Basement bathroom - full or half?

freezetagFebruary 19, 2008

When we discuss finishing our basement, dh and I can never agree about what sort of bathroom it should have. There is rough-in plumbing for a sink, toilet and tub, but I don't see the point in having a tub (or even a shower) in the basement.

We currently have two full baths upstairs, and a half-bath on the main floor. Dh thinks that, because we have four kids, someday we'll need another tub or shower (they're currently 12 and under, so they don't shower excessively yet). But all the bedrooms are upstairs (as well as the laundry and linen closet), so I wonder whether anyone would use a basement shower.

The only way I see it being useful is if we put in another bedroom in the basement. Two of the kids share a room, and we did at one time talk about adding another bedroom in the basement, but no one wanted to move down there by themself, so we have dropped that idea for now.

Do any of you have a full bath in the basement? If so, do you use it much?

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clayfarmer

I vote for a full bath. When your kids get older, they'll want a bedroom in the basement. Also, a full bath would probably increase the value of your home. Just my $0.02

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 6:00PM
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fnmroberts

I also support the full bath (at least a shower).

We put a second kitchen in ours and when having the house appraised several years ago the realtor gave an interesting perspective. Said that in these times, many graduated college students return home for awhile. Having a independent living space for such would be of value.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 7:09AM
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charliedawg

I definitely vote for the full bath. You are already talking about how someday their bedroom might be in the basement so you might as well do it now. It will be 10x more expensive to add it later.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 7:14AM
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Brewbeer

If you are gonna finish a 1/2 bath, you might as well include a shower. The incremental cost of including the shower is relatively low to the total cost of the 1/2 bath.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 7:21AM
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kathyanddave

I'm going to go aginst the grain and vote for a 1/2 bath. We also had this delima, and a good friend helped solve it. She told me that she had a shower in her basement which of course noone ever used since all the bedrooms were upstairs, and when they had an exterminator come out for an influx of cockroaches in their house he told her that they were getting in through the drain in the downstairs shower since it was always dry. After he treated the house he told her to make sure that once a week she turned on the shower and let water run for a while to keep it from happening. I think it sounds like you have plenty of places to take a shower or bath, and who is going to want to carry all their clothes down a level or two to take a shower anyway (or run dripping wet with a towel around you upstairs) :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 9:08AM
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bungeeii

Our main floor master bath has a shower and a tub. Our upstairs with 2 bedrooms and a loft has a bathroom with a tub/shower unit. Our main floor bathroom is a 1/2 bath only.

When we planned our basement, my wife planned a spare room for guests. It is mainly for those possible guests that we plumbed our basement bathroom with a shower unit.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:11AM
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funnycide

We installed a bathroom with a shower when we finished our basement. The main reason is when we have guests stay overnight they stay in the basement because we do not have a guest room. I don't know if that would be a considertion for you. If you want to leave the option of having a kid live in the basement than do a shower. Don't bother with a tub just a shower.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 12:34PM
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dgmarie

You say it's already plumbed for a tub or shower? Then to me this is a no brainer. Add the shower to the bathroom. You don't need a tub, and you will not only add value to your home but also increase flexibility in the future. Putting in a pre fab shower stall is not very expensive.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 4:28PM
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backsweat

We have a basement bath w/shower and its been used a grand total of maybe 4 times in 4 years. If it's roughed in, may make sense for a basic shower, but I wouldn't bother with a tub. We have 2 younger kids, maybe it'll get used more when their older or have friends stay over. Keep it simple and don't go overboard. At the end of the day, bed or no bed, it's a basement.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:51PM
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dgmarie

Well, there are basements and there are basements...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 3:54PM
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livvysmom

My father put a full bathroom in his basement condo (have no idea why, two full baths upstairs - no one will ever use it). He also said he was going to take a shower down there once a week so the drain does not get dry. Sounds like a chore.

Basements are usually cold and I like warm areas to shower.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 8:43AM
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betaiota

The question I have is about your potential basement bedroom(s)- do they have egress windows or is the foundation a walkout? If so, then I say install the shower. If those rooms don't have the large windows for egress in case of a fire, then you cannot according to code have a bedroom down there, so then you should skip the shower.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 11:29AM
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pete_p_ny

If it was me, I would say no and focus on using the money saved in yearly tax increases to save for the 4 kids college education. With all the negative news I hear regarding the economy and the debt people are in, I think people need to take a step back and focus less on redoing homes.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:30PM
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sniffdog

Is the basement a walk out or walk up? If there is access to outside, then a full bath can come in handy if you have pets - or like to garden. It might be a great place to hose dogs or kids off when they get trashed in the mud.

When I finished my basement I added a full bath not really knowing if I would ever use it - just figured it better for re-sale. I didn't spend a lot of money - used a fiberglass two piece unit for the tub and shower walls. After that we got a few dogs - boy did that thing get used a lot.

The money you get back on re-sale for a full bath is worth the few extra dollars to add that in now. Just don't go crazy with the materials.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 11:36AM
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dgmarie

Posted by pete_p_ny (My Page) on Sun, Mar 2, 08 at 20:30

If it was me, I would say no and focus on using the money saved in yearly tax increases to save for the 4 kids college education. With all the negative news I hear regarding the economy and the debt people are in, I think people need to take a step back and focus less on redoing homes.

Nowhere did the OP state this was some financial hardship. It's a bathroom, not an indoor swimming pool.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:37PM
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mainecoonkitty

I agree with the full bath. Our house is being built on 8 acres with a walkout basement and there will most certainly be muddy dogs and muddy feet to deal with. The family has been warned that all muddy feet and wet or dirty clothes will be left in the basement and off my hardwood floors or there will be hell to pay!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 10:26AM
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marys1000

I'm in the Midwest and while it seems common to me, I don't know that its a fact regionally...but it seems that men in particular like having their "man shower" down in their "man cave" that they don't have to get fussed over about. Or in my sisters case her "woman shower" since her husband is a total controlling neat freak and insists on squeeging after every shower. So she uses the cheap fiberglass stall in the unfinished part of the basement. I just looked at a house for sale - by the kitchen door that comes in from outside the wife insisted the husband take the half bath and put in a shower - he wasn't allowed any further into the house till he'd used it.
And as a gardener and pet owner - I'm with sniffdog.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:24AM
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