If you start thinking about eco-friendly resources from the first phase of designing your bathroom remodel, you can incorporate many more green attributes. Don’t forget that conserving water, reclaiming unrecyclable materials, and using non-toxic supplies are all just as important to a green design as energy efficiency.
Conserve Water with Your Eco-Friendly Bathroom Design
Since installing new plumbing fixtures in your bathroom might involve modifying the plumbing pipes, you should consider these changes first. Once you know which eco-friendly plumbing fixtures you want, you can design the rest of your bathroom around them.
Start with a New Toilet
Installing a low-flow toilet can become problematic when flushing solid waste. You may need to flush several times, wasting more water than a traditional toilet. This doesn’t mean conserving water when it comes to toilet flushes is a no-go.
When looking for green living tips, a dual flush toilet may be the best answer. This type of toilet features two flush buttons. One button will give you a half flush that’s perfect for getting rid of liquid waste, while the other button gives you the full flush needed for solid waste.
Install Low-Flow Faucets
Every eco-friendly bathroom should use low-flow faucets in sinks to reduce water waste. Since water pressure isn’t as important in the sink, you can use low-flow faucets without experiencing a significant inconvenience.
When it comes to the bathtub, don’t get rid of it. People assume a bath wastes more water than the average shower, but that isn’t always true. As the video below demonstrates, your ability to conserve energy and water depends on the size of your bathtub and the average time you shower.
If you do decide to keep a bathtub, consider refurbishing your current tub or buying an antique tub. These options will save you from contributing to the consumption of limited resources used in the manufacturing process.
Use Lighting Wisely in Your Sustainable Bathroom
Lighting is another concern in creating a sustainable bathroom design. Here are a few ideas that will help you use lighting wisely.
Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
If there are windows in your bathroom, replacing the glass with frosted glass can help you maintain privacy while letting more natural light into the bathroom. You can also install skylights in top-story bathrooms for more natural lighting.
Use Several Layers of Lighting
Think strategically about using lighting in your interior design. A vanity mirror with brighter lighting can save you from needing the high-wattage bulbs in your ceiling lights. Use canned or recessed lighting for a softer glow in your bathroom.
Make Sure All Fixtures Use LED Bulbs
Ditch the incandescent bulbs in your bathroom if you still use them. This is a common suggestion among eco-friendly design tips since LED bulbs use less energy and won’t emit nearly as much ambient heat. A cooler bathroom will help you keep your overall cooling costs lower.
Use Environmentally Friendly Flooring Ideas
When it comes to redesigning your flooring, eliminating flooring that utilizes toxic materials in the manufacturing process is essential. This doesn’t mean you won’t still have beautiful flooring options.
Get Rid of Vinyl Flooring
You should avoid using vinyl flooring in your bathroom remodel for a few reasons.
- The manufacturing process produces toxic byproducts
- Once installed, vinyl gives off fumes from VOC (volatile organic compounds)
- Vinyl has a short lifespan, increasing the need for frequent flooring replacements
Fortunately, you’ll find that eliminating vinyl from your options will open up new possibilities in choosing beautiful flooring designs.
Have a Wood or Tile Floor? Just Paint It
An option many people overlook is to simply paint the existing floor in your bathroom. This is best done with a floor comprised of wood or ceramic tiles. Use VOC-free paint to create a geometric design, or paint the floor one solid color.
Switch to Stone Tiles
If you want to use modern flooring trends, you can still find plenty of options. Since stone tiles come from nature, this is the best option for your sustainable bathroom. Alternatively, ceramic tiles are also eco-friendly.
Keep Your Eco-Friendly Bathroom Concept in Mind When Decorating Your Walls
You can add to your environmentally-friendly bathroom design by choosing green wall design ideas. This includes choosing safer wall coverings as well as hanging green decor.
Use Ceramic or Stone Tiles
Much like the eco-friendly design tips for bathroom flooring, you can also use ceramic or stone tiles for your walls. Make sure the tiles you choose are specifically intended for wall use, and look for water-resistant tiles.
Use VOC-Free Paint or Recycled Wallpaper
If you want to avoid using tiles on every wall of your bathroom, you can paint the walls any color. Again, make sure you use VOC-free paint. A different option is to look for recycled or antique wallpaper. This option helps you choose an intricate design without contributing to tree loss or paper waste.
Bring Nature Inside to Enhance Your Design
Even after you have your walls papered or painted, you can enhance the appearance of your eco-friendly bathroom when you decorate with green materials. Take a walk on the beach or through a nearby forest to find seashells, stones, or reclaimed wood.
Look for plants that thrive in humid, dimly-lit environments, such as Chinese evergreen, staghorn fern, gardenia, or tillandsia.
Final Thoughts on Building a Sustainable Bathroom
Creating an eco-friendly design for your bathroom doesn’t have to feel dull or frustrating. Have fun with it, and use your imagination. Bringing a sense of creativity to your plans can help you create something unique and friendly to the environment in your community.
About the Author
Jen is your go-to guru for crafting a cozy, green cocoon. 🪴 Her dive into sustainable building wasn’t just about saving the planet—it started as a mission to make family movie nights eco-friendly (and to ensure the popcorn was the only thing getting heated!). With a knack for breaking down the jargon, Jen turns eco-lingo into everyday language. Swing by the Green Living blog for a mix of earth-loving advice and home improvement hacks. Whether you’re just dipping your toes into green waters or you’ve been swimming in the deep end of DIY projects, Jen’s here to guide, giggle, and remind you that every eco-choice is a step towards a planet that thanks you… and maybe even sends a rainbow your way! 🌈