Select the icons to get remodeling tips for each area of the room.
- Green Home Remodel Guide for Bath and Laundry RoomsDownload PDF 620 K – from the King County Solid Waste Division
Provides in-depth eco-friendly tips for your bathroom remodeling project — on everything from faucets, to toilets, to tiles
- "Find a Product" – from WaterSense external link
Helps you find a large variety of home products with a “WaterSense” label
- Greywater Facts – from the Washington State Department of Health external link
Answers all of your questions about the inner workings, cost, safety and feasibility of home greywater systems
- Saving Water Partnership – Indoors external link
Provides several strategies for conserving water inside your bathroom
- Environlet Composting Toilet World external link
A company that promotes the use of composting toilets
- EPA WaterSense Toilet Information external link
- Learn more about WaterSense labeled toilets and available models
- Saving Water Partnership Toilet Rebates external link
Find current rebates on water efficient toilet purchases.
- Recycling Collection Events - Find an upcoming collection event to recycle your old toilet
- Alliance for Water Efficiency resource library external link
Information on water conservation
- Washington State Department of Health external link
Water conserving wastewater treatment systems
- Cascade Water Alliance external link
An organization of several King County cities focusing on water conservation efforts. They offer consumer info on ways to save water and take advantage of water saving rebates
- EcoBusiness Environmental Directory external link
Provides an extensive list of links to companies that specialize in eco–friendly products for any home remodeling project
- Green Depot external link
A resource-center showing green building materials of all kinds located south of downtown Seattle
- New Resources Group (NRG) external link
Products to help conserve water such as showerheads and aerators
- AM Conservation Group external link
Products to help conserve water and energy
- Positive Energy Conservation Products external link
Products to help conserve water and energy
- Green Home Solutions external link
A Seattle-based company providing quality green building products including certified flooring, cabinets, countertops and tile
- Norberry Tile external link
A specialty tile showroom featuring sustainable surfaces
- Always use hard surface, water-resistant flooring such as tile or natural linoleum in areas prone to wetness, especially in bathrooms.
- Choose flooring products that can easily be maintained.
- Choose flooring options that allow for partial replacement instead of whole-room replacement.
- Seek alternatives to vinyl flooring.
- View more Eco-Cool Remodel flooring resources
- Check to see if your toilet flapper is the cause of leaks before deciding to purchase a new toilet.
- Look for the EPA WaterSense label and/or MaP Premium label ***** that use 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf) **** that use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) when you replace your toilet to ensure water savings and high performance.
- Consider a dual-flush or a composting toilet for more significant water use reductions.
- Check with your water utility to see if rebates are available for upgrading to a more efficient toilet.
- ****Consider using rainwater or a greywater system (e.g. water from sinks, clothes washer) for toilet flushing.
Toilet flushing is often the largest single use of water in a home, especially in an older home, but is also an easy opportunity to get instant water savings.
Before You Buy…
- Many old toilets leak significant amounts of water due to failing flappers. Check for a leak by placing dye tablets or food coloring in the water tank. If dye appears in the bowl within 15 minutes, replacing the inexpensive flapper alone will save water.
- Before shopping for a new toilet, check for rebates from your water utility.
- Consider installing a composting toilet that converts human waste to nutrient-rich fertilizer for non-food plants and uses little to no potable water for flushing.
- Consider a dual-flush toilet that is WaterSense labeled, which supports 0.8 gallons per flush for liquids, 1.28 gallons per flush for solids.
- For single-flush toilets, select a model that is WaterSense labeled and supports 1.28 gallons or less per flush. Older toilets can be huge water wasters, using as much as five gallons per flush.
- Consider using rainwater or a greywater system (e.g. water from sinks, clothes washer) for toilet flushing.
- View more Eco-Cool Remodel plumbing resources
After You Buy…
- Recycle your old toilet. Check for an upcoming recycling collection event in your area to drop off your old porcelain toilet or check King County’s What Do I Do With…” website for locations.
- If there isn’t an upcoming event near you, take it to a King County solid waste transfer station which will recycle your toilet year round.
- Consider installing a 30-minute timer or a humidistat to ensure the bathroom dries out after use.
- Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR rated fan with fan sone rating of 0.3 or less if you have an older or poor-quality bathroom fan.
- Ensure that the fan is fully ducted directly outside and not into an attic or crawlspace.
- Be sure there is a damper where the fan vent exits the home.
- Consider 5-inch or 6-inch well-sealed ducts instead of 4-inch ducts for bath exhaust.
Without proper ventilation, moisture from the bathroom can lead to mildew, mold and structural damage. This can also occur if exhaust goes into an attic or crawlspace. Simple fixes can help prevent these problems.
Operational Improvements for Existing Fans
- For an existing fan, pull the fan cover down from the ceiling. Check to see if there is a gap between the fan housing and the ceiling material. Seal any gaps with caulk. This will not only prevent warm, moist air from going into your attic, but it will also make your fan more effective because it will only pull air from the bathroom.
- Check to see if there is a damper where the bath fan vent exits the house. This will help keep conditioned air in the house when the fan is not in use and help keep bugs out.
New Fan Considerations
- Purchase a fan that is HVI inspected or ENERGY STAR rated.
- A fan with a rating of 1.0 sones or less is exceptionally quiet and more likely to be used – protecting your bathroom from moisture damage. ENERGY STAR certified fans must be 2.0 sones or less, but there are many models that have a much lower sone rating.
- Select a fan which can be set on a 30-minute timer or a humidistat to ensure the bathroom properly dries out after each use
- If possible, use a 5-inch or 6-inch duct instead of a 4-inch duct. A larger duct and vent prevents flow problems. Do not allow the duct to sag – this can accumulate water. Ensure the ducts are sealed with mastic and not duct tape.
- View more Eco-Cool Remodel energy resources
- To assess the cost effectiveness of a new aerator, measure the faucet’s current flow. Standard flow is 2.2 gallons per minute.
- If a new aerator is needed, install an EPA WaterSense labeled aerator or faucet that reduces flow to 1.5 gallons per minute or less without sacrificing performance.
- When replacing a faucet, look for products with a lifetime warranty.
- Install moisture alarm under sink
- Before installing a new faucet, check how much water flows through your existing one. To do this, you can purchase an inexpensive flow bag), or make one at home using a gallon jug. Measure how much water flows in one minute.
- Choose WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets which support a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute or less. Consider adding an aerator that can reduce a sink's water flow by 30 percent or more without sacrificing performance.
- Since bathroom sink faucets are heavily used, durability is a key consideration when replacing your faucet. Look for a product with a long warranty.
- If your family isn’t diligent about turning off lights when not in use, consider using occupancy sensors.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs; many new LED products use a fraction of the energy and provide the light quality of incandescent bulbs that most people prefer and cannot get with CFLs.
- Choose a variety of fixture types and controls to optimize your light quality without having lights be on “all or nothing.”
- Consider an ENERGY STAR-labeled bath exhaust fan with integral LED light for both high efficiency ventilation and lighting within one product. Select a fan model which can be set on a 30 - minute timer or a humidistat to ensure the bathroom properly dries out after each shower use.
- View more Eco-Cool Remodel lighting resources
- Hanging a waterproof simple shower timer is an easy way to help remind shower users to cut down on the length of their shower, and therefore the amount of water used.
- Choose a new, high performance showerhead with the WaterSense label that uses 1.5 to 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM).
- Consider installing a “soap” valve.
- *****Consider an ultra-low flow showerhead at 0.5-1.0 gpm.
- *****Consider a shwoer auto-shut off after a set amount of time (e.g. 5 minutes).
- Before installing a new showerhead check how much water flows through your existing one. To do this, you can purchase an inexpensive flow bag, or make one at home using a gallon jug. Measure how much water flows in one minute.
- Older showerheads can use five gallons of water per minute or more. Choose designs that deliver multiple, individual streams, rather than mist-like sprays, as they are more energy efficient.
- Install new, high performance showerheads with the WaterSense label which support a flow rate of 1.5 or 1.75 gallons per minute.
- Consider ultra-low flow showerheads, which support a flow of 0.5 or 1.0 gallons per minute.
- Consider a shower device to auto-shut off after a set amount of time (e.g. 5 minutes).
- Try a showerhead with integral or add-on “soap” valve - a device that fits between the shower arm and the showerhead and temporarily reduces the shower stream to a trickle while the user soaps up, and without changing the temperature.
- Install a chlorine filter to remove chlorine from your shower water as a precautionary measure against harmful fumes.
- View more Eco-Cool Remodel plumbing resources
- Select low toxicity paints for good air quality.
- Typical low VOC levels are:
- Less than 150 g/L for flat paints
- < 50 g/L for non-flat paints
- Consider using lighter paint color if the bathroom has ample daylight so less electric lighting is needed.
- Use appropriate paint type for the location (i.e. semigloss paints for areas exposed to moisture, especially in bathrooms).