How Much Does It Cost To Install A Downstairs Toilet?
Adding a downstairs toilet can be a game-changer in terms of convenience and practicality for your home but before you dive in, it’s essential that you have a clear understanding of the associated costs.
Within this article, we’ll not only break down the cost of installing a downstairs toilet but also share our personal experience and tips gained from our very own installation projects.
✓ Fact: The average person spends about three years of their life on the toilet
Why Bother Installing A Downstairs Toilet?
- Convenience: One of the main reasons for installing a downstairs toilet is convenience. This is because it eliminates the need to rush upstairs when nature calls and this is especially valuable for households with elderly individuals, young children or anyone with mobility issues.
- Guest Accommodation: Downstairs toilets are a welcoming feature when you have guests over because visitors won’t need to navigate your entire home to find the toilet.
- Reduced Foot Traffic: Installing a downstairs toilet can help reduce foot traffic through the living areas of your home. This is particularly beneficial in larger households as it can maintain privacy and reduce wear on flooring and carpets.
- Increased Property Value: Adding an extra bathroom, even a small downstairs toilet, can boost the value of your property. This is because it’s a popular feature for potential buyers who see it as an attractive and practical addition.
- Time Savings: A downstairs toilet can save you valuable time in your daily routine as it reduces the need to go upstairs to use the toilet.
Are There Any Issues That May Arise?
Although installing a downstairs toilet is mostly beneficial, some issues may arise.
The first and most common is that the available space for a downstairs toilet can be limited. Therefore, you’ll need to carefully plan the layout to make the most of the available space while ensuring it’s comfortable and functional. Another issue that may arise is that if your home doesn’t have plumbing in the desired location for the downstairs toilet, you’ll need to extend the plumbing lines, which can be complex and costly.
What’s Involved To Install A Downstairs Toilet From Scratch?
1. Planning & Design
Before beginning the installation of a downstairs toilet, careful planning and design are essential. You’ll want to begin by thoroughly assessing the available space, considering factors such as size, layout and location within your home.
Once you’ve confirmed there is adequate space available, you can then determine the optimal placement for the toilet, sink and any additional fixtures.
Creating a detailed floor plan is crucial, taking into account the clearances required for comfortable use and easy access. You’ll also need to factor in compliance with local building codes and if necessary, obtain the required planning permission for the project.
Additionally, you want to decide on the design style, colour scheme and fixtures that align with your preferences and the aesthetics of your home.
2. Plumbing & Drainage
Next, you want to start installing the necessary plumbing pipework for the water supply and drainage. This may involve connecting the toilet and sink to the existing plumbing system or creating a new one if needed.
3. Stud Partition
To enclose the toilet, you will want to build a stud partition that’s securely anchored to the floor and ceiling. During this construction phase, it’s advised that you use appropriate insulation materials to enhance soundproofing and maintain proper temperature control within the toilet space.
4. Electrical Work (Optional)
If you plan to include electrical components, such as lighting, ventilation or plug sockets, this is the stage to do so. It’s worth pointing out that if the room in question doesn’t have a window, we would strongly recommend installing a powerful bathroom extractor fan.
5. Flooring & Tiling
Choose and install a flooring material, such as tiles, vinyl or laminate and ensure that it’s suitable for bathroom use.
6. Fixture Installation
With the basics of the room complete, you can now begin to install the toilet, sink and any other fixtures. Once installed, you’ll want to ensure a secure and leak-free connection for all of your plumbing fixtures.
7. Door Installation
Mount the door leading to the downstairs toilet, ensuring it swings open in the appropriate direction and provides sufficient privacy. Once installed, you can then fit the necessary hardware such as handles, locks and hinges.
8. Finishing Touches
Complete the installation by adding finishing touches such as painting or wallpapering the walls and installing any decorative elements like mirrors, towel racks and toilet paper holders.
What Is The Cost of Installing A Downstairs Toilet?
The cost of installing a downstairs toilet can range from £2,000 to £5,000 but as you can imagine, this is highly dependent on various factors. This can include the toilet’s location, fixtures and fittings, the complexity of the plumbing and construction and so much more.
With regards to breaking down the overall cost, below are examples of the types of costs associated with each part of the installation.
- Plumbing Costs (£500 to £1,500):
- Extending the water supply and drainage lines to the new toilet location.
- Hiring a plumber to install the toilet as well as its pipes and connections.
- Fixture Costs:
- Toilet: The cost of the toilet itself can vary widely based on brand and style. Basic toilets may start at around £100 while high-end models with advanced features can exceed £500.
- Sink: If you’re including a sink in the downstairs toilet, expect to pay between £50 to £200 for the sink itself.
- Tap and Fixtures: Prices for taps and other fixtures can range from £20 to £150 or more (depending on quality and style).
- Construction and Labour Costs:
- Building and framing: Costs for creating the toilet space and adding walls can range from £500 to £1,500.
- Flooring and tiling: The installation of most vinyl or tile flooring can range from £200 to £1,000.
- Labour costs: This can vary widely depending on the complexity of the project and location but may range from £1,000 to £2,500.
- Planning Permission and Inspections:
- Planning permission and inspections may be required and their costs can vary depending on your local council’s regulations.
- Additional Costs:
- Additional costs may include ventilation, lighting and any decorative elements you choose to add.
Here’s a table summarizing the estimated cost ranges for each component:
|Component||Estimated Cost Range (GBP)|
|Plumbing||£500 – £1,500|
|Toilet||£100 – £500 or more|
|Sink||£50 – £200|
|Tap and Fixtures||£20 – £150 or more|
|Construction/Labour||£1,000 – £2,500 or more|
|Flooring and Tiling||£200 – £1,000 or more|
|Permits and Inspections||Varies|
|Additional Costs||Varies (e.g., ventilation, lighting)|
What Factors Affect The Cost?
The cost of installing a downstairs toilet can vary widely based on several factors such as:
- Location & Size: The specific location within your home and the size of the space designated for the downstairs toilet will significantly impact costs. This is because smaller spaces may require less material and labour, resulting in lower expenses.
- Plumbing & Drainage: The complexity of connecting the toilet to the existing plumbing and drainage system will certainly sway the costs by a big margin. For example, if your home’s plumbing needs significant modifications or extensions, it can increase the overall price.
- Fixture Selection: The choice of toilet, sink, tap and other fixtures greatly influences the cost.
- Type of Toilet: Different types of toilets (as discussed below) have varying price points due to their design and installation difficulty.
- Electrical Work (if needed): If you plan to include electrical components such as lighting and ventilation, this can add to the cost.
- Flooring & Tiling: The cost of flooring materials and tiles, as well as the complexity of the installation, can impact the budget.
- Construction & Labour: Labour costs can vary depending on the complexity of the installation, location and the skill level of the contractors or professionals hired for the project.
- Planning permission: Obtaining the necessary planning permission may incur additional costs depending upon your local council.
- Demolition and Removal: If you need to remove existing structures or fixtures before installing the new toilet, this adds to the overall cost.
- Timeline: If you require a fast-track or expedited installation, it may come with additional costs due to overtime or rush fees.
Can You Reduce The Cost In Anyway?
Reducing the cost to install a downstairs toilet is certainly doable but it all depends on whether you want to get your hands dirty and the fixtures that you want installed.
If you are willing to take on some of the DIY tasks yourself, there are many ways to reduce the overall cost. Whether that is to install some of the fixtures yourself or put up a stud wall, it’ll certainly reduce the labour costs that are involved.
Another way to keep the installation cost within your budget is to avoid splashing out on extravagant brands. Ideally, you’ll want to shop for cost-effective fixtures such as toilets, sinks and taps without compromising on quality.
What Types of Toilets Can You Install?
As most downstairs toilet spaces are quite compact, there are only a few toilet types that are suitable and the most common include:
- Close-Coupled Toilets:
- Close-coupled toilets are a prevalent choice for downstairs toilets and they consist of a separate cistern (tank) and bowl that are closely connected. Benefits include the fact that they are relatively compact and space-efficient, making them suitable for smaller spaces. They also have a traditional appearance and are available in various styles, including modern and classic designs.
- Wall-Hung Toilets:
- Wall-hung toilets are becoming increasingly popular, especially for contemporary toilet designs. In terms of their design, they are mounted on the wall with the cistern concealed within the wall or a specially designed cabinet. This design saves floor space and creates a sleek, minimalist look. Although more expensive to install, they offer a high-end and space-saving solution for downstairs toilets.
- Back-to-Wall Toilets:
- Back-to-wall toilets are another space-saving option and they have a clean and streamlined appearance with the cistern hidden behind a false wall or cabinet. The toilet bowl itself is flush against the bathroom wall but unlike a wall-hung toilet, they are mounted to the floor.
- Corner Toilets:
- Corner toilets are suitable for particularly small spaces or oddly shaped areas where traditional toilet installations may not fit. They have a triangular tank and bowl configuration designed to fit into the corner of the room, which makes the most of the available space.
Additional Accessories To Add To Your Downstairs Toilet
- Toilet Roll Holder: A stylish toilet roll holder keeps toilet paper within easy reach and adds a decorative touch to the space.
- Towel Ring or Hook: Installing a small towel ring or hook allows for easy access to hand towels, promoting hygiene and convenience.
- Mirror: A well-placed mirror not only aids in personal grooming but also makes the space feel larger and brighter.
- Storage Shelves: If space permits, wall-mounted shelves or a small cabinet can provide storage for extra toilet paper, cleaning supplies or toiletries.
- Soap Dispenser: A wall-mounted or countertop soap dispenser helps maintain cleanliness and encourages handwashing.
- Decorative Accessories: Incorporate decorative elements like artwork, small potted plants or decorative bowls to personalize and add charm to the space.
Case Study: A Recent Downstairs Toilet Installation
As I and other members of the Costs.co.uk team have personally carried out several downstairs toilet installations, we are pretty clued up with how much they cost. In the below photos, we installed a downstairs toilet from scratch and this started with putting up a stud wall, sorting out all the plumbing and then moving onto the fixtures and fittings.
This particular downstairs toilet cost us approximately £3,500 from start to finish to install. However, we did carry out some of the DIY ourselves such as the tiling, painting and hanging of the door. We also installed cost-effective features as it was a rental property.
Downstairs toilets are a great addition to any property and as far as home improvements go, it isn’t the most expensive upgrade either. With a cost of between £2,000 to £5,000, it’ll add to the value of your home and it’s certainly a worthwhile investment.
Hopefully our guide to installing a downstairs toilet and its associated costs has answered all the questions you may have. However, if not, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.
Written By Edward Rich
Edward was a general builder and carpenter for over 5 years but since founding Costs.co.uk with Danny, he works alongside Danny rennovating properties as well as producing content.
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