Some modern plumbing and sewage system designs enable installation without having to cut through concrete flooring. One example is Saniflo's system which macerates solid waste with high-speed cutting blades in a small chamber behind the toilet so the waste water can be easily conducted out of the room without need for the usual large-gauge sewer pipes. Installing this system is as easy-all you need is to connect to existing pipes to drain wastewater effectively.

This is an example of above-floor plumbing, where the system is installed without burying pipes and other plumbing systems several feet underground. A typical plumber in Port Coquitlam suggests this set-up, mostly because it's cost-friendly and easier to build. But there's another reason for its wide use: most plumbers view cutting through concrete as inappropriate for plumbing jobs.

Some plumbers still install below-floor plumbing; but they take note the "red flags" of engaging in such an activity. As much as possible, they stick to above-floor plumbing when adding an entirely new bathroom to an existing house. They usually choose to cut through concrete as a last resort-if the plumbing job really calls for it. Why?


Many plumbers cannot be sure about what lies beyond a concrete slab when they cut through it. It could be soil, bedrock, or even a room on a lower floor. If it were the third, it will be difficult for the plumber to install new plumbing.

Adding new sewage lines is not advisable in multistory buildings. Instead, plumbers install a soil stack outside the building. The soil stack is a long pipe installed at the side of the house adjacent to the bathroom that drains waste from the toilet to the septic tank. For sinks, tubs, and showers, a smaller pipe called a waste stack can be installed.

High risk of seepage

Even with perfect cuts, cutting through concrete may bring unwanted problems like water and gas seepage. Leaks could spring up all over the place. A New Westminster plumber working for Milani says the repair costs for such problems could be high.

Noise and dust

Cutting through concrete requires heavy machinery that generates a lot of noise and dust during operation. Aside from the hefty cost of such a service (ranging from a few hundred to a thousand dollars per square foot), concrete dust doesn't go away easily.

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