6 eco ways to remodel your bathroom (Slideshow)
So, you've decided to remodel your bathroom and make it eco-friendly while you're doing it.
There's several steps you can take to make this happen in a way that considers your budget while also the environment.
Everyone knows water conservation is important. It's a no brainer. A recent visit to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show proved the point — a vast majority of fixtures featured were low-flow. It's become the industry norm.
But most homes built more than a few years ago still have the traditional faucets and showerheads and toilets. So if you're remodeling, it's time to swap out these fixtures and save up to 40,000 gallons of water a year in a typical household.
Low- and no-VOC paints
You can vastly improve the indoor air quality in your home by using low- or no-VOC paint. VOC's are volatile organic compounds, which are a component of smog and harmful to breathe in. If you opt for eco-friendly paint, then you and your family can avoid the harmful toxins.
The good news is that low- and no-VOC paint looks and acts the same as traditional paint, and it's available in a vast range of colors.
Make sure you put in proper ventilation for your bathroom. Opting for an Energy Star fan will save energy and provide you great ventilation. Also keep in mind that many fans on the market operate so quietly that you won't even know they're on.
Choose countertops made of sustainable materials such as recycled glass and concrete. Natural quartz is another great option because it resists scratching and has no off-gassing, which is good for your home's indoor air quality.
Use flooring that is sustainable. Even though it's a damp environment, you can still use bamboo, natural cork or reclaimed wood in the bathroom. Recycled glass tile is another option.
Install energy-efficient lighting to save on your utility bill. LED's or CFL's last longer and save more energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
This slideshow features images of several stunning bathrooms.
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.