What is a Basement Toilet?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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A basement toilet is a downstairs plumbing receptacle for human waste. It may be located in a sub-ground or above ground basement of a house. Many homeowners like to get a basement toilet installed either to have as part of a second bathroom for household members to use or to include with a rental or guest suite. Typically, toilet facilities in downstairs bathrooms aren't as fancy or as large as those on main floors. A basement toilet area may only feature the receptacle itself plus a small sink, or it may be part of a bathroom with shower or bathtub facilities.

In order to install a toilet in a basement, there must be a water supply, a vent and a drain line. In most cases, the installation can be difficult, so a professional plumber is often recommended to add a basement toilet to a house. If the toilet is positioned lower than the sewage line level, it won't flush properly.


There are several ways of properly installing a toilet in the basement of a home. Sewage ejectors can be dug into the ground below the basement to help these types of toilets function efficiently. A less evasive alternative to a sewage ejector is a macerating unit with a pump box; this system is installed in either a downstairs wall or behind the basement toilet. While it's typically easier to install than a sewage ejector, the macerating option is usually more expensive. Some areas aren't zoned for macerating toilet systems and a permit may be required.

An up flush basement toilet can also be used instead of a sewage ejector, although it may not work as well. Some varieties of up flush toilet also operate as a pump. An up flush or other type of toilet suitable for a basement may be sold separately or as part of a kit. All parts of the toilet and pump are usually included in a kit, but in many cases a toilet seat and pump outlet are not part of these kits. Basement toilets may be part of kits that include a complete downstairs plumbing system for a sink and shower.

Adding a toilet to a basement is an especially popular home improvement project for people who own older houses, as many of these were originally built with only one bathroom. Having a basement toilet is usually seen as a good selling feature for home buyers. Larger families especially can appreciate the convenience of having additional bathroom facilities to make their home better functioning and more livable.


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