The following sections show how to install the three major bathroom plumbing fixtures in a common configuration. You’ll even find some variations on this basic arrangement. Your situation may call for pipe runs that differ from those shown, so you may need to develop a unique plan that suits your home.

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Whether you are remodeling an existing bathroom or installing one in a new addition, you will need carpentry skills. Modifying framing sometimes can make the plumbing work easier. Plan and install the plumbing so it does as little damage as possible to joists and studs; reinforce any framing members that have been compromised. It’s usually best to run any electrical lines after the plumbing has been installed.

Bathroom Specs

Specifications for the placement of plumbing fixtures and the dimensions of pipes are intended to make the bathroom a comfortable space with plenty of capacity for incoming water and outgoing drains and vents. Before taking up a hammer or a drill, check out our specs for a well-planned layout. There may be codes and regulations you’re not aware of.

Preparing the Site

You can’t turn just any spare room or large closet into a bathroom. Whether you are framing a new space or remodeling an existing one, make sure the framing accommodates a bathroom’s needs. Remove drywall or plaster from the areas where you will run plumbing. Clear out all cabinets, fixtures, and other obstructions. Check out our handy tips for everything you need to know. 

Running Drain and Vent Lines

The first type of pipes you’ll be working with are drain and vent lines. It is important that these be precise, so always do this step before moving on to supply pipes.

In this step, you’ll learn how to run the main drain line, run individual drain lines, install vents, and more. This is something you can do on your own, but only if you have prior experience with running pipes through walls. 

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