Go Green with your Remodel

We all want to do our part in the effort to keep our planet green!  Finally, sustainable design is more of a rule than an exception.  Thanks to an abundance of energy-efficient and low v.o.c. products we can actually incorporate green into our everyday designs quite easily!

*Here is a great design idea for a bathroom remodel complete with green tips!


New fixtures should use as little water as possible. Choose low-flow shower heads, high-efficiency toilets and water-conserving aerators on sink faucets. If a water heater needs replacement, pick a high-efficiency model and consider a tankless heater or a hot-water circulation option if the main water heater is some distance away from the bathroom. Include a plumbing access door for shower valves.

Water management

Be sure your choice for tub and shower surrounding sheds water effectively and is easy to clean. Never use gypsum drywall (even the moisture-resistant variety) under tile in a shower or around the tub.


Install a quiet fan of proper capacity and vent it to the outside. Consider more than one fan if the bathroom is large, and timers or humidity-sensing switches to ensure that the fan runs long enough after a bath or shower.

Wall, ceiling and floor finishes

Use durable materials that are not unduly affected by moisture. Consider tile made from recycled materials, and use paints, finishes, grout and caulk that are low in volatile organic compounds (low-VOC). Reuse existing sub flooring and flooring where possible. Avoid carpeting.


Avoid cabinetry made of particle board or medium-density fiber board; these will not tolerate moisture. Install environmentally friendly countertops.

Sustainable design is easier than you might think, and you will not only feel good about doing your part to keep our planet green, but you will also save money on your energy bills!

Sophia La Marca (Owner/Designer)





  1. Andrea said

    I, too, am jazzed by the bathroom w/the colorful tile. Along that line, my question has to do with redoing my shower stall. Unfortunately, it is framed in the horrid gold-tone used in track homes during the early 90s. Last year, I changed everything else to chrome. Is there anything I can do to change out the frame or do I have to replace the entire enclosure?

    • Good question Andrea! The bad news is you will need to replace the entire enclosure, however the good news is there are many wonderful, affordable enclosure kits available today! Read on!

      *The great thing about changing out the existing shower enclosure in your space is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a big impact. You avoid the cost of labor by choosing one of many DIY projects available at your local home improvement store. You can also choose a project that has lower priced materials. For a great big impact in a little space, spend a little extra on the wow factor. The right shower enclosure can become the perfect centerpiece for your new bathroom. A trip to the closest home improvement store may be all that you need to do to get the shower enclosure that you want. Some of these same stores have clinics to teach you how to install the enclosure. Check with a sales associate and see what clinics they have coming up. It may be worth your time, money, and effort, to wait until you can get some experience in the project.
      If the local store doesn’t have all that you need, the internet will. The World Wide Web allows you to shop for anything at anytime. Many times you can get the shower enclosure delivered right to your door. Sometimes you may have to have it delivered to a local retail store and pick it up there. The only downfall is that you won’t really get to see what you are getting until after you have gotten it.
      Changing out a shower enclosure can breathe new life into an old bathroom. For a small investment of time and money, you can have the room you’ve only dreamed of before.

      *Excerpt from http//EzineArticles.com/?expert=kathryn Lang

  2. Stefanie LaMarca said

    What a beautiful bathroom, Sophia! I love the combination of terra-cotta and green tile (two of my favorite colors.) When we decide to upgrade our bathrooms, with new tile and countertops, I will use these “green” tips for remodeling. Thanks for the earth-friendly information!

  3. Greg said

    Great Blog Sophia!

    Thanks for all the wonderful design work you completed on several model projects for us over the years. Your firm offers unbeatable values to the community of small to mid-size builders.

    We can’t wait to revive our business soon and have you back on board as our designers of choice for models, staging and helpful construction walk suggestions!

    • Thanks Greg! I appreciate your feedback and look forward to working with you on future design projects!

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