In order to install a bathroom on a first floor or basement with a slab, one must cut into the concrete. This was basically the very first project I did at the new house. It was most definitely daunting to move in, and then use a tile saw and cut through your floor! After the initial shock of what I was doing began to wear away, the actual task became clearer.
I started by cutting out a small square around the septic pipe (stink pipe known by many). I made the square large about 3 x 3 to give me ample room to tie into said stink pipe. I then cut a cross into this square to make the removal a little easier. Using a very fun jack hammer, I chipped away at the square until all the debris was broken up. As I had just moved into this house I had basically no tools not even a garbage can or a wheelbarrow, either would have been immensely helpful.
So I was relegated to hauling the chunks out one by one for the larger ones and using a cardboard box for the rest.
After the initial hole was cut, I then cut two long channels, one for the toilet which in the pictures is the longer of the two and one for the sink plumbing. I would say the most difficult part of doing this was knowing where they would go. I had a rough bathroom design in my head.
And to be fair this “rough” design came from weeks of toiling with graph paper and a pencil trying to come up with a design that would work. I went around and around, not liking small things about each design.
Committing to a final design was tough, and i’m not entirely sure that I had at the point of cutting and digging, but I had to start somewhere. My feeling was that I could easily fill back in if I needed to change something.
Tips and techniques for using these tools:
- Cut like you would with a chain saw
- Make sure your water stays flowing to the wet saw
- Clean up your area beforehand as the wet saw will get everything wet
- Don’t try to use it inside unless you really have to, or have tarps set up
- Jack hammer? Point and shoot.
- Pick up the concrete. Simple.
If you are considering putting a toilet in your downstairs basement, or in a concrete slab, don’t be afraid. If you can get to your “stink pipe” with enough slope, then cut away.