How To Design An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Bathrooms

It’s no secret that humans are having a hugely detrimental impact on the environment and as more and more evidence emerges, we are fast approaching the point of no return.

And the built environment (that is our homes, shops, offices and other man-made structures) is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions and damage to the planet.

With that in mind, individuals and businesses alike are doing all they can to reduce their own impact on the planet, and this can start with the smallest changes.

So, if you’re refurbishing your home or property this year, consider what you can do to make a difference.

In this guide, we’re going to focus on one of the most important rooms in the house, the bathroom.

Designing an eco-friendly bathroom involves making conscious choices to minimise water usage, reduce energy consumption and select sustainable materials.

Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you do just that.

Consider water-saving strategies and features

It’s important to encourage water conservation habits in your home and this starts with your bathroom design.

It’s a good idea to choose water-efficient fixtures throughout the room. One way you can do this is by placing a water-saving timer in the shower or choosing a more water and energy-efficient shower head. This can help to cut down on shower time and wastage.

You might also wish to install a dual-flush or low-flow toilet. Better still if this is connected to a grey water system.

Greywater systems, if you’ve not heard of them before, recycle water from sinks, showers and washing machines to use for toilet flushing or irrigation. Basically, anything that doesn’t require fresh, clean water.

When it comes to your taps, hands-free automatic taps can limit water usage and stop the taps from being left on by accident.

Make your bathroom more energy-efficient

As well as being water-efficient, it’s also crucial that your bathroom is energy-efficient too. We’ve already mentioned an energy-efficient shower head, but what about water heating?

By installing a high-efficiency water heater, such as a tankless or solar water heater, you can reduce energy usage and lower your utility bills.

Another way you can save money and the planet is by choosing energy-efficient lighting. Opting for LED or CFL bulbs, which consume less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, can instantly cut your usage.

You could also consider installing skylights or larger windows to maximise natural light and reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day anyway.

The final suggestion for this section is installing an energy-efficient ventilation fan.

Having a fan in your bathroom is vital to improve air quality and prevent mould and mildew growth. However, the wrong fan can use a lot of energy.

Look for models with automatic sensors or timers to minimise energy consumption. You could also choose those that are connected to your lights and only come on when the lights are being used.

Returning back to our suggestions for bigger windows and skylights, making use of natural ventilation like open windows can also be better for the planet. However, we realise this isn’t always possible in the colder winter months.

Choose recycled, upcycled and sustainable materials

When you design your bathroom, you need to put careful consideration into what materials you use throughout. From tiles to fixtures and fittings, choose recycled, upcycled and sustainable materials wherever possible.

For example, you can incorporate recycled or upcycled materials, such as reclaimed wood for countertops or shelves and salvaged fixtures like old taps or wall-mounted sinks.

Then, when it comes to your bathroom tiles, opt for materials like porcelain as these are far more sustainable options.

It’s also important to choose an eco-friendly flooring option, such as bamboo, cork, reclaimed wood, or recycled tiles. These materials are durable, renewable and less harmful to the environment compared to conventional options like vinyl or ceramic tiles.

Opt for non-toxic paints and finishes

Use no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes to minimise indoor air pollution and promote healthier indoor air quality. This is also better for the planet when washing your brushes or disposing of any excess paint as these are less harmful to the water and local environment.

The same applies to waterproofing and sealants. Selecting eco-friendly products that are free from harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates and VOCs can protect your own health and the health of the planet.

So always look for products with eco-certifications or third-party endorsements to make sure you’re getting the right stuff.

Look for durable and long-lasting fixtures

Just because you’re designing a new bathroom, does not mean you have to rip everything out of the existing space and get rid of it.

Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to fix or refurbish fixtures and fittings that you already have. Not only is this better for the planet but it will save you some money as well.

On top of that, you should invest in high-quality, durable fixtures and fittings that are built to last. This will ensure they last longer, reduce the need for frequent replacements and minimise the waste from your bathroom.

Plus, when designing a bathroom, you don’t want something that is only going to last you a year before you have to replace it. You want something that will stand the test of time and is a worthy investment.

Make sure to properly insulate your bathroom

Finally, during the installation stage, it’s vital that you ensure proper insulation is fitted around your pipes, water heaters and walls. This will help to prevent heat loss and reduce energy consumption for heating water and your bathroom as a whole.

Ask the experts when designing your eco-friendly bathroom

If you’re not sure where to start with your eco-friendly bathroom, but you’re certain you want to get this right, don’t take any risks.

Visit a bathroom showroom or speak to expert providers who can advise you on the best design features for your space, that will serve both you and the planet.

Read through our useful guide for more information

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