How to Build a Wet Wall, Part 1

What You'll Need
Chalk Line
Paper and Pen
Tape Measure

When building a new bathroom or a laundry center in your basement, you will need a wet wall to enclose the water pipes. The wet wall is a 2x4-inch frame wall that holds the majority of your water, both waste and supply, so they are protected and you know where they are. This project is not overly difficult, but heavy in labor and may take a few days. Follow the simple steps below to get started.

Step 1: Determine Location of Wet Wall

The wet wall should not be along an exterior wall of the basement. However, it should be a part of the bathroom, or enclosed laundry room. After you know where the bathroom is going to be located, you can then determine where the wall is going to go. It also helps to draw a plan on a piece of graph paper. This gives you a better opportunity to visualize how things will be situated.

Step 2: Measure Wall and Mark

Use your tape measure and mark the location of the wall with a chalk line. One of the codes that you must adhere to is that there must be a slope of the drain pipe of ¼-inch per foot of wall. Remember this as you measure out the wall so you know how far the drain pipe will have to travel.

Step 3: Locate Main Drain Pipe

In order to put a drain into your basement bathroom you will need to locate where the pipes are in your basement floor. Use the blueprints of your home, or contact the local utility service. They should be able to help you locate it.

Step 4: Mark Lines for Trench

To get to the main drain line, you will need to dig a trench into the basement floor. This means heavy work with a sledgehammer or jackhammer. To make sure that you dig in the right place, mark the area along the main drain. You will need a trench that is 10 inches across and 2 inches deeper than the drain line. The trench should be at the drain and follow a path to your wet wall. Use a chalk line to mark the lines to follow.

Step 5: Score Lines with Chisel

Using a cold chisel will help you score the edges of the trench. You do not have to go very deep with this. A simple line will show you where to start digging out the concrete. You can also use a skillsaw with a concrete blade. Set the blade at a ¼-inch depth and run it along the chalk lines.

Step 6: Dig Out Trench

You can use a sledgehammer or a rented jackhammer for this job. Spending the money to rent a jackhammer is well worth it as you will be able to work a little faster and easier. Dig the trench and remove all of the crumbled concrete.