If your basement will serve primarily as a space for entertaining, you may need only a powder room instead of a full bathroom. Because a powder room is a small space with only a toilet and sink, your remodeling budget may stretch to include striking materials, such as stone tiles for the walls and a stylish sink with gooseneck faucet.
If your basement will include a guest suite or a bedroom for a parent or a teen, a full bath is a must. Just because it's in the basement doesn't mean the bath can't be as luxurious as one upstairs. A curved-front sink and walk-in shower are two luxury features in this lower-level guest bathroom. Rough-hewn stone tiles in a variety of shapes and sizes add visual interest to the space.
If the basement bathroom will be used by children, include a step stool to help little ones reach the sink. Unused paint cans (available at home improvement centers) are attached to the wall to hold fresh towels and add a colorful accent to the room.
Lighting is important anywhere in the basement but especially so in the bathroom. When planning a basement bathroom, remember lighting fixtures in the shower area must have waterproof lenses. Ceiling lights in front of this wall-size mirror illuminate the vanity and provide ambient lighting.
Just as in an upstairs bathroom, you'll want to choose materials with functionality and style in mind. Stone tiles are a popular choice for floors and walls because they are durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean.
In this tiny, practical corner, there are six different surfaces. Because they're complementary in texture and tone, visual harmony prevails.
Mirrors stretch wall to wall and countertop to ceiling to make this modest 5x7-foot basement bathroom seem bigger than it is. The mirror also increases light by creating the illusion of double the windows and bouncing back illumination from light fixtures.
Checkerboard wallpaper is visually busy, but the perspective is enhanced by the mirror reflection, making the room seem deeper. A sink that measures 18 inches front to back saves on valuable counter space.
Because it's generally not the main bathroom for the house, a basement bathroom doesn't have to be large. An area about 35 square feet can accommodate a toilet, vanity, and shower or bathtub. Building codes allow ceiling heights of 84 inches--6 inches lower than other living areas.
Compact but not tiny, this basement guest bathroom includes a generous vanity, toilet, and shower stall. Close the pocket door, and the bathroom teams up with an adjacent office to serve as a welcoming, private guest suite.
A checkerboard of ceramic tiles in two closely related tones covers the walls and floor in this bathroom and makes the space look bigger. Solid color and lack of pattern are the secrets.
An angled shower to the right uses the space more efficiently than a typical square shower.
If you can locate your basement bathroom on an above-ground exterior wall, consider glass-block windows to usher in light and provide privacy. A large mirror over the sink reflects both the window on the opposite wall and the pendant lights, bouncing more light through the room.
Adding a bathroom to the basement requires connecting the fixtures to the main drain, which may mean cutting through a concrete floor. If you have the headroom available, an alternative solution is to elevate the bathroom so the new plumbing lines and drain can be hidden under the new floor.
In a basement that is wheelchair-accessible, it's a good idea to design the bath with universal-design principles in mind. Proving that universal design can be as beautiful as it is practical, this stunning marble-lined basement bath features a shower free of doors and raised thresholds, making it easily accessible.
The adjacent vanity compartment features a dramatic pedestal sink and mirrors lit by long warm-light fluorescent tubes.
Fabric outlined in decorative cording gives these bathroom walls a soft, finished touch. Reserve this treatment for basements where condensation and moisture are not a threat.
A powder room is an ideal candidate for upholstered walls because it's small enough to keep the job manageable. Staple batting to the walls, then stretch and staple lengths of fabric over the batting. Use hot glue to secure decorative welting over the staples.
The lower walls are painted to resemble stained wood wainscoting with bamboo molding.
You can fit a powder room into a sliver of space by working with a cabinetmaker to build a narrow vanity outfitted with a bar-size sink. The toilet needs a space 19 to 21 inches wide and 27 to 31 inches deep. Eliminate shadows with wall sconces.
This handsome basement bathroom includes a marble-top furniture-style vanity, full shower, and stone tile floors. Paneled closet doors at one end open to reveal a stacked washer and dryer.
A basement laundry room needs a floor drain to handle overflows or leaks and an exterior wall location so you can vent the dryer to the outdoors.
This basement bathroom does double duty as the bath for a guest bedroom and an exercise space. A treadmill tucks into the corner just beyond the partial wall, where it can take advantage of an above-grade exterior window. If your basement doesn't have a window, a partial wall could accommodate a wallmount television to keep you entertained while you work out.
Limestone floor and wall tiles combine with white paint and limestone fixtures to make the most of natural light entering through the glass-block window. The light palette makes the space feel larger than it is.
The table-style vanity with an undermount sink and limestone countertop offers clean lines for an uncluttered look. Fluorescent tubes on each side of the medicine-chest mirrors provide shadow-free illumination for shaving or putting on makeup.
Any natural light helps keep a basement from feeling cavelike. These high windows admit light and a glimpse of the outdoors.
The wide woodwork and built-in vanity reflect the architectural style of the home, giving the basement bathroom a look as finished as the upstairs rooms. The moss green color of the walls picks up the hue of the slate tile floor. Balanced by plenty of white, this strong color gives the bath cozy character.
An integrated tub and shower clad in travertine tile work in tandem in this basement bath. The window in the shower is high enough to provide privacy while still allowing for ventilation and light.
Similar neutral tones throughout the bath and adjacent bedroom make this small suite seem larger. This neutral decorating scheme also helps the guest suite feel welcoming because the style of the space is comfortable for everyone.
A sliver of space wedged under the stair provided just enough space for this 5x6-foot powder room. Instead of trying to make the room feel larger, the owners emphasized intimacy with a large-scale wallpaper that mimics a print room.
The faux-crown molding at the ceiling line is a wallpaper border. A pedestal sink, antique dresser, and toilet fit comfortably within the space, and there's even room for bookshelves set between the wall studs.
The same materials that are appropriate for upstairs master baths can make a basement bath feel light and luxurious, too. Here, marble flooring puts elegance underfoot while soft blue-gray ceramic tiles make a practical, water-resistant wallcovering up to the molded-tile chair rail.
In this newly finished basement bathroom, a glass-block wall admits light from the adjacent living space but provides complete privacy. The generous "belly" sink extends out from the cabinetry, offering more basin area without consuming additional floor space.
Built-in open storage accommodates towels and bath necessities. Opposite the towel storage is a walk-in steam shower.