Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bathroom progress report

Not there yet, but getting closer. I can't say that this is the "greenest" bathroom possible, but I'm not the only one calling the shots here so I did the best I could! Is stone a "green" material? I'm not sure. It takes energy to cut, polish, and transport. It isn't baked (like porcelain), it isn't made from petrochemicals (like linoleum), it doesn't make carcinogens (like vinyl). The wainscot is a somewhat soft marble, somewhat rough and irregular, so not as energy intense as perfection. I like the appearance much better than "perfect" stone, it looks more "natural". So at least the THOUGHT of "green" is there. Plus, it's durable, of course, so shouldn't need replacing for a very long time - unlike some other materials. Durablility is a green concept as well.

The light fixtures are glass. The bulbs are fluorescent.

The granite counter top was a remnant, just needed a bit of a trim and polishing. In addition to the 'pseudo-green' aspects of that approach, a "new" granite counter top cost 5 times as much (ouch!). The sink bowl is glass, which seems fairly green to me. The vanity is wood and bamboo, rather than composite materials which put formaldehyde/urea into the air. In its first life, it was a buffet.

You can't see it here, but all of the framing was recycled lumber, taken from this house when I demolished the original bathrooms and a closet. I cut the nails rather than pull them out (too difficult). Many of the studs fit with minimal, and sometimes no, trimming, I just had to use trial and error to see what fit. The drywall is mold-resistant paper-free, to avoid need for replacement due to mold issues that happened with the original bathroom. A ceiling fan will also draw out moisture, unlike the original bathroom.

The light is fluorescent - I tried to go with even more energy efficient LEDS but the ones that I could find were not bright enough. I'll keep trying when these burn out, which I hope won't be for a long time.

Old toilet was 3 gallon, this one is 0.6 gallon, so much less water use.
There will be a cabinet on the wall to the left, free standing, wood and bamboo, matches the vanity.
The framing for the pony wall is also built from recycled 2X4s from demolition of the original bathrooms.

The bedroom wall, with entry into bathroom. At long last, I can finish that as well. That will be me, not the contractor, but the needed work is minimal. A few hours at most. The baseboards are all material I saved when doing demolition of prior bathrooms, so fairly green as well. Can't see it here, but the framing of the main door is also recycled (or is it, repurposed?)
Now just re-mud/spackle, smooth, and maybe get it textured, then paint.

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