Going green is on everyone’s minds and an interior remodeling project is the perfect time to reduce your carbon footprint at home. By mixing low-impact materials with smart designs, you can create a bathroom that’s beautiful, natural, and easier on the planet.
Research your materials. The manufacturing process of materials used in remodeling and contstruction plays a large role in their eco-friendliness. Before you purchase a product—even one labeled as “green”—try to find out where it was built, what products went into making it, and which sources of energy were used.
Make an effort to choose:
• products that were sourced and crafted in your state (or at least in the United States)
• products made from rapidly renewing resources
• products that are made from sustainably grown, managed, and harvested materials
• manufacturers that use renewable energy sources to power their processing plants
Buy locally sourced materials. Using local craftsmanship and locally sourced materials is a great way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. You may even be able to harvest wood from your own property to be milled onsite and used in the bathroom for cabinets, shelving, flooring, and more.
Dealing with local companies can mean better warranties on products and onsite maintenance and repairs. Wood, natural stone, and glass products may all be harvested/collected, produced, and available for sale in your area.
Choose the right tiles and surfaces. There’s a lot of tile used in bathrooms these days, and there are many different types to choose from. Recycled glass tiles are beautiful, easy to clean, and maintenance free. Choose glass tiles for backsplashes, shower walls, and other vertical surfaces because they tend to be slick.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are made from natural materials such as clay and sand and may be locally sourced. These tiles are slip-resistant and work well on bathroom and shower floors. Concrete may also be locally sourced and can be used for the floors and countertops.
Recycled glass mosaic tiles, a dual flush toilet, and low flow faucets make this bathroom eco-friendly.
Use recycled and reclaimed materials. You can reclaim materials from your very own bathroom. Refinish your old vanity and cabinets instead of buying new ones. Bathtubs and toilets may be aesthetically repaired and reused as well. Tiles from the old surfaces can be salvaged and integrated into the new design. Wood floors can be resurfaced instead of replaced.
Recycled glass tiles and post-consumer waste countertops are becoming more commonplace in bathrooms. Quartz countertops are made from the scraps leftover from natural stone products, offering similar beauty and superior durability. You may also be able to find locally reclaimed wood, tiles, cabinets, and fixtures to use in a bathroom upgrade.
Add natural light. A window, skylight, or sun tunnel can help heat and light a bathroom in the daytime. A bathroom with an exterior wall can add a window and one just below the roof can integrate a skylight or sun tunnel.