Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

Unveiling a Green Bathroom Makeover

Check out “after” photos of our green bathroom design

Photos by Ashley Capp; Produced by Caren Watkins; Bathroom design and styling by Sasha Seymour

Remember how this bathroom looked before we got our hands on it?

Ta-da! The EcoLiving team does it again with a bathroom remodel that shows how easy it is to save money—and a whole lot more—when you green your home improvement projects.

A custom bathroom vanity design with FSC-certified wood wasn’t in the budget. Instead, Furniture maker Chris Vanderwal customized hardware-store cabinet boxes with modern hardware and doors made of reclaimed wood. GREEN TIP: To protect your home’s indoor air quality, use a low-VOC sealant to seal the unfinished edges of plywood, MDF or particleboard cabinet boxes: this keeps them from emitting fumes from chemical adhesives used in manufacturing. Cabinet boxes, vanity hardware, Rona; contractor, custom woodwork on vanity, mirrors, Chris Vanderwal, Vanderwal Builds, 416-728-6492.

Construction ground to a halt as we waited a few weeks for the solid-surface Staron vanity countertop, but good things take time. This counter is Greenguard-certified for low-emissions and earns LEED credits for recycled content. The faucets are fitted with built-in aerators to maintain pressure while saving water. Save while you shower tells what you need to know to shop for water-wise faucets. Countertop, sinks, faucets, mirrors, tile, Rona.

As beautiful as they look, most rain showerheads consume too much water to be eco-friendly. So we retrofitted a shower kit with this Waterpik EcoRain model. The bonus of high-efficiency showerheads is you save twice: they use less water than conventional models and cost less in water heating. Find out what to look for when shopping for showerheads in Save while you shower. Tiles, shower kit, shower door, Rona.

This off-the-rack shower stall gets a custom look from a modern sliding door and a rustic-chic cedar insert designed and built by Chris Vanderwal. The dual-flush toilet—usually a home’s biggest water waster—uses 4 or 6 litres per flush. An old toilet can consume 13 or more! Get more info on upgrading your toilets. Shower base, door, fixtures, tiles, toilet, paint, Rona; custom cedar insert, Chris Vanderwal.

Making smart choices in lighting, heating and exhausting a bathroom can add up to big savings. Paired with beefed-up insulation in the walls to retain heat and save money, the SunTouch in-floor heating system runs on a programmable thermostat. Using potlights on dimmers can lower light output and energy use. Set an Energy Star–certified exhaust fan to run for 20 to 30 minutes after showers to remove moisture and help prevent mould. In-floor heating system, dimmers, exhaust fan, insulation, Rona.

Check out more eco-makeovers in Kitchen Design and Bathroom Remodeling