The term green can mean a variety of things when it comes to bathroom remodeling. Choose one area or all when you make ecofriendly choices for your home.
Energy Efficiency: Radiant flooring in the bathroom is more efficient than forced hot air since it retains heat after the heating element is turned off. On-demand or solar hot water heaters can also save on energy and water costs. Install energy-efficient lighting fixtures.
Non Toxic Materials: Avoid particle board vanities which can contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and don’t stand up well to moisture. Watch out for VOCs in paint, finishes, and other materials. Bamboo and wheat straw are safer and sustainable materials. Conventional caulking is toxic in a poorly ventilated space. Greener caulking materials are available. Never use gypsum dry wall under tile near the shower or bathtub.
Sustainable Materials: Choose tiles for floors and walls made from recycled glass. Naturally mold resistant flooring is available in renewable materials such as bamboo and cork. Sheet linoleum is made of wood flour, resin, and linseed oil making it a greener alternative as well.
Longevity: This is an often overlooked aspect of green remodeling. Using durable materials such as tile and high-quality fixtures reduces the need for frequent remodeling or replacement of bathroom elements.
Ventilation: High quality exhaust fans are a necessity and bigger rooms need more than one fan. Fans can also have timers or humidity sensors. Operable windows also provide another source of ventilation. Green bathroom remodeling also necessitates using mold-resistant materials and avoiding materials like wallpaper that can trap moisture.
Water Saving: Installing low-water faucets and shower heads will reduce your water usage. Low-water toilets are also available, although dual-flush (which allow the user to determine how much water is needed) save even more water. Touchless faucets are now available for residential use and can reduce wasted water. Special water recirculation systems and gray water usage are gaining popularity in areas with water conservation needs.