Designing your home with sustainability in mind means prioritizing the health and safety of you, you family, the environment, as well as the laborers involved in bringing the products in your home to life. Read on to discover how to build your bathroom with sustainability in mind.
Rip Out the Bath
What’s the biggest drain on resources in a bathroom? Water, of course! The more you can do to cut back on water, the better. If you’re starting from scratch or planning a complete bath renovation, ask yourself how often you really use that bath tub? If the answer is not all that often, consider ripping it out and building up a big, beautiful, luxurious shower. You’ll thank yourself later!
Continuing on our mission in cutting down on water usage as much as possible… When shopping for appliances, you want to look for toilets that use as little water as necessary when flushing. .. You also want to be sure when you shut off water sources, they shut off completely. This can be a major (literal) drain on resources.
A good water filtration system is a great idea if you don’t live in an area with an already great purification system. Softer water will be gentler on skin and hair. Additionally, the mold build up on shower heads is often overlooked in the cleaning process. Look for shower heads that are easy to pop on and off to clean and make that a priority.
The more you can rely on natural light and conserve electricity during the day, the better! If you can install a skylight, do it. This will maintain privacy and give the whole space a nice natural glow. Additionally, you want to look for energy-efficient windows from a reputable company that are built to last. This will help maintain internal temperatures so you don’t have to rely on fans and heat and waste more electricity.
When it comes to artificial lighting there are two things that are within your control: One of the simplest and least expensive swaps you can make right now is to swap your regular light bulbs to LEDs, which conserve energy and last so much longer. Another thing you can do to make the artificial lighting in your bathroom more eco-friendly is to install lighting on dimmers.
Flooring & Tile
Hard flat surfaces are easy to clean are going to make your life so much easier in more ways than one. A mixture of large and small scale tile is utilized in bathrooms for aesthetic, safety, sustainable, and convenient reasons. The combo of both gives the room a layered, designer look. A smaller-scale tile pattern in showers is used for safety purposes as it’s harder to slip on. Tile and engineered veneer holds up in wet areas, as opposed to wood that can warp or expand and shrink, and, of course, carpet. Lastly, large scale tile with less grout lines makes cleaning a breeze.
Hardware is often overlooked in the design process and when you’re thinking about making green swaps in the bathroom. Hardware that is easier to keep clean, for example, is one method of selecting greener hardware. That means more modern shapes, as opposed to something with intricate shapes and crevices, which will be more difficult to clean.
The warm wet climate created by a nice steamy shower is the optimal breeding ground for molds and bacteria, so you want to be sure your bathroom has a good ventilation system that includes natural and artificial methods, if possible. Windows certainly help with this to let some fresh air circulate, as well as fans.