Long ago, bathroom remodeling was straightforward: A remove-and-replace job of installing new fixtures, some tile, and paint. Today, the savings reaped in the insulation, sealing, space heating, and infinite bliss in your newly remodeled bathroom go way beyond the straightforward improvements to core elements of the infrastructure.
Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring the guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating, there are so many ways to save energy, money, and happiness during your bathroom remodel and renovation.
Let’s look at…
Insulation and Air Sealing
Admit it, you hate stepping out of a nice hot shower into a freezing cold room with ice like floors.
“People are more sensitive to the temperature in the bathroom than in any other room in the house,” said Grand Master Plumber, Greg Sheck about his experience in working with customers in creating a renovated bathroom that not only saves money, but your sensitive toes.
“Sealing air leaks and providing good insulation is the most important step remodelers can take to improve efficiency and comfort,” said Greg who recommends either blown-in fiberglass or cellulose insulation unless space is an issue, then rigid foam with a high R-value per inch is best.
Luckily, energy codes for new construction in most states require R-19 insulation in exterior walls and R-30 in ceilings, but good insulation makes sense anywhere.
If the room is being expanded or replaced during your remodel, be sure to insulate them well.
“A low-permeability vapor barrier should be installed on the inside surface of the framing before any insulation is installed,” said Greg. This helps prevent moisture from condensing in the wall cavities, where it can rot the wood framing.
Other places to insulate:
The shower walls
Under the tub
Cavities surrounding tubs and showers
A Sheck Tip on Sealing…
Make sure all junctures in the framing are sealed to prevent air leakage. This includes all plumbing penetrations through the walls and floors, especially the hole in the subfloor around the tub drain. I like to use a high quality foam.
“I have been in some pretty old, or poorly finished bathrooms, where people had to crank up the heat in the whole house to warm the bathroom. That’s nuts!” Said Greg.
If you didn’t incorporate a new heating system with your bathroom remodel, radiant heating panels on walls or ceilings to radiate heat on demand can keep objects warm and feel ever so nice on your toes.
The savings make you feel all warm and toasty inside don’t they?
I know – it’s so nice!
Next time we’ll wrap up this awesome bathroom remodeling series with a look at some seriously unique bathrooms and the comments Greg and Brandon have about them.
It’ll be good summer reading!