Between bathing and grooming, we really do spend quite a bit of time in our bathrooms. Bathrooms can become one of your home’s more costly rooms — between showers and flushing the toilet, bathrooms use the most water in the entire home.
So whether you’re looking to update your bathroom or are doing a complete bathroom remodel, there are plenty of ways to achieve both short-term and long-term savings. Many of these changes will not only save you some cash, but are also energy-efficient and will do good for the environment!
Short-term Bathroom Savings
1. Prefabricated showers
If you are planning a shower remodel, it is a good idea to consider a prefabricated shower. With a prefabricated shower — meaning the shower is made at the factory and simply needs to be installed in your home — you could spend a few hundred dollars and contractors will have the job done in a matter of hours. A fully tiled shower, on the other hand, can take days and cost thousands of dollars.
There are also different types of prefabricated showers, so if you’re a handy DIYer, you could opt for a kit that is easier to put together and take on the project yourself. And just because something is less costly doesn’t mean it’s not going to look at nice — prefabricated showers come in a number of materials and price ranges to help you attain the look you’re wanting in your new bathroom.
2. Refinish your tub
If you hate the color of your outdated bathtub, or there are stains and rust that no amount of deep cleaning will get rid of, there is no need to completely trash it. Refinishing the tub costs just a few hundred dollars. This can be a great alternative to buying a new tub, ripping out the old one, disposal, prep work, and paying the bill from the contractor. Chances are, you will be shocked how nice the protective sealant looks. It will essentially be a brand new tub that will brighten and upgrade the look of the rest of your bathroom.
3. Install a bidet
Bidets have been popular for many years, but in the U.S. we seem to have caught on only recently. Traditionally, it is a separate toilet bowl with a water stream to clean your behind after using the toilet, but it is also popular to install a bidet attachment to your existing toilet. How does this save money? There is less, if any, need for toilet paper and it can also reduce water usage.
Long-term Bathroom Savings
1. Water-efficient products
As we mentioned earlier, between flushing toilets and taking showers, bathrooms use the most water in the entire home. Besides the typical water-savings tricks (such as not running the faucet while brushing your teeth or soaping your hands) there are also eco-friendly toilets and shower heads you can install. This should save some cash each year on your water bill.
Low-flow showerheads must stay under 2.5 gallons per minute (some states opt for even lower amounts) and are no more expensive than regular showerheads. It will just depend on your favorite brands and styles.
For toilets, there are single-flushers that will push out the same amount of water with each flush, whereas dual-flush toilets allow you to choose to flush liquid or solid waste, therefore determining the amount of water needed. If a new toilet is not in the budget at the moment, you can “trick” your toilet into using less water per flush by putting a filled plastic water bottle in the tank.
2. Adjust your water heater
While the water heater is not directly in the bathroom, it certainly impacts the amount of money you spend there. Most manufacturers have water heaters set to 140 degrees, but if you lower it to 120 degrees, it is doubtful you will notice a difference during your next shower.
Another way to save money is purchasing a “jacket” for your older water heater to help reduce heat loss — do not cover the thermostat, burner, and top and bottom of the heater. You can also consider a solar water heater to save more money year-over-year.