The basement is mostly used as a utility room, boiler room or garage. However, after you have lived in your new home in the USA for a while, the idea of rendering the underground space habitable may cross your mind. A basement-based bathroom is the perfect option of utilizing this space to the benefit of all residents of the house, even though it requires significant investments of money and effort.
Your first move is basement refurbishment.
Refurbishment of the basement as part of preparations for transforming it into a bathroom may involve several steps. Their precise number depends on the current state and parameters of the underground space.
- Deepening. It’s necessary when the ceiling height is below 2.1-2.5 meters.
- Add a waterproofing layer if you’ve noticed a high level of moisture on the walls during the primary examination of the basement.
- Heating. The bathroom is a part of your home intended for long-term occupancy, which means it must have a decent heating system. Air temperature should not decrease below 20°C in your basement bathroom.
- Heat insulation. It’s a measure necessary in any basement. A high-quality heat-insulating layer will help you save a couple pennies on heating, preventing heat dissipation into the surrounding subsoil and improving the overall energy efficiency of your home.
- Natural lighting. For rooms intended for long-term occupancy, the area of window apertures should amount to 1/8 of the room’s area. If your bathroom project does not permit additional windows or broadening of the existing ones, ensure sufficient artificial lighting (as recommended below).
- Ventilation. If your basement lacks a positive pressure ventilation system, hire specialists to create a system of forced ventilation. Since your bathroom will entail an increased level of moisture, install a ceiling fan to ensure air movement.
- Systems of water supply and indoor sanitation. You’ll need to install an additional pump to make wastewater go up into the canalization system.
- Electricity. Laying the necessary wiring in the basement-based bathroom is the simplest and least pricey of all steps.
General hints and ideas for basement bathrooms.
A neutral color palette. Although bright and saturated colors draw attention, they narrow down the space shamelessly, which is intolerable in a basement-based bathroom. If you apply too much colorful ideas, the ceiling will seem lower, while the walls will appear closer. Given the absence of windows in a regular basement, such a rich color palette will produce an unpleasing feeling of being cramped. Opt for light and neutral tones, such as gray, beige and white. This recommendation is especially true in relation to plumbing fixtures – a dark bathtub may result in a gloomy interior. To create the desired colorful eye-appealing spots, use accessories and decorations (towels, bathrobes, floor mats, etc.).
An open layout. If your underground bathroom is anything but huge, avoid building additional monolith-looking walls, partitions or screens. Separating out the shower area, use transparent or semitransparent glass and avoid smoky-colored, obscure glass dividers. If you need to cabin off a corner for dressing up, employ a fine latticework screen of a light color. Position it so that it does not cast a shadow across the room when the lights are on. If your basement bathroom is quite large and you need to create functional zones, any USA designer would insist on backing out of the idea of partitions. Instead, use colors, finishing materials and decorations to highlight the areas.
Abundant artificial lighting. Since your bathroom is partially or completely below the ground level, its windows are either tiny or absent. Generous artificial illumination will help to broaden and expand the space, while also compensating for the lack of sunlight. You will need the whole arsenal of lighting fixtures, including spotlights and multilevel lighting systems, wall and floor lamps. Employ large mirrors (up to wall-size) that will allow you to bathe in light. Another stylish idea suitable for basement bathrooms is a ceiling covered with a mirror or some other shiny and reflective material.
Design styles for a basement bathroom.
The idea of arranging a bathroom in the basement space is relatively new, so classic styles, such as Baroque, Empire or Art Deco, are barely suitable. The variety of contemporary styles, on the other hand, is just the thing you need. The options are numerous – Vanguard, Minimalism, Loft, Hi-Tech… The latter two, however, are the most appropriate, as witnessed by basement bathroom interiors created by USA designers.
- Hi-Tech. The style rules out complicated, extravagant or opalescent coloration’s, reducing the risk of sliding into fussiness. Abundance of glossy surfaces, a mirror-like stretched ceiling, the noble shining of metal elements and the airiness of glass decorations – all these factors broaden the underground bathroom visually. As a distinctive feature of the style, mirrors accentuated with spotlights will add up symmetry to the space. Innovative LED lights may be used as a colorful accentuation of the bathtub.
- Loft. This industrial style offers an opportunity to unlock the potential of your underground bathroom in textural terms. The stone, brick or concrete foundation of your home is surely beautiful in its original coarseness. So why hide it behind some undistinguished gypsum plasterboard? Scarce decorations combined with the legitimacy of exposed utility lines are two other rationales for you to implement this style in your basement-based bathroom.