May 29

Bathroom Remodel: Raised Drainage Platform

I like to call this post the “behind the scenes post” mostly because this is the stuff you will never see.  The raised drainage platform was a necessity because the main drain (the big black one on the right in the first picture) did not have a place where we could connect the bathroom drainage to the rest of the house’s drainage.  So instead of breaking concrete, we built the floor up to accommodate the plumbing.

This part was just like the electrical, moving the washer and dryer, and general demolition posts in that I had a rough idea of what to do, but it was still my first run through for that skill.

I hope you enjoy and possibly even learn something!

The first picture is the final product of all the calculations and cutting.

The first step in building the raised drainage platform was to get the outside dimensions measured and cut.

Who knew that you would still need to remember all that geometry stuff that you learned back in high school?!?!

Once the outside was put together, I decided it was a good idea to check the measurements.  If I get this wrong and mess up the installation of the toilet and shower on the platform I have a big issue on my hands!

And YES the paint bucket is my test to see if the toilet fits!! 🙂

Here is where I cut the top of the platform.  I used 3/4 inch plywood for a solid top for the toilet and shower to rest on.

Quick Tip:  Use a board that’s clamped down to make a straight cut.  This lets you focus on keeping your hands safe while your cut looks perfect.

This was the start of my dry run of the plumbing.  During this part I Skyped with my father in-law to get his thoughts since he helped pick out much of the plumbing pieces.  Thank Mike for the guidance on this!  God knows what it would have looked like with just me at the helm.

Below I’m cutting the PVC for the drain.  I’m not convinced that this is the best way to make this cut happen, but it worked for me.

This was how I cut the toilet drain and the shower drain into the top of my platform.

And TA-DA!!  After all that measuring and cutting, and then re-cutting, and then re-re-cutting I finally got everything to fit!  The tall pipe against the wall is a vent.  I definitely didn’t know those were necessary at the start of this project.

The raised drainage platform was the most stressful part of this project.  If  there’s one leak it means I’m taking the entire thing apart to fix it, so it had to perfect on the first try.  Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions on why I did a certain step.

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Here are some additional pictures of the finished product that I just recently came across.

Finished Raised Toilet Drainage Platform Finished Raised Shower Drainage Platform


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  1. Andrew

    Yeah Geometry. Nice Job dude. Very Impressive on the whole. But you did forget the word be in your second to last sentence. What was the vent pipe for?

  2. trina


    My husband and I are going to add a shower in the little house at the back of our property for my mom to move into. The master bedroom just has a half bath. But she likes the room because it overlooks the river, so we want to make it nicer for her without adding the cost of a plumber, and don’t feel comfortable cutting through concrete ourselves.

    I was wondering, could you send me a picture of your finished project? That would be amazing. Really got excited when I found your post. I have been hunting for one for a while.We didn’t know how crazy our idea of raising the floor would be, and seeing how others have done it really is a great confidence builder. Yours was the best I’ve seen for detail. Very helpful. Thanks

    Trina (seattle Wa)

    1. ER

      Hey Trina,
      I’m glad we can help give you some guidance! We saved so much money by going this route versus breaking concrete, figuring out how to tie into the current drainage if we broke the concrete, and hiring a plumber to do it all. Overall, we were really pleased with the results and everything is working great!

      I found some finished pictures of the platform with vinyl tile that we installed. Let us know if you have any more questions on the steps we took. Good luck!!

  3. jon


    Great job, and very informative. I am curious how high you had to tie into the drain line, and how high you had to raise the floor. Also, did you feel the need to add a step in/out of the shower? I’m looking at a similar project, but the drain line is 9.5 inches off the floor, and I’m wondering how high the shower has to go and if I need a step. AGain, very impressive work, I’ve been looking all over the web at stuff like yours is the best I’ve seen.

  4. Brandon

    Hi there,

    would you know how large the drainpipe size needs to be and if you need to have it slope a certain angle?


    ~ Brandon

  5. Tom

    I need to add a bathroom to my garage/apartment. I was thinking the same idea of a platform. I then want to take the waste line thru the wall, cut a 1 foot wide slice thru the back patio and over to the septic outside the kitchen. I went to a Habitat for Humanity outlet and got a new toilet, new sink and new shower stall for under 600 bucks! Now I just have to build it…Inpired by your article.

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