Installing new 2nd floor bathroom - raised floor?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jharryman, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. jharryman

    jharryman New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    chicago
    Hi. First off, I'm a homeowner so forgive me if this sounds crazy. I have a 2 story house and want to install a new bathroom on the second floor. I would like to do this without disturbing the 1st floor ceiling and was thinking that I could raise the floor where the new bathroom will go so that the pipes can be installed under it. I realize it is not typical but can it be done? The finished bathroom would be in the master bedroom but would require a step up to get into it. (There is enough height to accommodate this.) The toilet would sit close to the main stack in the house. The sink would be about 4' away and the shower about 8' away from the central stack. As long as there's enough height to pitch the pipes properly, this should work, shouldn't it? I've been told 1/8" for every foot is the rule of thumb.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,798
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bath

    1. That pipe you intend to hook the toilet to, is the vent for the first floor so you CANNOT do it.
    2. Some codes allow 1/8" for 3" drains, although just as many require 1/4", and all codes require 1/4" for the smaller drains.
    3. You might have to raise the floor about 8" to accomodate the required piping, and that would create a tripping/falling hazard, plusmight DECREASE the value of you home because it would probably turn off most potential buyers.
    4. You might NOT have to damage the lower level ceiling, (once you figure out how to get a new drain line to the upstairs), depending on HOW you arrange the fixtures, and how the floor is constructed.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,110
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Ditto what hj said.
    Especially about the trip hazards.

    Removing part of a ceiling is not a big deal.
    The drywall contractor I use, he makes the ceiling look better then ever, for very little money.

    [​IMG]
  4. jharryman

    jharryman New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    chicago
    Thanks guys. AS to HJ's first caution, there is actually a bathroom already on the 2nd floor. It used to be a second apartment. our plan is to renovate this bathroom and install a second one (master suite) where the kitchen used to be. These 2 rooms share a wall. It's almost as if the 2 toilets would be placed back to back by the stack. Does that change your concern about the venting? I figured it's easier to run the water to the sink more easily than it is to run the discharge from the toilet, am I correct? The shower would be the farthest away from that main stack. As for the step up, i would make it a formal step and it would be in the master bedroom so I don't think it's particularly hazardous. I agree it may turn some buyers off, but I for one would find it unique and charming. My biggest concern is the finished ceiling height since my boyfriend and I are both tall. I could break into the ceiling below - it is where the kitchen is and there is room for a soffett- but we are trying to minimize the impact on our living space downstairs. Although, should I have a problem in the future, like a leaky pipe, maybe pipes contained under a floor are not the best plan.....?
  5. export!

    export! DIY Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Don't do something gimicky upstairs to save the very limited trouble of repairing some drywall. Especially if, as you say, there is room for a bulkhead. If you were ripping out cabinetry to modify a ceiling that would be a diffferent scenario. You can tent off the area and minimize the mess of drywall finishing. Emphasis on "minimize".

    I'll let HJ comment on "unique and charming".
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The access to a stack makes things a little easier. Getting slope is tricky no matter what you do. But have you considered doing the work by taking up all the subfloor on the second floor, rather than the ceiling down below. Some of both might be the least amount of work.
  7. jharryman

    jharryman New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    chicago
    Yes, we would take up the subfloor upstairs, but there probably isn't enough depth to lay the pipe at the neccessary pitch per distances to/from the stack. The shower is the farthest away - about 12 feet away (maybe a little less). So that would need, what, 8" of depth? I do not think the subfloor is that deep. Plus, the joists run perpendicular to the way the pipes need to run. You'd have to put holes in the joists and that would make them weaker I've been told. So that's why I thought "raise the floor up a step". Maybe I should just bust up the kitchen ceiling. I do not have to demo any cabinets, but to get at the area where the pipes / soffett would go you'd have to stand on the kitchen counter / sink.

    Thanks much for everyone's advice. It's much appreciated.
  8. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I would change my design layout for the new bathroom, before I'd build up the floor 8" like you're thinking. It's not charming or unique, it's just awkward & ugly. It suggest poor workmanship, hackery, and provokes one to wonder, what else might be screwed up about the house.

    I wouldn't bore holes in 12' worth of joists, either. Again, re-think your design layout, come up with something more practical.

    Remodeling, like politics, is the art of the possible.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Ditto what Frenchie said. A raised floor is the sign of a hack.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,798
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    floor

    quote; agree it may turn some buyers off, but I for one would find it unique and charming. My biggest concern is the finished ceiling height since my boyfriend and I are both tall.

    I believe some people thought the Yugo automobile was "unique and charming" also, but they still got burned after buying them. Ceiling height will be a HUGE factor. Normally people want the HIGHEST ceiling possible in a master bath, NOT a lower one which could be claustrophobic to some people.
  11. Faye Smith

    Faye Smith Interior Designer

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    REMOVING the toilet platform


    This is a question based on the above responses.

    I have moved into a 1927 house that has undergone several remodeling and remuddlings. I'm guessing, but at some point an upstairs closet was made into a bathroom. The toilet is on a platform, and it looks positively ridiculous. It's not quaint, it's just wrong. I can appreciate that some people need to raise a toilet because it's in a basement, but this is an upstairs situation. I would rather have a fir down in the ceiling below than have a toilet on a platform, with people's feet dangling down while they do their business.

    I've seen a few websites say how TO make the platform, but none say how not have one if you already do. I'm ready to take this room down to stud during the whole remodel, so don't shy back with invasive advice.

    Thoughts?
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