Last year we decided we were going to give our bathroom a facelift and we were interested in going green. The bath that we wanted to update was the master bathroom in our winter home, a condo in Tybee Island Georgia. We were able to pickup the condo for a tremendous savings at one of Georgia’s monthly tax deed sales a couple of years earlier so we didn’t mind spending a little green to go green. Over the last few years the local government on Tybee has been doing their part to help the environment, so we felt that since we were a part of the community we would go green.
Our condo isn’t too old and the flooring and shower are in excellent condition so we weren’t looking to do a major remodel, just a little facelift to spruce things up and become a little green. Updating a bathroom is something that we are familiar with, but making it eco friendly was a little new to us. We contacted Vince at Canton to see if he could provide some ideas and help with making our bathroom environmentally friendly. We sent over a few pictures of how our room currently looked and gave Vince an idea of what we wanted to accomplish and soon we had a plan in place for our green facelift. We were very pleased with the results and felt proud that we were doing at least a small part to help the environment on Tybee Island.
Our Bathroom Remodel Upgrades
One of the first changes we made was to replace the toilet. What we didn’t realize was that an inefficient toilet can account for almost 30% of the water consumed within a home and can be one of the biggest sources for wasted water which is usually caused by leaks and inefficiency. We decided to use a toilet that was labeled WaterSense due to its high performance and water efficiency and selected a model that was dual flush. Since the dual flush provides two flush options it seemed to be the most efficient choice.
Next we decided to replace the faucets for both the sink and the shower. Once again we learned that inefficient faucets contribute to more than 15% of the water used within a home. Since we were using a toilet that was labeled WaterSense, we chose those types of faucets as well. Since a WaterSense labeled faucet can cut water flow by over 30% and not impact performance we decide this was a wise choice. And since we were changing faucets we decided to go the extra mile and change the showerhead. An inefficient showerhead can account for as much as 17% of the water used in a home and replacing them is a fairly inexpensive fix. We purchased a high efficient showerhead for about $40 that is supposed to provide a 50% saving in the shower.
Green Bathroom Products
After spending the time and money to make our place on Tybee a little more eco-friendly we decided not to just stop with the products used in our remodel but, to use green products in our bathrooms as well. We choose to use non-disposable towels, recycled toilet paper and non-toxic personal care products and bathroom cleaners. We found that items that we already had around the home such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar and liquid soap we very efficient non-toxic cleaning products.
After our minor remodel was complete we were pleased that we would not only be saving ourselves some money but, we would also be doing a small part to help the environment. We truly feel like a part of the islands community since we are helping to make Tybee and environmentally friendly place and want to thank Vince for a job well done.
Replacing a Toilet Gasket – Easier Than You Think
Quite a few of the calls our company makes is to change the seal on a toilet. While I understand that not everyone is handy, replacing a toilet seal can often be a fairly simple DIY project that can save you the $100 that most plumbers charge. A few years back I started using a new waxless product, the Sani Seal Toilet Gasket and I believe this product is easy enough for most home owners to install. Now, this gasket isn’t the best solution for everyone, if you have fairly uneven floors or if your toilet flange is raised above floor level you may want to stick with the standard wax ring. However, for most homes this product will work just fine so I’ve listed the required tools and the step involved if you would like to give it a try.
The Sani Seal Gasket has many advantages over a standard wax ring, they can be stacked, reused, their non messy and one item that’s often overlooked is that they provide health benefits due to their production with antimicrobial material. If you’ve every replaced a standard wax toilet ring you know what I’m talking about; once a wax toilet ring is installed it quickly becomes a black, disgusting ball of mold filled wax. Wax rings are hidden, out of sight beneath your toilet and very quickly become a breeding ground for mold, which definitely is not the best for a health home environment. Since the Sani Seal is made with an antimicrobial material you no longer have to worry about mold hiding and growing under your toilet. Check out the features and reviews and see what other home owners are saying about the Sani Seal Toilet Gasket before you decide if its right for you.
- Hack saw and/or bolt cutters
- New bolt kit
- Adjustable wrench
- Putty knife or scrapper
- Sani Seal Gasket
1. Turn off the water to the toilet tank.
2. Remove the supply line from the toilet tank. (If always a good idea to purchase a new flexible toilet supply, but not required).
3. Remove the caps covering the toilet bolts.
4. Remove the toilet bolts.
5. If you have an old wax ring, remove the wax ring and clean the old wax from the flange and toilet. You don’t have to make it perfect, a little residue on the flange or toilet won’t hurt.
Replacing a Toilet Gasket – The Installation:
1. Place your Sani Seal Gasket over the toilet bolts and align them. A great thing about this gasket is that it fits down over your bolts and helps hold them straight up for easy installation. If you have a flange that is below floor level by more than 3/8 inch the gasket can easily be stacked. Although its not necessay, you may use either silicon or plumbers paste on top, below or in-between the gaskets to provide added protection.
2. Line up the toilet. You don’t have to be perfect, you can have some mistakes, the gasket is forgiving.
3. Set the toilet base down on the Sani Seal gasket then straighten the toilet to the wall.
4. Place your weight on the toilet base and you should feel it bottom out.
5. Install the plastic cap bottom, the washers and nuts on both of the toilet bolts. Caution: Do not tighten down one side down and then tighten down the other instead, alternate tightening the bolts on either side until they are snug. Be very careful not to over tighten the bolts or you may crack the base.
6. Use your hacksaw or bolt cutters to cut off the bolts approximately 1/8 inch above the nut. Replace the caps over the bolts and snap them on.
7. Connect your supply line (old or new) and hand tighten until its snug.
8. Turn on the water and check the supply line for leaks.
9. The toilet is ready to go!
It your bathroom is a 2nd floor bathroom or is above any finished area, I would recommend using silicon to fill in any voids around or on the flange so water has no place to go except down the drain.
If you are installing a toilet and have a shart offset flange, this is a flange that has a smaller outlet for waste, or if there is a shelf or a ledge that will not let the toilet gasket slide into the floor flange, then be sure to install the Sani Seal as it comes packaged. This means you want the flange folded in, on top of it self and will also be upside-down.