With so much interest in luxuries like heated flooring and soaking tubs, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger trend in bathroom remodeling – sustainability.
If you have a heated bathroom floor, one way to make it greener is to set it on a timer so it only consumes energy when you need it. Low-flow toilets are another way to make your bathroom greener.
Options that have two separate flushing buttons, one that releases less water, will help save a large amount of water and will help to lower your water bill.
Another popular green option is an on-demand water system. The unit heats water almost instantaneously, eliminating the need for a water heater, which is very inefficient because it always has to keep water hot and at your disposal.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created the WaterSense label to designate plumbing products that conserve water. Since more water is consumed in bathrooms than in other areas of the home, several companies offer bath products that conserve water without sacrificing performance.
Products that meet the WaterSense criteria include American Standard’s Cadet 3 Flowise high efficiency toilet and the new 75th anniversary redesign of Kohler’s Wellworth toilet. Both models flush using just 1.28 gallons. Niagara Conservation’s Stealth toilet uses only 0.8 gallons per flush.
The Cadet 3 is an easy to clean, one piece toilet made with American Standard’s EverClean surface which inhibits the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria.
The Wellworth’s large water surface keeps the bowl clean and reduces odor. Its updated tank design fits with a wide range of bathroom designs. This toilet relies on a standard three-bolt installation, ideal for adjustments and leveling. When used as a replacement, its large base covers any impressions left by the previous unit.
Combining a high efficiency toilet with water conserving showerheads and faucets lets homeowners save significant water and money without giving up any convenience.
American Standard’s Flowise showerheads use only 1.5 gallons of water per minute. In fact, their entire bathroom faucet line works on just 1.5 gallons per minute with no perceived loss in performance.
Another water conscious showerhead manufacturer is Niagara with their Tri-Max, Earth Massage and Soap and Soak showerheads. The non-aerating, adjustable Earth Massage uses a flow compensator to maintain even shower pressure and comes in both handheld and wall-mount models. Moen has 17 WaterSense certified showerheads in handheld, wall-mount and hand shower models. Available in needle and bubble spray patterns, Niagara’s bath faucet aerators have flow rates as low as 0.5 gallons per minute.
Steam baths like those made by Mr. Steam and Steamist reduce water use significantly. An average one-minute shower uses five times more water than a 20-minute steam bath, which also consumes about 25 cents worth of electricity.
Aside from consumption, another way to go green in the bathroom is in your choice of materials.
Sink manufacturer Elkay’s stainless steel sinks use up to 60% recycled steel, while their antique copper hammered sinks and cast brass vessels are made of 100 percent recycled materials. Kohler’s cast iron tubs are constructed from 93% recycled and reclaimed materials.
When it comes time to decorate your eco-friendly bathroom, don’t forget recycled tile! There are many styles and colors on the market so you are sure to find one right for you.
Green Technology is advancing every day. Call us at 818-232-7385 and your Lavitech Project Manager will help you create the eco-friendly bathroom of your dreams.