The kitchen and the bathroom are two of the home’s biggest contributors to your carbon footprint. These are the only rooms that use water and generate waste. When you want to make your home greener, these are the first two you think about. A responsible bathroom renovation is not just about the latest fixtures and a fresh coat of paint. Consider the following tips when you consult a contractor about updating this space.
Prevent Heat Loss – It takes energy to produce heat in your bathroom, and the more heat you keep in, the less energy you use. Consider insulating your pipes as a way to achieve this. Insulated pipes hold more heat, so your water heater will work less. This is a low cost modification, so it will not drive up your bathroom renovation budget.
Watch Your Water Use – In many older homes, people are using more water than they actually need to. Not surprisingly, the culprits are usually the shower and the toilet. Don’t just update your fixtures; choose those with water conservation features. Low flow toilets and showerheads can be found at many retail outlets. Your contractor can help you to pick the best products for your needs.
Select the Right Flooring – For a greener bathroom, consider installing a floor made from partially recycled materials. More companies are now developing these products, so you will have a number of choices. To go the extra mile you can learn more about the products by asking questions such as:
- Does the manufacturer use green production methods?
- What is the percentage of recycled materials used in the flooring products?
- Are the materials used in production easy to obtain?
Your flooring options will include tiles made from recycled ceramic tiles, recycled glass, and encaustic cement. You may also choose a variety of laminates or other flooring options that stand up to water.
Use the Right Installation Materials
Some types of caulk and sealants are not suitable for a green bathroom renovation. Ask about low VOC products when you are talking to your contractor or shopping around. VOC means volatile organic compounds. Gases often escape from these products over time, especially due to high temperatures. Low VOC products vent fewer vapors and are considered more economically friendly for use in the home.
A greener bathroom is not much of a challenge when you make it part of the renovation project. Even if your renovation is being done on a small scale, these minor changes can make a big difference. If you’re in the New Kensington, PA area and would like to discuss your bathroom remodeling or renovation ideas in detail, contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.