How to Build a Shower in a Basement


Adding a basement shower can increase the value of your home.
Installing a basement shower can add value and versatility to your home, providing more convenience for you and your family. But first, you need to do a quick feasibility check. If your sewer main and water heater are both in the basement, the project will be within the scope of an amateur do-it-yourselfer. If your drainage is higher than your proposed shower location, the project becomes exponentially more difficult. These directions assume your sewer main and water lines are reasonably accessible and appropriately placed.

  • Saw
  • Sewer pipe
  • Water pipes
  • Measuring tape
  • Plumber's glue
  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Shower unit

Prepare and Measure

Check with local laws and make sure you have the proper permits and permissions for the project.

Locate the main sewer line exiting your house. Measure the distance from this line to where the drain of your shower will be.

Locate the hot and cold water pipes. Measure the distance from these lines to where your taps will be.

Cut your drainage pipes. You'll need one pipe running vertically downward, one pipe running the horizontal distance from the main sewer line to your drainage, elbow joints for each connection and a T-joint to connect the new pipes to the sewer line.

Cut your water pipes. You'll need one running the distance from each pipe to your tap and an additional pipe running from your taps to your shower head. Some shower units will come with the shower head pipe. You will also need two T-joints for connecting the pipes to your water system.

Install the Sewer Line

Dig a trench if necessary, depending on the height of your sewer line and that of your shower drain.

Turn off the water to your house. Check with your sewer service to find out if you need to take additional steps to clear out your drainage system.

Cut a length of your sewer line out, about 4 inches narrower than your T-joint.

Coat the edges of the cut line with plumber's glue. Install the T-joint. Coat the seams with more plumber's glue.

Install the drainage pipe from the T-joint to the shower drain. Glue ends and seams just as you did with the T-joint.

Install Water Pipes

Turn off the water if you haven't already. Let your taps run until the water stops coming.

Cut a gap in your hot water pipe 2 inches narrower than the T-joint. Do the same for your cold water pipe.

Install the T-joints just as you did with the sewer system.

Install connecting pipes, leading from the water pipes to where your shower unit will be. Glue each component in place as you did with the T-joints.

Install the Shower

Move your shower unit into place.

Anchor the shower unit according to the directions that came with the unit.

Connect your main drain and overflow drain (if applicable) to your sewer line according to the directions that come with the unit.

Connect your taps to your shower head, if necessary.

Connect your water lines to the taps according to the directions that came with the unit.

Caulk all seams to prevent leakage.

Turn on the sewage and water lines. Do not fill in any trenches or replace any wall paneling until you've established that the system works without leaking.

Tips and Warnings

  • When buying pipes for the sewer and your water, check the pipes already installed in your house and match the material and size. It's much easier to install like pipes with like pipes.

Article images courtesy of:
Shower Image by Dragan Trifunovic From

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