaimed wood wall. Looks awesome, thanks for the shout out! WE are kinda come to a stand still on projects, we have been in vacation mode this summer, so we hope to get some more BIG things done over the winter months. Your house in completely decked out, you are going to run out of things soon ya know.!! hahahah

    1. Thanks! We had a big July 4th thing so needed to get that bath done, our vacation mode is almost here too! Cant wait. Still have a few good projects up our sleeve, we shall see :)

  3. you guys are my heroes! and instrumental in convincing hubs to DIY our unfinished areas in our Rome including the powder room. looks very awesome!!

    1. Thank you, glad we could help :) Cant wait to see your progress!

  4. Your basement is so sexy and inviting. You guys did a fantastic job, Love it!