How to Design Stylish, Eco-Friendly Bathrooms
Are you considering a green remodel for your bathroom? You must consider many factors when designing eco-friendly bathrooms. Your choices of flooring and bathroom fixtures can make a difference in creating an environmentally friendly space. By designing with an eco-friendly mindset, you can help reduce pollution, save water and energy, and conserve precious resources.
But the benefits of eco-friendly design go far beyond its positive environmental impact. Designing an eco-friendly bathroom can result in huge savings on in the long term. Many eco-conscious people today are looking for ‘green’ homes and ways to reduce their environmental impact. Creating a sustainable, well-designed bathroom will ultimately increase the resale value of your home and help it stand out from the competition.
Thankfully, going green doesn’t mean you have to compromise style. You can find eco-friendly taps, shower heads, lights, and much more to make your bathroom a beautiful, stylish yet eco-friendly space.
Minimize Your Water Usage
Showers, Toilets & Baths
Water conservation is a very important factor to consider when designing an eco-friendly bathroom. Much of your home’s water consumption comes from the bathroom, and you can minimize this usage significantly by installing a dual-flush toilet and a low-flow showerhead.
A low-flow shower head is designed to aerate the water – providing the same kind of water pressure you’re accustomed to, but without using excessive water. Similarly, toilets with a dual flush design can save up to 50% more water compared to standard toilet waste systems.
When choosing a bathtub, look for high-quality designs that will last for years to come. When you take a bath, make sure you use soothing, eco-friendly bath products that don’t contain harmful chemicals or plastic micro-beads that can irritate your skin and pollute local waterways.
Sinks, Taps & Vanities
The increasing demand for eco-friendly products has led to the development of stylish, yet environmentally-friendly sinks, taps and vanities. Sensor taps are an ideal solution where water control is needed. These eco-friendly taps use a hands-free infrared sensor for automatic shut-off water saving control. Modern sensor taps are practical, easy to install, and have a beautiful, modern look that can complement any bathroom.
Vanities that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are always a great option. The FSC guarantee certifies that the wood has been sourced and produced sustainably. Another option is to take a piece of old furniture such as an old dresser and transform it into a bathroom vanity. Re-purposing old furniture is one of the best ways to preserve natural resources and reduce landfill waste.
Keep the Air Clean
Good air quality is an essential component of a well-designed, sustainable bathroom. The bathroom is usually the most humid place in the house and requires proper ventilation to keep the air fresh and clean.
Too much humidity in a concentrated space allows mold and mildew to grow, which can damage building materials and lead to various health issues. To keep the excess moisture in your bathroom under control, install an energy-efficient ventilation fan. Bathroom ventilation fans have benefited from new technologies that make them more efficient than ever.
Air Purifying Plants
The addition of air-purifying plants can also help to improve the air quality in your bathroom. Lush greenery will not only keep the air clean but will also add another element of beauty to the space.
Use Energy Efficient Lighting
Lighting is a major culprit of high energy usage within many households. A bathroom is obviously a place where you need a lot of bright light, but that doesn’t mean your electricity bill has to go through the roof.
Usually, your most eco-friendly artificial lighting option is to install LED lights. LED lights are extremely energy efficient, lasting up to 40 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. Since LEDs are solid and don’t have a filament, they also hold up well under circumstances when a typical incandescent bulb would be broken. While LED bulbs may initially cost more, you will end up saving much more money in the long run on electricity and replacement costs.
Of course, the most effective way to lower electricity costs altogether is to maximise the natural light coming in. You can do this by incorporating large windows into your bathroom design or adding a skylight on the roof. The addition of a large mirror will also help to reflect the sunlight and create an extra bright, open space.
Design with Sustainable Flooring Materials
There is a lot to think about when choosing flooring materials for your eco-friendly bathroom. Your ideal flooring material must not only match the style of the existing space, but must also be strong enough to endure various stresses over time, such as wet feet, water spills and makeup stains. You want the floor to maintain its beautiful look for years to come. Fortunately, you have a wide choice of sustainable flooring materials to choose from that have the perfect blend of style and durability.
Terrazzo flooring is well known for being hard-wearing and stylish look. They are a popular choice for eco-friendly bathroom design because they don’t release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.
Terrazzo is a composite material, using scraps of other tile materials such as marble and glass to create a luxurious, sleek flooring look. Your design options are unlimited – terrazzo comes in hundreds of ifferent shades and speckles depending on the type of materials mixed together. Unlike other flooring materials such as carpet or vinyl, terrazzo naturally resists stains and bacteria which helps to maintain its polished look.
Recycle Glass Tile
Glass tile is one of the greenest bathroom flooring options because it can be 100% recycled. Glass flooring can be found in a range of shades that would look beautiful and stylish in any bathroom. It’s also easy to clean and is naturally resistant to stains, mold and mildew.
If you’re looking for something extremely durable and easy to look after, natural Stone is an excellent option for your bathroom flooring. As well as having minimal impact on the environment, natural stone also has incredible aesthetic appeal – you can find it in all kinds of different textures, colours and shapes!
Each type of stone has its own special characteristics and is never identical to another: thus, using natural stone in your bathroom will create a unique, attractive look. Since natural stone is timeless, you won't have to worry about redesigning your floors in the years to come to keep up with any trends.
Choose ‘Green’ Bathroom Products & Materials
In eco-friendly design, small details matter. The various bathroom products you use on a daily basis can make all the difference in reducing on your environmental impact. The demand for green products is constantly growing, so it’s not difficult to find eco-friendly alternatives for things like skincare, toiletries and other bathroom necessities. Green and certified organic bath products use natural ingredients that are safe and healthy for your skin and body.
There are plenty of green options for items such as bath towels, bath mats, shower curtains, and much more. Look for bath towels and bath mats made from sustainable materials like organic cotton and organically grown bamboo, and choose a non-vinyl shower curtain.
By using eco-friendly products, you are supporting ethical business practices that put the environment and human interests first. If you’re worried about the cost, just remember that the more people support green businesses, the cheaper and more accessible their products will eventually become.
Most of our everyday household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. Instead of choosing commonly available, regular bleach-based cleaning products, look for green alternatives that are made with natural ingredients.
Using natural cleaning products will not only prevent your family from being exposed to toxic ingredients but will also help to reduce the amount of harmful waste in our waterways. Another great option for household cleaning is to make your own homemade scrub out of baking soda and vinegar. All you need to do is sprinkle some baking soda on the dirty surface, add a little bit of white vinegar and allow the mixture to sit and foam for about 5-10 minutes. Then using an eco-friendly brush, scrub the area clean.
As eco-friendly designs continue to increase in popularity, it’s easier than ever to create stylish bathrooms that have a minimal negative impact on the environment. The choices for ‘green’ bathroom fixtures, materials, products and surfaces are wide-ranging, so all it takes is a bit of research to find what’s right for your needs. Although sourcing eco-friendly materials may first require a little extra effort and money, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you’re designing a space that will harm the environment as little as possible, sustain itself for years to come and create long-term savings.
Johanna believes everybody is capable of adopting responsible, sustainable living practices. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Explore more of Johanna’s work on Tumblr.