Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom this year? Good news! It is now easier than ever to work sustainable and low-toxic elements into a bathroom renovation. From the flooring to the accessories, here are some examples of product choices to help you make your bathroom more healthy and more environmentally friendly. You will see that you don’t have to compromise style!
For a sustainable bathroom remodel, water savings is “low-hanging fruit”. With just three simple fixture choices (toilet, shower head and faucet), your bathroom can become a paragon of water conservation. Caroma dual-flush toilets combine cutting-edge efficiency with stellar performance. These water saving fixtures have an average flush of just 1.2 gallons, and their 4″ trap practically eliminates clogs! For water savings in your shower, Oxgenics Shower Heads are designed to use up to 70% less water than standard fixtures while delivering an invigorating and spa-like shower experience. Finally, when considering the bathroom sink, one of the easiest ways to save water is to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth! You can also install an inexpensive faucet aerator to cut your use even further.
|Caroma Somerton: This Dual-Flush fixture has an average flush of just 1.2 gallons. Water Sense Certified.||Oxygenics Shower Heads: A full-power shower head for spa-like experience – using 70% less water than normal showerheads!||Faucet Aerator: Save water, increase velocity and reduce splash! Great for kitchen and bathroom sinks.|
Vanity and Surround
A gorgeous sustainable vanity is easy to achieve. Start with a base of cabinetry with no-added-formaldehyde and sustainably harvested materials like Executive or Bellmont Cabinets (pictured above). You can get the gorgeous lines and visual textures of marble or granite with an american-made countertop like Cambria, Vetrazzo or IceStone. These surfaces are durable enough to withstand the frequent cleaning and exposure to toothpaste, cleansers, and personal care products typical in the average bathroom while continuing to look great! Tile backsplashes, accents and tub-surrounds can provide splashes of color and offer an easy-to-clean surface. Choose a company that uses recycled content like Fireclay Tile or Oceanside that use post-consumer waste like recycled glass bottles and old toilets for their raw materials.
|Bellmont Cabinets: Beautifully crafted cabinets with recycled wood fiber and no added formaldehyde.||Fireclay Tile: A myriad of gorgeous styles and colors – made from recycled ceramic and glass in California.||Cambria Vanity Top: Twice as strong as granite, Cambria will resist most stains and is easy to clean.|
When choosing flooring for a bathroom one simple phrase rules: EASY TO MOP UP! Many people love the look and feel of tile on the floor of their bathroom which has the benefits of being very durable and generally easy to clean. Another classic choice for bathroom flooring is Marmoleum, a kind of classic linoleum. Completely PVC free, Marmoleum is made of Linseed oil, wood flour, wood resin, natural pigments and a jute backing. Unlike your grandmother’s linoleum, Marmoleum comes with three layers of factory finish and does not have to be waxed on a regular basis. It is also super for bathrooms because it comes in sheets (uninterrupted surface makes it easy to clean), it is naturally anti-microbial, and it comes in a vast array of colors so it can fit into any design. If you like the idea of using sheet flooring in your bathroom but want something new and a little different, Capri Sequel may be the option for you. This engineered combination of cork and rubber offers a subtle slip resistance and longevity.
|Marmoleum: PVC-free and available in every color imaginable, Marmoleum comes in sheets and can even be inlaid||Capri Sequel: Sequel is comfortable under foot, durable, slip resistant, and contains post-industrial recycled content||Green Depot Tub & Tile: Formulated with a low pH organic salt, this concentrated, non-corrosive tub & tile cleaner emits no irritating fumes.|
A great challenge for bathrooms, especially full bathrooms, is the potential for mildew growth. Fortunately there are some wall finishes that actually work to frustrate the growth of that unsightly and unhealthy stuff. American Clay, great for well ventilated bathrooms, is a dynamic and versatile earth plaster that is naturally resistant to mold growth. If standard paint is more to your liking, use Moldex or Yolo Colorhouse Paints which both contain mold-inhibiting ingredients.
Cleaning and Accessories
Once you’ve got the big renovation done, here are some products to keep the healthy, green theme going:
|Grunge Buster Grout Brush: Made of recycled plastic and bamboo, this brush is perfect for cleaning tile AND hard-to-clean grout simultaneously.||EVA Shower Curtain: These stylish non-PVC shower curtains do the job without off-gassing Poly-vinyl choride toxins!||Green Depot Tub & Tile: Formulated with a low pH organic salt, this concentrated, non-corrosive tub & tile cleaner emits no irritating fumes.|
Click here to see more of our green bathroom accessories.