By Elizabeth McGrath
When you're ready to finally begin construction on that new basement bath, we have the tips you need to help make it more affordable. Save money on plumbing, fixtures, hardware and more when you shop savvy and plan ahead.
1. Position Your Basement Bathroom Directly Below Your Upstairs Bath
If there's one thing that's going to blow your budget right away, it's having to install new drain and water lines on the other side of the house. Play it smart and place your new basement bath just below the one upstairs. This limits the amount of piping your plumber will have to install, making the project easier on your budget.
2. Install a Drop Ceiling with Acoustic Tiles
Your new basement bath needs a ceiling, so why not install one that looks great, allows deceptively easy access to water lines and ductwork, and helps deaden the noise from upstairs? You can get all three in one fell swoop when you add a drop ceiling with acoustic panels. Acoustic panels are designed to absorb noise instead of transferring it, which translates into a quieter basement sanctuary. And if you ever need to access your ductwork due to a water pipe leak in the ceiling, it's an easy chore to remove a ceiling panel and make a quick repair.
3. Opt for Laminate Flooring
Hardwood is lovely, and it'll increase the value of your home when professionally installed, but it's a no-go in the basement. To get that same warm and cozy appeal, opt for laminate flooring instead. Cold and moisture are two culprits that affect the floor of a basement, but by purchasing a nice-quality laminate floor that's specially manufactured for basements, you'll get a sound product that increases the attractiveness and functionality of your space.
4. Go Vintage
A cheap, builder's grade mirror over the sink may not sound impressive, but if you frame it out with molding strips or a vintage mirror frame, you'll create an upscale appeal. And wall art isn't the only feature in your new basement bath that will benefit from a little vintage charm. Hit the estate sales and recycle shops for faucets and fixtures, towel racks, sinks, cabinetry, drawer hardware and even your bathtub. Recycled vintage dressers can be converted into console units to hold sinks and plumbing. They're relatively easy to recondition, and you can customize them to fit the bathroom sink of your dreams. According to Homeadviser.com, the cost to add a second bath begins at $3,000, but you can shave dollars off this figure by buying second-hand.
5. Use Up the Leftovers
Find a pricey glass tile that you simply must have in the new basement bath? Leave it at the home store. Write down the name and identifying numbers, and search for other people's leftovers online instead. When other shoppers purchase too much of any product, their overcompensation can be your savings—especially if the item was custom-made.
A basement bath is a huge convenience for homeowners who intend to use their basements for more than just storage. Whether you've already finished your basement, or it's next on your list of things to do, these tips will help you cut expenses when it comes time to build out the bath.