My home is 2 years old with a walkout basement, I had the basement plumbed for a toilet and sink. What is entailed for adding a shower as well. One contractor thought jack hammering the floor is needed in order to put in a shower drain. Does anyone have any info or ideas on this?

You will have to open the floor to put a shower drain in, not way around it, but the good news is that the plumbing is already there, so it shouldn’t be a difficult job for a plumber or DIY-er. Just depends on the configuration of the bathroom.

As you can imagine, water from your drain has to travel ‘downhill’ into your sewer pipe. This is why the plumber has suggested jack-hammering up the floor – This is generally the only way to tie into the pipe which is in /under the concrete slab. Depending on how big the bathroom is and how high the ceiling is you *could* also consider putting the shower up on a pedestal. That might give you enough space underneath to run a drain pipe that could, for example, tie into the drain at the same location as your bathroom sink, with the water still running downhill. Putting a small clawfoot tub on a pedestal (with a shower curtain) might allow you to do something similar, again without jackhammering up the floor. However, you’ll need to talk to a couple of more experts to know for sure.

My husband and I just replaced our old bathtub with a corner whirlpool and shower combo and we certainly aren’t experts. We too live on a slb and the yahoo that started this house 20 odd years ago put all his plumbing, except the drain, above floor. He didn’t even recess the plumbing in the wall, he just ran it across the floor. When installing the new tub we elevated it, like the original but took the time to run the plumbing through the studs giving us several more inches of floor area. You then can tie it into your main drain for existing toilet and sink. Make sure you have a gentle drop from shower to drain or it will not drain properly. Not sure what the ratio is maybe someone else can advise you on that. I can say our old tub never drained like the new one does. I think our drop was 1/4″ every three feet, this was over a wall span of about 9 feet. Good luck.

One way to stop having to jack hammer out the concrete is to just build a false built-up floor where the shower will stand. Just take the height of the p-trap and then build the built-up floor to that height and add about 4″ that will give plenty of Clarence for all the piping and fittings to be connected.