This article was written by Checkatrade, the most searched-for website for finding tradespeople in the UK
If you’re thinking of installing a downstairs toilet, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea and whether it’s worth it or not.
An extra toilet can prove to be very useful for you, your family, and guests. It could be the missing link to make a house your dream home. It even helps to add value to your property if you’re looking to move in the future.
You might still be in two minds about installing a downstairs loo, and that’s ok. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of adding one.
The pros to installing a downstairs toilet
You can keep visitors downstairs
If you entertain guests regularly then you will know all too well the issue when people use the only toilet in your house. They have to wander upstairs, treading mud into your lovely carpet or wandering around your bedroom. It’s understandable that you don’t want them to go up there, especially not into your bedroom. A downstairs toilet means your visitors no longer need to go upstairs, giving you that privacy and peace of mind that you want.
The downstairs loo also means they’re never too far away from the conversation and entertainment either!
You offer easy toilet access for the elderly and disabled
If your guests are elderly or disabled, going up the stairs to use the toilet is neither easy nor comfortable. A downstairs toilet makes life easier for them.
It’s easier for everyone
Fitting a downstairs toilet near the living area means you and your family don’t have to go up and down all day. If you’re potty training your kids, it’s simple to just pop them in your new downstairs loo, instead of going upstairs constantly. It’s more convenient for everybody in the house.
Less chance of queues to the loo
An additional toilet makes it less likely for you or your guests to queue for the toilet. Whether the downstairs or upstairs toilet is occupied, it means there’s another option.
Adds value to the property
Having a downstairs toilet is not only convenient but it also adds value to your property. It can add as much as 5%!
Find out what else you can do to add value to your home.
Cons of adding a downstairs toilet
Fitting a downstairs toilet does give you several advantages. However, there are a few disadvantages to consider as well.
You may be limited on space
Fitting a downstairs toilet means considering where it will be installed. Will you be converting a space or creating a new area of your home for the toilet? To convert or extend essentially.
If you’re converting an existing space, then will you be converting a garage into a toilet, or will you be cleverly using the space under the stairs? If you’re converting the space under your stairs, then your new room may be small, limiting the space available to get creative. If that’s the case, definitely check out these smart bathroom storage ideas to free up limited space.
There could be an additional cost for lighting
Unless you have a corner with a window where the toilet can be fitted, it’s going to be dark even during the day.
Wall insulation work may be needed (additional building work)
Is your downstairs toilet fitted in an extension or onto an exterior-facing wall? Then you may need wall insulation, which could be an unexpected cost to you.
Without wall insulation you may face several problems with your toilet; it will get cold in the winter and you may have dampness to deal with inside and out. The correct wall insulation is key in your new downstairs toilet build.
Unfortunately, additional building work can be an unexpected expense with many home renovation projects. Do your best to spot where there could be additional costs in your project, and have a buffer in your budget – then additional work needed won’t be such a hard hit on you.
Drainage could be expensive
If the only space for a downstairs loo is away from the main drainage pipe then you will need to install the connecting pipes. You may even need a macerating or an upflush toilet, like Saniflow.
If you’re active or on a diet – less steps recorded on your exercise app!
Without the need to go upstairs constantly to go to the loo, a downstairs toilet will significantly reduce the steps you make in a day – this is either a pro or con to you!
As you can see, a lot of the cons of installing a downstairs toilet may not even impact your decision.
If you’re still looking to go ahead with your new downstairs toilet installation project, then what else should you be aware of?
What to keep in mind when installing a downstairs toilet
When fitting a downstairs toilet, there are other considerations beyond picking a space and deciding that’s where the toilet will go.
The do’s to installing a toilet downstairs
- Invest in good lighting and heating
- Plan the drainage and ventilation
- Plan a storage space for cleaning products
- Check if you need planning permission for it
- Make sure you comply with downstairs toilet building regulations
- Make it easily accessible (this might be a requirement for downstairs toilets by your council)
The don’ts to fitting a toilet downstairs
- Settle for the smallest size – it will be difficult to use
- Install it somewhere inaccessible – defeating the purpose of your toilet
- Ignore ventilation and lighting
- Assume you won’t need planning permission
How much does adding a downstairs toilet cost?
Installing a downstairs toilet can cost, on average, around £650 for the material and another £600 for labour. You may also have to spend around £300 on groundworks and £100 on soil removal.
Installing a downstairs toilet needs a bit of planning, but when done properly, it can add value to your life and your property. That’s why it’s important to find reliable toilet installers, which is something Checkatrade can help with.
Is it worth having a downstairs toilet?
Whether a downstairs loo is worth it or not is really down to what you and your family need. Some of the pros to making a downstairs toilet worth it include:
- Keeping your privacy from guests – they no longer need to go upstairs to the loo
- Reduces chance of mud being stomped through the house
- Easy access for elderly or disable guests
- Less chance to wait or queue for the loo
- Adds value to your property
Find out more about the pros to installing a downstairs toilet above.
How much value does a downstairs toilet add?
It’s expected to add up to 5% onto your property’s value.
Considering the fact that a downstairs toilet can cost around £1,250 (materials and labour) to complete and it can add 5% to your property’s value, it’s a clever investment.
Find out how you can cut costs on your home renovations to get even more value from your downstairs toilet.
What do you put in a downstairs toilet?
At the very least, you would need a toilet and a washbasin, along with a light source and a point of ventilation. If there’s more space to play with, then you may consider turning it into a downstairs washroom or bathroom.
For inspiration, take a look at these small bathroom ideas.
Can you put a downstairs toilet anywhere?
Within reason. Installing a downstairs toilet is a common job for homeowners, so it’s always possible to install it anywhere in the house. There are various options available to make it happen.
This question would be best answered by a professional tradesperson on Checkatrade. Search for recommended professional toilet installers near you, and get a date in the diary for them to visit your home and weigh up your options. Find a tradesperson and get a quote below.
Last Updated: August 16th, 2021