Whether you’re undertaking a major remodel or budget makeover, updating your bathroom is a great opportunity to boost your home’s value. It’s also the perfect time to make simple, eco-friendly changes that will protect your pocket book and the environment. Use these seven remodeling secrets to create a bathroom that’s both beautiful and green.
When it’s time to select new cupboards or a vanity, consider shopping for pieces made out of natural or recycled materials. Wood and stone are great choices for bathrooms. They’re durable and can be adapted to a variety of decor styles. Consider using reclaimed hardware fixtures and decor to cut down on the amount of waste your remodel creates. Look for handmade or upcycled baskets and bins to solve your bathroom storage problems.
Going green for the big items is essential, but it’s important to think about replacing synthetic towels, rugs and bathroom linens with natural materials too. Organic fabrics are produced using safer alternatives to the chemicals traditionally used in textile production. Cotton and bamboo are great choices for the bathroom. Remember to use eco-friendly laundry detergent to keep your bathroom free of artificial scents.
Most families use more water in their bathrooms than in any other area of their homes. Installing low-flow toilets and water-saving fixtures is a great way to cut down on your home’s water usage. Water-saving faucets and shower heads use aeration to provide good water pressure while reducing water usage. Low-flow toilets consume significantly less water than traditional toilets and can help homeowners save money too. Of course, cutting down on the amount of time you spend in the shower also helps save our planet’s precious water.
Traditional water heaters might provide the heat you need for a relaxing bath, but they can also drive up your power bill. Tank-dependent water heaters are designed to hold a large amount of heated water and must turn on and off regularly in order to meet water temperature demands. Tankless water heaters are a newer, more efficient option that heat water on demand instead of holding water at a set temperature.
If you’re not sold on a tankless water heater, consider a solar-powered water heater instead. Using solar power cuts down on energy usage and can help lower your carbon footprint. Of course, it’s important to use good water conservation practices no matter the type of water heater that you use.
Improving your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the biggest steps you can take towards going green. After all, air pollution inside your home can undermine your family’s comfort and affect your health. Using natural or eco-friendly flooring, paint, linens and toiletries are good first steps towards improving IAQ in your bathroom. Proper air circulation is also essential to air quality. Make sure that you’re using a ventilating fan. Consider installing an air purifier if a fan alone isn’t enough to clear the room of stale or musty odors.
Placing air-cleansing plants in your bathroom is a smart way to boost the room’s appearance and improve IAQ without breaking the bank. You should also avoid using air fresheners made with artificial fragrances. Instead, hang sachets made with dried herbs or use essential oil diffusers to make your bathroom smell better.
Traditional paints are made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can release toxic fumes in your space. Whenever possible, opt for low-VOC paints. These paints are the safest choice for all homes, but it’s especially important to choose them if children, older adults and other vulnerable individuals live in your home.
If you notice mold or mildew on the walls or ceilings of your bathroom, you should consult a licensed contractor before proceeding with your remodel. In many cases, you’ll be able to use a mold-killing paint on your own to take care of the problem. In more severe cases, you may have to hire a mold abatement pro for help. Remember that properly removing mold is essential to the safety and structural integrity of your home. Resist the temptation to simply paint over patches of mildew or mold.
If you’re planning a big bathroom remodel, be sure that you dedicate a decent chunk of time and money to natural lighting. Installing a skylight or big, beautiful windows is a great way to cut down on your energy bills while protecting the planet. Many homeowners also find that natural light is more soothing than artificial light.
Of course, adding natural lighting isn’t an option in every bathroom. If you can’t bring in more sunshine, consider replacing fluorescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. Buy LED light bulbs that mimic the natural light spectrum for the best results.
Keeping your bathroom clean and tidy is important, but you should also be mindful of how the cleaning products you use impact the environment. Many of the traditional cleaners that you associate with a sparkling bathroom contain harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can act as skin and respiratory irritants. To improve your eco profile, opt for green cleaning products that rely on natural compounds and fragrances to kill germs without harming the planet.
At USA Bath, we know that remodeling or updating your bathroom can seem like a big challenge. Working with bathroom design pros is a great way to ensure the best results for your eco-minded remodel. Call us today to talk about how we can assist you with your bathroom update. We handle everything from bathtub and shower installation to whole-bath remodels. The friendly staff at USA Bath is here to help homeowners throughout the greater West Sacramento, California, and Reno, Nevada, areas realize their bathroom design dreams.