Eco-Chic Bathroom Upgrades

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Planning a bathroom remodel to transform your tired, old space into a sustainable serene spa?  Today’s marketplace has just about everything you need to create an eco-friendly, luxurious lavatory, from design details to construction components.  In this post, I’ll concentrate on the latter, with a future post focusing on the finishing touches.

Please donate usable items from your bath to a place like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or an architectural salvage yard.  Animal shelters are always in need of old towels, if those need replacing too.

  • CABINETRY:  To maintain healthy indoor air, look for cabinets made with adhesives, binders and finishes that are free of urea formaldehyde and VOCs.  For the most environmentally-friendly options, choose companies that source wood locally and responsibly.  Constructing your cabinetry from reclaimed wood, FSC-certified/responsibly harvested wood, cool bio-composites or recycled metal are also great options.  See my earlier post here about green cabinet makers.
  • FLOORING AND TILE:  Eco-conscious companies use recycled materials to create endless options for durable flooring and tile.  Great sources include TerraGreen Ceramics,  FireClay Tile (pictured here), CoveringsEtc, EnviroGlas, Innovative Ceramics, Crossville, and American Olean.
  • INSTANT HOT WATER SYSTEMS:  Tired of wasting water while waiting for it to heat up?  These gadgets are the answer!
  • VENTILATION FANS:  Steamy showers?  Be sure to install an Energy Star-rated ventilation fan that vents to the outdoors to help prevent mold and mildew.
  • DRYWALL:  Mold-resistant EcoRock by Serious Materials is 5 times more environmentally friendly than conventional gypsum.
  • TRIM AND MOULDINGS:  Opt for those made with recycled materials, such as those from Timbron and Spero.
  • SKYLIGHTS AND SOLAR TUBES:  Brighten your bath with Energy Star-rated skylights, windows and solar tubes.
  • COUNTERTOPS / SHOWER SURROUNDS:   Find sleek, solid surfaces in a wide variety of natural and recycled materials.  Again, look for products that use VOC-free sealants and binders.

Recycled Glass Countertops (some also contain cement or concrete):  IceStone (New York-based), Vetrazzo (Georgia), Green Field Stone (Iowa), Gilasi (Illinois), EnviroGLAS (TX), Trinity Glass Products (WA), UltraGlas (CA), Fuez (OR) and meldUSA (NC).

Recycled Paper Composites:  ShetkaStone (WA), RecycleTop by KlipTech (WA & WI), PaperStone (WA), and Richlite (WA).

Recycled Plastic Countertops (high density polyethylene from post-consumer milk and detergent bottles):  Origins by Yemm & Hart (MO) and 100 Percent by 3form.

Natural Stone:  You may find remnant slabs of soapstone, slate or marble at your local supplier.  Be sure to purchase ones that have been quarried locally and responsibly.

Tag(s): Green Design, Greening the Home, Kitchens And Baths


One Response to “Eco-Chic Bathroom Upgrades”

  1. Eco-Chic Bathroom Upgrades : Green building and living – GreenStrides | Green Living on May 15th, 2011 9:23 pm

    […] post: Eco-Chic Bathroom Upgrades : Green building and living – GreenStrides ← Green travel ideas and guidance – Green Living […]

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