How Self-Care and Sustainability Can Coexist In Your Upcoming Bathroom Remodeling Project
The bathroom has evolved far beyond a getting-ready space; today’s designs are filled with items that nod to our society’s emphasis on wellness. From clean beauty to aromatherapy, there’s no shortage of modern bathroom additions that encourage self-care.
Still, some homeowners may overlook the part their physical space plays in contributing to their overall well-being. What’s more, bathrooms have traditionally been responsible for a considerable amount of energy and water consumption, which ultimately affects both the environment’s comfort and our own.
A bathroom remodeling project can transform an outdated design into a wellness-focused oasis that makes sustainability a priority. To get you inspired, we’re sharing six of our favorite large and small bathroom remodel ideas that benefit the planet – and your wallet!
Bathroom Remodel Idea #1: Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, showering accounts for around 17% of residential indoor water use, which, for the average family, adds up to nearly 40 gallons per day. And if your showerhead is particularly old, you could be wasting even more!
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 set a maximum showerhead flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. Before then, showerheads could output five or more gallons per minute. Today, the EPA’s WaterSense label designates water-saving showerheads that use no more than two gallons per minute and are equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market.
By switching to a low-flow showerhead during your bathroom remodeling project, you can save 2,700 gallons per year while also reducing your energy usage, because there will be less reliance on your water heater.
Many people think that a water-saving showerhead will adversely affect their shower experience, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. WaterSense-labeled showerheads must meet rigorous performance requirements related to spray force, spray coverage, and pressure compensation, so you can trust that this bathroom remodel idea is as good for you as it is the planet.
Bathroom Remodel Idea #2: Opt for Energy-Efficient Lighting
Every good bathroom remodeling project includes tasteful lighting fixtures. Light adds necessary brightness, but it also impacts the overall ambience of a space.
However, traditional incandescent bulbs are some of the biggest culprits of energy consumption in our homes. For an eco-friendly bathroom remodel idea that can do wonders for your utility bills as well, invest in LED lighting. The Department of Energy estimates that residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts – and last up to 25 times longer. While LED bulbs are generally more expensive, they’re worth every penny for their longevity and long-term savings – and they won’t significantly alter your bathroom remodel cost.
In addition to efficient lighting, you can save on electricity by incorporating controls like timers, motion sensors, and dimmers. Timers and motion sensors make forgetting to shut off the lights a thing of the past. Dimmers let you adjust light levels, so you can cut back on your energy usage and set the mood for a nice relaxing soak.
Bathroom Remodel Idea #3: Embrace Natural Light Where You Can
Beyond your interior lighting choices, you can naturally illuminate your bathroom using windows and skylights wherever possible. These fixtures keep you from wasting electricity while contributing to a happier and more functional space. Natural light is a proven mood booster and makes personal care tasks, such as applying makeup or shaving, that much easier.
As an added bonus, windows and skylights can also improve bathroom ventilation. Humidity and moisture can quickly build up after a hot shower, attracting mold and mildew if not properly aired out. Opening a window is a simple and electricity-free solution for better air circulation throughout your space.
Bathroom Remodel Idea #4: Upgrade to a Water-Saving Toilet
Toilets are responsible for the most water usage inside our homes at nearly 30%. While the current federal standard is 1.6 gallons per flush, older toilets may use as much as six gallons.
The good news is that there are even more water-efficient models available today. Low-flow options use 1.28 gallons per flush or less – a 20% decrease in water consumption compared to toilets that just meet government-issued specifications. In fact, the EPA reports that an upgraded toilet can lower the average family’s water usage anywhere from 20 to 60%, equating to 13,000 gallons of water savings every year.
This bathroom remodel idea presents homeowners with several options for efficiency, with some of the most popular including dual-flush or vacuum technology. Whatever you choose, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more sustainable and water conscious household.
Bathroom Remodel Idea #5: Add Heated Flooring
Heated flooring is often perceived as a luxurious add-on to a bathroom remodeling project, but it’s also an eco-friendly one. The radiant heat used under floorboards is unlike standard forced air heating, where hot air rises and cold air falls. Because the lower part of your body receives heat first, you’re able to get and stay warm more efficiently.
In addition, heated flooring allows you to heat only your bathroom without warming up the rest of the house. This keeps unnecessary energy consumption in check while enhancing your morning and evening routines. You can finally say goodbye to stepping out of your hot shower onto a cold floor!
You can look forward to cleaner air as well. A forced-air system pushes heat out through ducts and vents, which can result in more airborne dust and allergens. Radiant floor heating doesn’t utilize fans or blowers, meaning you can breathe easier.
Bathroom Remodel Idea #6: Design with Sustainable Decor
Our eco-friendly list of large and small bathroom remodel ideas wouldn’t be complete without talking about your decor choices. A sustainable space needs appropriate accents to round out your conscious commitment.
One of the simplest ways to achieve this is by incorporating plants into your design. Live greenery not only helps promote a calming atmosphere, but plants act as natural air purifiers as well. You can also use sustainable materials, like solid wood and bamboo, during your bathroom remodeling project to continue building on the environmental theme.
Ultimately, what we love about these bathroom remodel ideas is that they can be adapted to any home and style. Making green choices goes beyond doing our part for the planet; they help support and enrich a healthy, wellness-focused lifestyle.
Learn more about sustainably upgrading your bathroom by contacting a licensed and experienced home remodeling contractor near you.