Adding a bathroom from scratch involves the question of where to add it conveniently and economically. Because of the standard sizes of fixtures, bath sizes are more or less set, and their economics are predictable. Therefore the cost of materials and fixtures can readily be determined by a quick search of home improvement sites and fixture companies online. Many companies, such as Kohler, American Standard, and Jacuzzi offer coordinated lines of fixtures, bath furniture, and accessories. An estimate of costs for tile and bathroom fixtures is determined solely by your imagination and wallet.
The cost of contractors, electricians, and plumbers varies according to location. You can control and limit some of your contractor costs by carefully choosing where to add an extra bathroom. Adding a bathroom is first and foremost based on the space you have. Can you fit another bathroom into your house? Most contractors say probably yes. You can limit floor space and reduce costs by adding a shower bathroom. If you want a tub, you will need a little more space. About the only concession you may need to make with tight fit spaces is to hang the door so it opens outward – into the hall or adjoining room.
Basement Bathroom Costs
When adding an extra bathroom to a house, especially in a basement, it is less expensive to have the fixtures installed on one “wet wall” - that is the one with the current piping. Although this is not always your first choice for your desired bathroom layout, it does save a great deal in plumbing costs. Theoretically, you can put plumbing wherever you like for an extra bathroom; but when you add a bathroom, you must tie into existing pipes. Plumbing — either extending old lines or adding new ones — can be costly. Try to add your bathroom under, over, or next to another bath, kitchen, or laundry room. The farther you go from existing plumbing, the higher the costs. And the closer you are to old plumbing, the easier it is to hide new pipes.
You may have to run the pipes in odd ways to avoid weakening your studs or joists. You can run water pipes but not sewer pipes through joists. Waste pipes have to go under, over, or between the joists in floors and ceilings. Thinking about adding a bathroom in the basement? In a basement there is just one place for the waste-disposal line – under the floor. The most practical way to tie into existing sewer lines is to chop up the concrete floor, lay the new line, then re-cement – this can be costly. The closer your bathroom is to the main stack and water lines, the easier the job will be – and the cheaper.
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Tips to Reduce Cost
Consider expanding a small bathroom inside the home or converting a half bath to full bath.
Conversely, think about adding a powder room with a sizable vanity cabinet instead of a full bath. If you have a two-story home with an upstairs bath only, a first-floor powder room will be more than worth the relatively small cost of installing it.
When choosing a shower, remember that a shower curtain and rod is less expensive than glass doors.
Two sinks in tandem is a good way to solve the morning rush-hour problem; sometimes it can be a low-cost alternative to adding another bathroom.
New shelves and cabinets can relieve a storage problem.
Simply adding new accessories or a fresh coat of paint can do much for the appearance of an old bathroom at a relatively small cost.
New tiling or carpeting will rejuvenate an outdated bathroom without an overwhelming expense.