6 Important Things to Consider Before Relocating a Bathroom
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Relocating a bathroom can be a tricky task, but once you do a good job of it, your newly renovated bathroom will help you up the value of your house. It will provide you with some of the highest resale returns on investment. So, how to shift your old, dysfunctional bathroom to a new part of your home without being encumbered by a lot of unnecessary hassles? By planning well and preempting any problem in the process.
Keep in mind that you will require to make major changes when relocating a bathroom:
- Constructing a new plumbing system
- Removing the old flooring
- Creating a step or a threshold for the bath
- Installing new floor and wall tiles
- Adding new faucets, fixtures, a bathtub or a shower, and cabinets
To help you move your bathroom easily, we will share some important considerations that you must keep in mind.
1. Your bathroom’s new location
Any change in the bathroom floorplan is not easy. Altering where you place the toilet, sink, or bathtub will cost you big bucks. To move any plumbing fixture more than three feet, you will have to shell out anything between $500 to $1000.
Also, the possibility of certain changes will depend on what type of dwelling you are renovating. Moving a bathroom in an apartment is not the same as moving one in a house. In an apartment, you share the downspout with neighbors so relocating a bathroom will be a little more complex.
In a single-family house, this kind of project tends to be easier because you can change pipes, downspouts and other facilities without disturbing anyone, though that would require a fairly large budget.
2. Plumbing access
Your bathroom has a network of pipes that must be interconnected according to the right diameter, shape, and slope. It is this system of pipes – along with the thickness of any tile and the location of vertical ducts – that can prevent homeowners from moving a bathroom from one area of the house to another.
Make sure that the new location you choose for your bathroom is conducive to proper plumbing and other connections.
3. Your downpipe
The downpipe allows for the proper evacuation of wastewater. All bathroom fittings connect to this downpipe by horizontal pipes, which must be placed with a slight downward slope. This is to prevent the potentially blocking of the sewerage system. Since the toilet produces the most wastewater, its horizontal pipe should have the most prominent slope.
In the best-case scenario, new bathroom fixtures are easily connected to this pipe (which will not eat into your renovation budget). Introducing multi-level systems (second stories and basements) or additional fixtures could force you to start ripping out walls and ceilings just to get to the downpipe. If you are planning on using premium fixtures or custom trims, this simple problem could turn into a costly expenditure.
If you want to move a bathroom, you need to determine the location of your downpipe and analyze if it is possible to create a new network of sloping horizontal pipes from the new location to the downspout.
4. Height of the bathroom fittings
The higher the fitting is, the longer the horizontal pipes can travel without breaking through the floor. “Height” refers not only to the actual height but also for the distance from the downspout to each fitting. You must place the toilet closest to the downpipe, followed by the shower, tub, and the sink — in this very particular order.
When you are designing a new location, you should keep this bathroom layout in mind and determine if it is applicable to the area you have available.
5. Relocation costs
Never begin any remodeling unplanned. It’s best if you’re armed with a reliable bathroom remodel cost estimate before moving your bathroom.
The video below will guide you through the steps.
Plumbing is one of the most expensive areas of bathroom remodeling. However, it’s the first thing that needs to be looked into while relocating a bathroom. The national average for installing plumbing is about $13,500. This includes labor charges, materials and supplies, bathroom fixtures, and removal as well as disposal fees.
If your new location is near your existing plumbing, your bathroom renovation cost will be lesser.
When you are relocating your bathroom to another area, you will also need to factor in electrical or any other mechanical work involved.
6. Local zoning regulations
Generally, such a detailed renovation needs a building permit. Especially if you’re moving any bathroom fixture. The permits vary from one county to another but typically cost around $75.
Changing the location of a bathroom depends on many factors, including the distribution of pipes, fixtures, walls, etc.
When contemplating a bathroom relocation, it’s a good idea to bring in a licensed plumber. They will guide you if this kind of renovation is possible or not. Moreover, they will also advise you about the cost factors.
Many renovations around the house are “DIY” projects. But, for major bathroom work such as this, with its complexity of plumbing configurations, hiring a professional is a smart move and definitely worth the money.
Keep all the above factors in mind and renovate your bathroom in its perfect location.
MORE: Hire the right contractor by checking permit history, experience and overall online reputation in one place. Take advantage of our Pro Fact Sheets.
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