Homeowner finds affordable, cost-saving solution to avoid raising the floor in high-rise condo bathroom renovation

Case Studies 07/25/2023

Homeowner finds affordable, cost-saving solution to avoid raising the floor in high-rise condo bathroom renovation

Cool Air Mechanical installs above-floor plumbing in the master bathroom in the form of the one-piece, dual-flush Sanicompact Comfort, saving the owners the cost, hassle and inconvenience of lifting the floor 8 to 10 inches to accommodate below-floor drainage.


ATLANTA, GA — Robert Hightower and his wife had plans to renovate the master bathroom in their luxury residence at Horizon Condominiums, a 19-story, 273-unit high-rise in Marietta. The initial bathroom design consisted of a toilet, a single sink, a jacuzzi tub, and a walk-in shower. To improve the space, the couple wanted to reposition the toilet to the adjacent wall, remove the tub to expand the shower, and elongate the vanity to add another sink.

However, their planned alterations faced a serious structural challenge. Building association rules stated that anything embedded in the concrete floor must remain intact. The high-rise had cables running through each floor’s foot-thick slab, so conventional plumbing below-floor was not an option, as it risked causing structural damage. Due to a flood that occurred, Horizon Condominium was particularly stringent about bathroom-renovation projects.

Meanwhile, through his research, Robert came to realize raising the floor was just not a viable option, either. The floor would have been 8-10 inches higher and would require him to step up into the bathroom. Stymied, Robert was unsure how to proceed with his project.

“We were really excited about renovating our master bathroom,” says Robert. “But when we got the quotes for raising the floor, we were shocked. It was way out of our budget. Plus, in the end, I didn’t want to have to step up into my bathroom.”

Robert then spoke to his upstairs neighbor, Lester Crowell, who was in the process of renovating his entire penthouse. Lester had installed Saniflo above-floor macerating and drainage pumps throughout his space to achieve his desired layout and look after receiving approval from the association.

Lester referred Robert to the contractor in charge of his project: Danny Glass of Cool Air Mechanical. Robert contacted Danny immediately to see how he could handle the renovation of his own space.


“When Robert approached us with his issue, we knew that Saniflo’s above-floor plumbing was the perfect solution for moving the toilet to the other wall without having to raise the floor,” says Danny Glass, who — as mentioned — had used Saniflo to manage a similar situation with Lester upstairs.

“We kept the sink and shower in the same spot and installed a Sanicompact Comfort toilet to help achieve the master bathroom that Robert and his wife had envisioned.”

The Sanicompact Comfort is a highly compact, self-contained toilet system that couples the bowl with a built-in macerator, enabling it to be installed in tight spaces without the need for traditional, below-floor drainage. Its dual-flush system (1.28 gallons per flush for solid waste; or 1 gpf for liquid only) conserves water and lowers utility bills. In addition, the system does not require external venting to function properly.

The one-piece unit is powered by a 0.5 horsepower motor, which allows it to discharge effluent up to 9 feet vertically and/or 120 feet horizontally. For the Hightower application, the discharge line extends 8 feet vertically from the Sanicompact and 2 feet diagonally into the ceiling where it is connected to the drain line.

The toilet is mounted on the wall, which saves space and makes cleaning easy. Danny’s team also reinforced the frame so there would be no problems attaching it. No other fixtures are connected to the system, although the Sanicompact Comfort can also handle gray water from a sink.


Installing the unit took a few hours, says Danny, but the entire project was successfully completed, with a demo for Hightowers, in just under three days.

“We were able to swiftly and effectively install the Sanicompact Comfort, and Robert and his wife were thrilled with the outcome of their bathroom renovation project,” explains Danny. “They were able to achieve their dream bathroom without the cost of conventional plumbing, and the Sanicompact Comfort toilet macerating system exceeded their expectations.”

Robert expresses his satisfaction by saying, “We are overjoyed with our new bathroom. It saved us a lot of money, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”

“There are numerous advantages to using this product,” adds Danny. “I can’t think of many reasons why you wouldn’t want to go with it. It’s a no-brainer compared to breaking up a slab or dealing with the unknowns of a multi-story unit.”



SFA SANIFLO U.S.A. – whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology — offers a complete line of waste and drainage pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. Saniflo developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 24 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than seven million units worldwide since 1958. Saniflo markets through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at distributor and dealer locations throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information, contact Saniflo at 1-800-571-8191. Or visit the Saniflo website at saniflo.com.

For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly c/o GreenHouse Digital + PR: 708-428-6385 or [email protected].