Bathroom renovations are one of the most popular home improvement projects in Canada. Creating your dream bathroom can add greatly to both the value of your house, as well as your family’s enjoyment of your home. But bathroom renovations also offer a number of opportunities to include several features that can dramatically improve the energy- and water-efficiency of your house, while making your home healthier and more comfortable.
If you’re thinking about renovating your bathroom, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to make sure your renovation is as efficient, green and affordable as possible:
- Install low-flow faucets, showerheads and fixtures, as well as ultra-low flush toilets that consume 6 litres of water or less per flush. Bathrooms account for about 75 per cent of the water used in the average Canadian home. Water-efficient fixtures can significantly reduce the amount of water your family sends down the drain on a daily basis.
- To conserve resources and minimize your environmental footprint, select certified forest flooring and cabinetry, recycled countertops and tiles, and locally-sourced products and materials. Plus, choose materials, products and finishes that are low-emission, low-polluting, easy to clean and maintain, and which will remain in good condition for years to come.
- Plan for future renovations by making sure your bathroom will be able to adapt to changes in your needs as you or your family members get older. For example, make sure the controls and fixtures are within easy reach, install grab bars beside the toilet and bathtub, use a non-slip surface in the bathtub or shower, and install a shower head on a vertical slide bar so it can be set at a variety of different heights.
- To cut down on your monthly utility bills, choose low-energy lighting and exhaust fans, install more energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® windows, insulate the hot and cold water pipes, and improve the insulation in the walls and ceiling wherever feasible.
- Prevent the growth of mold by using moisture-resistant materials and finishes, such as ceramic tile, natural stone or laminates. Also, make sure your bathroom has adequate ventilation to ensure that condensation, moisture and odours will be vented directly to the outside.
- If you will be replacing any cabinets, fixtures or materials, plan in advance for how you can reuse, recycle or safely dispose of the old fixtures.
- To keep costs to a minimum, avoid potentially expensive rework by identifying and addressing any concerns that might arise before you begin construction. Use quality, durable and long-lasting materials. And select a timeless, efficient design that will extend both the life of your bathroom and the time until your next renovation.