Designing a bathroom, and going green? You can save a lot of money in the long run by designing a bathroom for long-term functionality. A well-designed bathroom will result in fewer repairs and replacements. It will also keep your energy and water bills low, with the advent of new earth-friendly bathroom materials technology.
Let’s start with the most important part of the bathroom: the toilet.
Older toilets can waste literally thousands of gallons per year. At five gallons per flush, you’re literally flushing your money down the drain. A high-efficiency toilet will use just over a gallon per flush. The even newer model of toilet, the dual-flush model, uses even less.
Faucets and shower heads are also now designed in low-flow models, saving even more water, and money. If your appliances were installed before 1994, chances are they are not a low-flow design.
How else can you design a green bathroom, other than the obvious water-saving appliances?
And How about saving energy on heat?
Invest in a solar-powered water heater. It’s a green solution that is getting more affordable to install, now that the technology behind solar powered appliances has continued to develop. Another design idea for a shower stall is to install a waste-heat recovery system. The system uses the water that goes down the drain to preheat the shower water itself.
The shower stall itself is a water-saving part of the bathroom, when you compare it to a bathtub. Using a separate shower stall, even a traditional one, limits baths and saves seven times the amount of energy.
Look at your typical bathroom cabinet, usually under your sink. It’s probably made of particleboard, which contains formaldehyde. Go with bamboo instead, which is a rapidly renewable natural source, and makes beautiful cabinetry.
What about the vanity top itself? Recycled glass countertops are sparkly, easy to clean, and can be continuously used throughout the bathroom on the walls as well, with recycled glass tiles.
You don’t have to be entirely new-fangled though – traditional ceramic and porcelain tiles are still OK.