Can You Use a Basement Floor Drain for a Shower?

When taking a shower, most people wonder if they should use a basement floor drain for a shower or not. So, do basement floor drains work for showers?

It is most often not the case to use a basement floor drain for a shower. Drains are typically used intermittently in basements. As a result, they cannot handle even a moderate flow of water and will overflow. However, the traditional drain can be used as a shower drain if connected to an existing sewer line.

Further, you will know about using the basement floor drain for a shower. You will also learn about the consideration while installing a shower drain in a basement. 

Do Basement Floor Drains Work for Showers?

If you have a traditional drain attached to an existing sewer line, you can use the basement floor drain for a shower. 

However, some experts do not recommend this as the basement floor drain cannot handle the constant and high-water flow. Flowing more quality water in the basement floor drain may result in overflowing. 

Consideration While Installing a Shower Drain in a Basement

Before you even begin to investigate what is required of you, it may seem like a challenging task to construct a shower drain in the basement. Shower drain installation is a very straightforward process. 

On the DIY scale, it is in the middle of the difficulty range. With a little DIY plumbing knowledge, you should be able to handle this project. It is important to remember a few things when installing plumbing fixtures in what may be the lowest part of your house:


Gravity is responsible for sending water down your main sewer line from upstairs drain pipes. Basement drain pipes are related to your main sewer lines. To ensure proper drainage, it would help if you graded your drain pipes properly.


 If you want to install a shower drain in your basement, you must break up and move the concrete floor around the main sewer pipes. 

Digging trenches is a necessary skill. Concrete construction is not an option, but sewers and pumps can send wastewater straight upwards.

The Trap

To set up a trap, you will need an adequate amount of space. It is the shorter pipe beneath sinks and showers that has a U-shape. 

In this way, an array of fragile materials, such as hair, sediment, and other valuables, will not get into the drain so far as to form inaccessible clogs. Similarly, traps protect against sewer gas emissions as well. Digging deeper is necessary to accommodate this pipe.


Your plumbing system will also have vents, as it makes sense. If you plan to install a plumbing system in your basement, you will have to consider the ventilation requirements. 

Even if you are planning to install a new shower, you will need to check plumbing fixtures, basement toilets, sinks, etc.


It is often a question of careful planning that allows us to accomplish this task. A plumber may also be able to help. There are typically two-inch drains in showers, but if you run into a three-inch drain, you’ll need to go to the plumbing supply store again. 

In large shower drains, there is less likelihood of overflowing. If you have a supply of shower drains that can be sized according to your shower size; the discrepancy won’t hold you back. 

Two- or three-inch drain pipes are compatible with this welded-type drain. Drain bodies fit over 2-inch drain pipes; 3-inch drains fit inside them. If you have three-inch drains in your house, you’ll benefit from having on hand a box of size-adjustable drains.

There is no other method than cutting through the shower ceiling to gain access to it. If you detect a leak, you should replace the drywall and the drain underneath, and the drywall on the ceiling to minimize damage. 

The drywall replacement is a relatively straightforward home repair project, so drilling a hole in the ceiling shouldn’t pose a significant problem. If you ever need to access your plumbing in the future, you can cover the hole with a return-air grill easily removable. 

Only if both the drain and the shower base have to be replaced will you be able to avoid cutting through the ceiling. In that case, you will need to remove the old shower pan and drain. 

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, install the new drain and shower base, then connect the new drain to the new shower base. 

There will almost certainly be a situation where you need another person to assist you in aligning the drain body over the pipe while balancing the shower base.

Drains that feature a rubber gasket inside the drain body are often called compression or friction drains and are the best choice in this situation. Install the shower base before removing the gasket. 

If you haven’t already done so, prepare the shower base with the plumber’s soap and slide it over the drain body and into place. Once the drain body is sealed, tighten the compression nut with a screwdriver, then snap the filter. 

As you’re trying to fit the connected drain body over the floor pipe, you have extra room to maneuver after removing the gasket before setting up the shower base. So, proper planning is also required before installing a shower drain. 

Tight Spots Spell Trouble

The water pump pliers can infrequently get stuck on the nut that connects the drain to the tube after you cut in the ceiling beneath the shower.

Occasionally, there is the wiring or a pipe that prevents you from using your pliers. The shower installation would have been followed by wires, pipes, and even ductwork. 

If you can’t remove the nut or reach the pipe to cut it below the drain, you may have to remove the shower base to access the drain from above. It’s as if the drain replacement turned into a major job all of a sudden.

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