Category Archives: Bathroom Remodeling

Green Bathroom Design for long-term functionality.

Designing a bathroom, and going green? You can save a lot of money in the long run by designing a bathroom for long-term functionality. A well-designed bathroom will result in fewer repairs and replacements. It will also keep your energy and water bills low, with the advent of new earth-friendly bathroom materials technology.

Let’s start with the most important part of the bathroom: the toilet.

Older toilets can waste literally thousands of gallons per year. At five gallons per flush, you’re literally flushing your money down the drain. A high-efficiency toilet will use just over a gallon per flush. The even newer model of toilet, the dual-flush model, uses even less.

Faucets and shower heads are also now designed in low-flow models, saving even more water, and money. If your appliances were installed before 1994, chances are they are not a low-flow design.

Leaky Faucet

How else can you design a green bathroom, other than the obvious water-saving appliances?

And How about saving energy on heat?

Invest in a solar-powered water heater. It’s a green solution that is getting more affordable to install, now that the technology behind solar powered appliances has continued to develop. Another design idea for a shower stall is to install a waste-heat recovery system. The system uses the water that goes down the drain to preheat the shower water itself.

The shower stall itself is a water-saving part of the bathroom, when you compare it to a bathtub. Using a separate shower stall, even a traditional one, limits baths and saves seven times the amount of energy.
Look at your typical bathroom cabinet, usually under your sink. It’s probably made of particleboard, which contains formaldehyde. Go with bamboo instead, which is a rapidly renewable natural source, and makes beautiful cabinetry.

What about the vanity top itself? Recycled glass countertops are sparkly, easy to clean, and can be continuously used throughout the bathroom on the walls as well, with recycled glass tiles.

You don’t have to be entirely new-fangled though – traditional ceramic and porcelain tiles are still OK.

How to Write Your Bathroom Remodeling Plan

Before you throw a sledgehammer through your bathroom wall, it’s important that you make a thorough plan first. This will ensure that you know what you want, how you’ll get it and how much you need to spend. While this may be laid out in your mind, getting it on paper will help you sort out the intricate details of budget and professional help. Consider these three aspects when putting your plan together.

Know What Your Needs vs. Wants are

Before planning out a budget, it’s important that you know what you want and what you need. If you’ve been dealing with a flickering light or cracked mirror for months, you know that is a need versus a want. Doing this will allow you to prioritize the different aspects of your remodel in order to get a better picture of what your budget needs or should be.

Top 3 priorities:
List your top 3 must-haves. No matter what, these three things are taken care of.

Top 3 wants: What have you been wanting – a new lighting fixture, better bath tub?

Top 3 reach items: Consider what got you thinking about remodeling. Most likely it was a beautiful bathroom, so consider what you’d like most. Put it on the list in the case that there is a surplus in funds or extra wiggle room.

Assess Your Budget

Sorting out what you need and what you want is critical for this step. If your budget is minimal, you’ll have to consider taking out your wants and only addressing the priorities list for now. says, “The national average cost for a mid-range bathroom remodel is $16,552, with a resale value of $10,293. An upscale bathroom remodel is $52,249, with a resale value of $28,972, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value report.”

Though that isn’t a fixed number, and your remodel may be much cheaper, it’s important that you are truly honest about your finances.

What can you spend in total – one number for the entire remodel.

Break it down: Take that number and determine how much you’ll spend on each part.

Set some aside:
Set some money aside for your emergency fund. In the case that something goes wrong, you don’t want to be stuck with a half-done bathroom.

Determine the Route You’ll Take once you have considered all of the above, you’ll be able to determine whether you’ll take the DIY route or hire a contractor. This will need to be based on a variety of factors, and it’s important that you understand what you will be taking on if you do not hire the work out.

Plumbing, electricity, installations:

If your remodel involves any of these things, hire a contractor. You will need to heed certain permits and other legalities. It’s best to have a professional on the job.

Painting, organizing, tiling:
These things you can do yourself. If you can get by with DIY, you’ll have more room in the budget for other items.

Remodeling your bathroom is no small task – one that you may not even be able to take on yourself. Because of that, it’s important that you write out your plan and assess it from every angle; you’ll be happier with the outcome and run into fewer obstacles along the way.