26 July 2012

water-smart remodeling tips for bathrooms

Water conservation is a focus of the modern bathroom since over the long term this approach is beneficial to both the environment and our wallets. With that in mind, here's a little info on water-wise upgrades that we can integrate into our next bathroom remodels. 

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Hot Water Recirculating Pump

A recirculation system provides instant hot water and uses considerably less water than a traditional system does. The main drawback to such a system is that it requires the pipes to be insulated, which usually necessitates going through the walls. Remodeling is the perfect time to install such a system because you can offset that additional cost.

Tankless Water Heater

Traditional water heaters are inefficient. Tankless heaters heat water on-demand, which eliminates the need for the tank and greatly reduces energy usage. There are some special considerations when combining tankless and recirculating systems: a standard recirculating pump may not provide enough water for the standard tankless heater, so it is necessary to buy them with synergy in mind.

Replace the Toilet

Unless your current toilet is very new, it is outdated and using too much water. High-efficiency toilets can save the average family tens of thousands of gallons of water each year, which will easily offset the additional cost of the unit. A dual-flush feature, which you can purchase already installed or add via a kit, can significantly increase those water savings.

Low-Flow Fixtures

Low-flow showerheads and fixtures use high pressure and aeration to create an appropriate flow using less water. These are wise additions for right now, even if you’re not planning a remodel. And if you are renovating, replace the showerhead but rethink replacing your shower and bathtub. New fixtures along with resurfacing and tile replacement can produce a like-new modern bathroom at a much-reduced cost.

Mark Brand Architecture
I will definitely think about trying one or several of these options once I own again instead of renting. Even just a simple dual-flush toilet or a standard toilet fitted with a dual-flush kit is a smart investment. Factor that in with low-flow fixtures and tankless and recirculating water systems, and it becomes clear that we can do right by the environment and save enough money to offset the cost of the remodel in a very short period.

Will you be using water-smart technology soon?


  1. We were interested in a tank less water heater, but what we didn't know when we started our search was that electric versions are essentially no more efficient than a regular water heater! We can't get gas at our place, so that option was out.

  2. @Ashley

    That's good to know - I didn't realize that either. Thanks.

  3. We are planning a tankless hot water heater for our new home- although the savings are in energy use rather than water use- conventional hot water tanks heat more water and have to keep it heated but it doesn't consume more water per se.
    And I second the notion of updating a tub during reno but not for any fancy spa features but strictly size- bigger tub= more water. The tub that the previous owners updated in our home, looks close to normal-sized but it much wider & longer (I can't rest against the back of the tub without slipping down b/c my feet don't reach the end) And cleaning it is a hassle because I can barely reach across and over the deep sides.
    Better to buy the size tub that suits the largest person in the house and no bigger- I like a nice deep soak but the tub doesn't have to be huge all around.
    Good information on different eco solutions for a bathroom!

  4. Can you just buy a dual flush kit at a home improvement store? I love the tips in this post! Thanks for sharing.


  5. @thistlewoodfarm

    Yes m'am, and they are pretty and cheap! example: Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/buy/featured-products-plumbing-dual-flush-toilet-kits/hydroright-dual-flush-converter-187930.html#.UBG8sKDpfM0

  6. @cred

    Great point about sizing your tub right. Such a waste of water for the giant tubs that are out there these days.


  7. Great tips! We installed low-flow fixtures and as an added bonus, our hot water goes a lot further!


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