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Thread: Basement Raised Shower: Add a "step up" riser

  1. #1

    Default Basement Raised Shower: Add a "step up" riser

    I will be putting a shower in the basement with 8' ceilings. I already have the roughed-in ejector pump basin, unused/separate 2" vent through roof, and toilet flange drain connected beneath the concrete to the basin. The shower drain is about 3' from the pump basin
    I'll be raising the shower pan off the concrete floor approx. 8"-10 to accommodate the P trap.
    Is the approx. 8" step up/step down to get in/out of the shower too much?
    I was thinking of adding a step up riser and possible longer tread the width of the shower door for functional reasons in getting in and out, but also for aesthetics.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A raised shower always looks like a bandaid...I suggest you do it right and crack some concrete, put the trap below the floor then build a traditionally built shower. Resale will be better. If the room is quite large, you could build a raised platform so there wouldn't be as big a step up or out of the thing, but think of this...your feet will be wet, and that's actually larger than a recommended step...not the safest situation.

    Check out www.johnbridge.com for help on tiling a shower. Personally, I found Kerdi from www.schluter.com works really well and solves some problems many people don't realize they have. Not that a conventionally built shower doesn't work, it does, but this is the next generation.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default shower

    Do you want a shower that will always look like it was installed by a "technically deficient" handyman? If so put it up on blocks. Otherwise break the concrete and install the pump,drains, and shower properly.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You won't find much support here for raising a bathroom floor to fit plumbing. Most of us are either professional plumber whose profession it is to do things right or serious DIYers who do not seek the seemingly easy way. Too often, a homeowner sees breaking out concrete as a lot more work than they feel able to deal with so raising the floor appears to be the simplest thing to do. Unfortunately, it is a decision that he will have to live with forever. When he shows off his work to friends, they'll nod and seem to understand when he explain why he did it, but none of them will say what is really on their mind, that this is a "hack" job. If you don't feel breaking out concrete is something you want to handle, there are professionals than can do it. A new bathroom is an expensive job. Don't make it look cheap by raising the floor.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for everyone's professional input. I wan't sure if this was a viable option so glad I asked. I'll definately scratch the raised option and may break up the concrete down the road if I even opt to put in a shower or tub. The 1/2 bath is already roughed in for sink and toilet, but I was looking at adding the shower as a "nice to have feature", even though the basement doesn't have any bedroom spaces. Anyway, I'm the type of person that likes to do things the right way so glad I asked. I just added a sink to the bar I'm building and was planning ahead on the plumbing. I need to get the bar finished first! Thanks again.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Rich, you made a wise decision not to raise the floor, but don't give up on the shower now. The time to add a shower is now while you are in the remodeling mode. The least expensive way to break out the concrete is DIY, but this is more effort and mess than lots of guys want to do and put up with, but it is doable. The quickest and cleanest way is to hire a professional concrete cutting company to do the job. They will very quickly and neatly cut out what is necessary, remove the debris, and there will be virtually no dust in the house.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I use a skil saw with a diamond blade to score 2 cuts as deep as the saw goes. I use a spray bottle to keep it wet so there is no dust (don't get crazy with the water it is an electric saw) then I whack the center of the cut to rubble... Done deal quick easy and cheap! The saw cut looks good on top and the rough break under is good for adhesion when repouring the slab.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Rich, you made a wise decision not to raise the floor, but don't give up on the shower now. The time to add a shower is now while you are in the remodeling mode. The least expensive way to break out the concrete is DIY, but this is more effort and mess than lots of guys want to do and put up with, but it is doable. The quickest and cleanest way is to hire a professional concrete cutting company to do the job. They will very quickly and neatly cut out what is necessary, remove the debris, and there will be virtually no dust in the house.
    I need to pull the lid off the cover (flush with floor) and double check. I'm pretty sure the basin has just one (1) influent line that runs from the stool flange (already roughed-in). What type of connector is used after the shower P trap to make the connection into the existing influent line?

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You should be able to use a Y, with the inlet being 2" for a shower. The sink probably already connects in that manner. You need a vent for the shower, but it can run around and connect to the one from the sump at least 42" above the floor. The pros will double-check me on this...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member ingeborgdot's Avatar
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    That's what I ended up doing. Tore out some concrete and put in new drains. Should look and work great when all is done.

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