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Advice for Relocating Plumbing

In thinking about your remodel, do you find yourself thinking, “I wonder if we could move the sink over there and the bathtub over there?” The truth is, you can relocate plumbing fixtures, but there are a few things you should consider first.

The issue lies in the underlying pipes and drains. Even moving your toilet over by just a few inches can mean a major plumbing change. There are also very specific physical and building code limitations on what you can do. This is what you should know when talking to your plumber and contractor:

  • Simple scenario: Ground-floor bathroom, raised foundation. New pipes can simply be run under the floor joists, which are easily accessed via the crawl space or basement.
  • Tougher scenario: Ground-floor bathroom, concrete slab. You can move things around, but you’re going to have to break up the concrete to install the new drains. Naturally, this will have budgetary implications.
  • Messiest scenario: Second-story bathrooms. New pipes can be run under the floor joists, but this means tearing up sections of the first floor ceiling and then rebuilding.

A little tip: Sometimes moving the doorway into the bathroom slightly can really change your floor plan options. Talk to your designer or contractor about the possibilities available and make sure you understand all the ramifications of your decisions, right from the outset.


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