Designer and home décor blogger Kristine Abram adds a basement bathroom by using a macerator pump system.
Meet the Bold Boundless Blonde — a 20-something home décor and DIY blogger, house flipper, designer and home stager. One thing is clear: The multitalented, perpetually venturesome Kristine Abram is not your average do-it-yourselfer.
In 2017, Abram and her husband decided to build a custom forever home, working alongside a contractor/builder. “We asked all the contractors if they would itemize the work so that if we could ‘do-it-ourselves,’ we would know just how much we could save,” she explains.
Building a house from the ground up is, of course, easier said than done. But Abram was “determined to live her best life;” after all, she is the Bold Boundless Blonde. Abram’s Ohio farmhouse-style home acts as a creative lab for DIY experiments, such as a brick backsplash, white concrete countertops and even a DIY TV frame.
Abram grew up going to work with her contractor father, George Carr, who now works for a local, family-owned, modular homebuilding company. Abram views her father as a mentor and says he helped shape her passion for DIY projects.
“I take pride in the fact that I’ve done a lot of the work myself to create our dream house,” Abram notes. Her projects range from designing house plans to laying the flooring, from painting to doing the outside stonework, to building the staircase railing and fireplace.
“Anything I thought I could tackle, I did,” she says, “and it ultimately grew my love for DIY even further — not to mention the benefit of saving all that money.”
In 2019, Abram decided to start a blog documenting her homebuilding experience and home projects. At the time, she had 7,000 Instagram followers. As Abram recorded her DIY projects, she became increasingly popular and more creative, growing her DIY community and audience to a whopping 44,500 followers (@boldboundlessblonde_).
Some would say she had it all, but Abram had one dream for her home that, for a time, she thought she would need to give up.
From the outset, the plan was to build rooms in the basement for their kids once they were old enough — ideally with a half-bath. But the costs for the latter far outweighed the benefit, Abram says.
“Our contractor said the slope of our land would not allow us to build a conventional bathroom with below-floor drainage,” she explains. “We would have to install a sewage ejector pump to make it happen.” The couple decided to opt-out of that part of the project.
A couple of months passed and they finally had a beautifully finished basement. But one old idea came back to mind for the Abrams: “Man, we wish we had a bathroom down here.”
So, Abram started doing research and found her perfect basement half-bath solution: Saniflo’s above-floor plumbing technology.
Macerating Toilet, Pump System
When Abram found out Saniflo had a macerator pump system, the Saniaccess 2, that can be used almost anywhere, she was ecstatic. “You know what the best part is?” Abram notes. “The sink hooks right into the same macerating system as the toilet, so there is no need for an extra drain!”
The 1/2 horsepower macerator pump system is used to install a small bathroom (toilet and sink) up to 15 feet below the sewer line or even up to 150 feet from a soil stack. Designed to handle black-water waste from a toilet in residential applications, the Saniaccess 2 will also discharge gray water from a sink. The wastewater drains into the system via a 1 1/2-inch inlet located on the side of the pump housing. The unit has another side inlet that can be used for the vent.
“The product was the perfect solution for us,” she says, “because a half-bath is exactly what we wanted.”
Since Abram and her husband had already started framing out a basement storage room, the pair carved out a small, 30-square-foot space for a half-bath located beneath the home’s master bathroom. The discharge pipe from the Saniaccess 2 runs 10 feet before connecting to the master bath’s drainage line, which runs to the home’s septic tank.
As Abram puts it, their “half-bath beauty” was born, “and it’s everything I could have wanted!” The installation was straightforward and took only two evenings to install, notes Carr: “And that’s counting other unrelated distractions.”
Once the toilet was fully installed and the vanity connected, Abram worked her interior design magic. “This new bathroom will be so helpful when the kids’ bedrooms are downstairs and when we have events in the basement,” she says.
Abram reports the system performs well and would recommend the above-floor plumbing solution to her DIY community with confidence.