Green Bathroom Remodel Questions
Before you run out the door and start shopping for a low-flush toilet (don’t worry, you’ll get to do that soon), you’ve got a little bit of preparatory work to do. The questions are organized by:
- Users and Function
- Desired Changes
- Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning
- Plumbing and Hot Water
- Lighting and Electrical
- Who uses the bathroom? What times of day?
- Are there special needs which need to be addressed (disabilities, children) now or in the future?
- Will the bathroom need to accommodate changes in the family/occupancy in the near future?
- Do visitors use the bathroom?
- What activities need to be accommodated and how much storage space is needed?
- Is the bathroom used for other, non-traditional, functions (laundry or washing your pets, etc)?
See Chapter 6, The Kitchen in the book Green Remodeling for more details.
Review Our Green Kitchen Remodel Best Practices
- How do you want to feel when showering, brushing your teeth, etc. Instead of focusing on a particular product (like I want new tile in the shower), try to focus on the experience you wish to have in your new bathroom. This will leave you open to products that suit your needs but that you may not have otherwise considered.
- What quality of light are you seeking? For what tasks and what time of day?
- How do you want to feel when it comes to thermal comfort (warmth, cooling) Do you want the area around the tub/shower warmer than the rest of the room?
- What do you want to hear (and not hear) when in or near the bathroom?
- What aspects of the current bathroom do you desire to change and why?
- Are there fixtures or appliances that are under-performing? What’s not working for you and why?
Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation
- What is your current heat source?
- Are you warm enough?
- What cooling methods are you using? Are they working?
- How are you ventilating? Is there sufficient ventilation to prevent moisture accumulation?
Don’t forget to read our Greening Your HVAC for best practices.
- Are there plumbing problems that need to be addressed in the remodel?
- What do you know about water usage in your current fixtures? How many gallons/flush in toilet? Gallons/minute from showerhead, faucet?
- How old is your water heater? What’s the distance heated water must travel from heater to fixture?
Don’t forget to read our Greening Your Plumbing for best practices.
- Is there natural light?
- Where are the windows currently and might the windows be relocated to better serve your needs for light and beauty?
- What kind of electrical lighting is currently used? Incandescent? Compact florescent?
- Does the lighting suit the uses of the bathroom? (Ambient light vs. task lighting)
- Are there enough electrical outlets in the bathroom? Are they all GFCI (Ground Fault circuit interrupter)?
Don’t forget to read our Greening Your Electrical for best practices.
- What finishes cover the wall, ceiling and floor and are they hard to clean and maintain?
- Have the finishes started to deteriorate (chip, peel, crack, mildew, etc.), or have they worn well?
Don’t forget to read our Greening Your Finishes for Kitchen for best practices.