How Big Should A Basement Bathroom Be?

Are you getting ready to finish or remodel your basement? If so, you may be wondering how big your basement bathroom should be. We've researched typical bathroom sizes to give you an idea of how big or small to make your basement bathroom.

Although there is no right or wrong answer, most basement bathrooms are approximately 30 square feet. This is an ideal size for a half bath. If you aren't utilizing the basement as an extra living space for family, guests, or tenants, a half bath should be all you need. However, if you do plan to turn your basement into living quarters for family, guests, or to rent out the space, you will need a full-size bathroom in your basement. In this case, the bathroom should generally be about 60 square feet.

Now that you have a general idea of what size bathroom you may need for your basement, keep reading for more information about basement bathroom sizes, what should be included in your basement bathroom, the smallest size for basement bathrooms, and more. 

A breathtaking basement with wooden cabinetry and a glass walled bathroom, How Big Should A Basement Bathroom Be?

Things to Consider When Adding a Basement Bathroom

When you're ready to begin remodeling your basement, you need to have an action plan, and there are considerations before you begin the process. Some include:

  • How big should a basement bathroom be?
  • Where should I locate the basement bathroom?
  • Are there any zoning ordinances or deed restrictions?

How Big Should a Basement Bathroom Be?

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Not all basements are created equal; therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all bathroom for basements. Typically, a half-bath is about 30 square feet, and a full-bath is generally around 60 square feet. 

If you're having problems deciding between a full-size bathroom and a half-bath, think about what you want to achieve by finishing or remodeling your basement. Do you plan to use it as a home office? Maybe you want an awesome game room for you and your kids. For these purposes, you really don't need a tub or shower in your basement bathroom. If you plan to have a pullout couch for company, you may want to consider adding a shower. 

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Some homeowners finish their basements for their aging parents. In this case, many couples try to make the area feel as close to home for their mom and dad as possible, adding a full bathroom, bedroom, and entertainment area. Some individuals even opt to add a small kitchen. In this case, your bathroom should be about 60 square feet, depending on what you wish to include and the size of your basement. 

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Where Should I Locate the Basement Bathroom?

You may have already given thought to where you want your bathroom situated. You've likely been imagining what it will look like, where each area will be, and how you will decorate your newly finished basement. However, have you thought about plumbing? 

Adding a bathroom requires additional plumbing. Try to figure out where the upstairs bathroom is located in proportion to the basement. It will be easier and cheaper to position your basement bathroom directly under the upstairs bathroom. Some basements also have a designated spot for a toilet and sink, often called a rough-in. 

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Are There Any Zoning Ordinances or Deed Restrictions?

While it's easy to think that you own your home and should be allowed to do as you wish, this is not always the case. Many cities have zoning ordinances, and you may have deed restrictions for your property. 

What are Zoning Ordinances?

Zoning ordinances are rules set in place determining if locations are suitable for residential and commercial plans. Many times, these ordinances also regulate how tall structures can be, lot sizes, and structure placement and density. Therefore, you should call your local building authority before starting any renovations. 

What are Deed Restrictions?

Deed restrictions come in many forms. They are usually set in place to ensure the neighborhood remains a nice place for all residents to live. One of the most common deed restrictions is not allowing certain items in the yard, preventing clutter and eyesores for visitors and neighbors. For example, you may not be able to park camper trailers in your yard or have a pile of junk or old cars. 

While those restrictions may seem fair, some deed restrictions determine which types of additions families can make to their homes. Some of these limitations include house-to-land density, sizes of additions, and even what styles you can choose. 

Is it Worth Putting a Bathroom in the Basement?

With all the possible restrictions, time, and amount of money involved, you may be wondering it is worth all the trouble to put a bathroom in the basement. The simple answer is yes. After all is said and done, you'll benefit from building a basement bathroom. 

Are you worried about the cost of renovations? Consider this - if you decide to sell your home later, your additions will add value to the property. If you're finishing the basement with plans to rent it out as a living space, you'll be bringing in a monthly income, adding money back to your bank account. 

What is a Good Size for a Basement Bathroom?

While 30 square feet is typical for a half-bath and 60 square feet is typical for a full-bath, a good size for one bathroom may not be a good size for another. It all depends on what you want to include in the bathroom, the overall size of your basement, and the purpose of the basement. 

If you have limited space but still want a full-bath in the basement, you can have a bathroom that includes a sink, shower, tub, and toilet with as little as 40 square feet. This will be a very small bathroom, but it will have everything you and your guests need. 

Generally, the smallest you can go with a half-bath is 11 square feet. This will be a tiny bathroom, but it will give your basement more functionality than not having a bathroom at all. With 20 square feet, you'll have enough space to feel comfortable, but 30 square feet provides plenty of functionality.

Should a Basement Bathroom Have a Shower?

Basement bathrooms don't have to have showers, but it may save space and money to add a shower without a tub. Sometimes, walk-in showers are easier for older people to maneuver than climbing in and out of a bathtub. You can also find the best non-slip bathroom rugs for your elderly parents here

Showers may also be more beneficial for families with children. This is because young kids tend to make big messes when splashing around in the bathtub. By adding a bathroom with only a walk-in shower and no bathtub, children and their messes will be contained in the shower stall. 

On the other hand, longer showering times use significantly more water than baths. Weigh the pros and cons before deciding on the best basement bathroom design for your home. 

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What is the Minimum Size for a Bathroom with a Shower?

If you want a shower but don't have much space, the minimum size for a bathroom with a shower is 32 square feet. That is legally speaking. However, you likely won't be able to fit a sink, toilet, and shower in a 32-square-foot space. If you want all three, you need at least 35 square feet. 

How Can I Make My Basement Bathroom Better?

Maybe you already have a basement bathroom. If so, you're probably looking for ways to make your basement bathroom better. Check out this blog post for tips on decorating your bathroom. 

The following are a few simple and cost-effective ways to enhance your existing bathroom:

  • Paint the walls
  • Change the flooring
  • Add new decor such as shelves and toilet paper holders
  • Add extra lighting 
  • Replace broken tiles and other broken fixtures


Renovating your basement can be an exciting but stressful time. There are so many decisions to make, and any time large amounts of money are being spent, tensions can get high. Don't let the stress keep you from enjoying the excitement of the moment. If you have friends or neighbors who have gone through similar processes, ask them for advice. Go with your gut, and create the basement bathroom that is perfect for you and your family. 

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