Design An Ecologically Friendly Bathroom With These Four Tips

It's possible to update your entire bathroom without generating a lot of waste. You can even take the remodeling process a step further and select materials that will lower your ecological footprint every day.

Tip #1: Recycle the Tear-Outs

Remodeling can result in a lot of waste, from old shower surrounds to cabinets, tiles and toilets. Instead of letting everything go straight to the landfill, take the time to recycle what you can.

Cabinets, toilets and tiles that are still in working condition can be sent to a resale store, where they will enjoy a second life. Even if the old vanity is trashed, you can still recycle the wood. If your bathroom has an old iron tub, you can drop it off at your local scrap metal recycler. Even drywall is recyclable, so very little has to end up as trash.

Tip #2: Go With the Flow

Low-flow is definitely the way to go. A low-flow toilet can cut your home's water usage by 25 percent. New models work just as well as their water-hogging counterparts, and they come in just as many attractive designs.

The sink and shower are another place where you can save water. Installing taps with aerators allows you to use less water without a loss of pressure. Low-flow shower heads are also available, and they are now made so well you won't even realize you are using less water to bathe.

Tip #3: Choose Floor and Tile Wisely

One of the best environmentally friendly choices you can make is choosing materials that don't require frequent replacement. This prevents things from ending up in a landfill prematurely, while also saving the environmental stress of constant production of new materials. The tiles used on your floors, behind the sink, and on shower walls give you the chance to select materials that last.

Glass, ceramic and porcelain tiles are a popular choice in the bathroom because of their easy maintenance and longevity. Unlike rubber and vinyl tiles, glass and ceramic tiles can also be recycled if you do replace them. You can even start off by installing recycled tiles, thus lowering your ecological footprint.

Tip #4: Minimize the Toxins

Over-use of harsh cleaning chemicals in the bathroom will eventually lead to these toxins entering the air and water table. Designing your remodel to minimize the need for these chemicals provides an ongoing environmental pay-off. A few things you can do include:

  • Install proper ventilation fans to prevent mold growth.

  • Add a window to the bathroom for additional ventilation and natural light, which will lower electricity usage.

  • Use LED or fluorescent fixtures in the bathroom.

  • Select easy to clean and maintain surfaces, such as ceramic, to cut down on the cleaning chemicals needed.

  • Seal grout to prevent mildew growth, which requires harsh cleaners to maintain.

Remodeling a bathroom doesn't have to be an ecological nightmare. Taking the time to select materials that meet your aesthetic desires without damaging the environment is well worth the effort. For more information, talk to a company like Grover's Interiors Inc.