You’re in your bathroom every day, several times a day, which makes it one of the most scrutinized rooms in a house. You may focus on those ugly pink tiles from the 1980s, but appearance isn’t all that matters when it comes to a green bathroom remodel: You can make some significant changes that won’t affect appearance at all, but will save energy and money while helping the environment.
Green features to include in every bathroom remodel:
Water filter: Filter the water coming out of the tap with an inexpensive filter. It will improve the taste of the water and eliminate the need to buy bottled water.
Compact fluorescent bulbs: Save money and energy with compact fluorescent bulbs. Look for color-corrected bulbs to light areas where you put on makeup.
Double-paned low-E window:
Low-emissivity (or low-e) windows use energy-efficient, insulated glass. Keep your heat from leaking out of your home with energy-efficient windows.
Flow reducers: You can reduce the amount of water you use without losing water pressure by installing a simple flow reducer.
Formaldehyde-free MDF substrate: Most cabinetry is made from plywood with toxic glues. Skip the formaldehyde.
FSC-certified wood: Buy cabinets using sustainably harvested wood stamped by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Low-flow toilet: You can save thousands of gallons of fresh water a year by choosing a low-flow toilet. They look and cost the same as their traditional counterparts, too.
Low-VOC interior paint: Paint the walls with a low or no-VOC paint to create a healthier room.
Recycled-content tile: Dozens of manufacturers offer beautiful tiles made from recycled glass, stone, or ceramics.A Bathroom Remodeling Checklist
Finish materials (see The Dangers of Traditional Finishes
- Use low-/no-VOC adhesives.
- Use formaldehyde-free cabinetry.
- Use finger-jointed trim, where small pieces of wood are joined together to form a long length of trim.
- Replace vinyl with rapidly renewable flooring, like cork or linoleum.
- Use recycled-content glass or ceramic tiles.
Framing (see Wood Framing
- Salvage materials from demolition.
- Use FSC-certified wood for framing.
Energy systems (see more on home energy
- Install compact fluorescent light bulbs.