Each year in America, more than eight million people decide that they want to remodel their bathrooms in some way. Important decisions include choosing the right appliances, picking the perfect decorative scheme and keeping a cohesive look throughout the whole home. For many homeowners, the environmental impact of their remodel is also important. If you are interested in the green movement, and in keeping your home remodel as environmentally friendly as possible, then utilize these tips for the bathroom remodeling process.
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1. Reduce the Water Consumption of Appliances
In every bathroom, there will be countless ways that users consume water each day. Running the tap, taking baths and showers and flushing the toilet are the biggest consumers. In order to reduce the water you use, it stands to reason that you will want to invest in appliances that reduce overall water consumption. Choose dual flush toilets, like those seen commonly in Europe, that have been proven to reduce water consumption by up to 17,000 gallons each year.
2. Consider Adding a Heat-Exchange Ventilator
If you haven’t heard of a heat-exchange ventilator, know that you are not alone. However, this single item can potentially save thousands in heating bills over time. This device works by moving moist air out of the home and harnesses the energy of the fan to heat incoming air. Although this comes at an expense of roughly $300 to buy upfront, it will be more than worth it in the long run.
3. Reuse Construction Materials
Almost everyone has heard the popular adage of reduce, reuse and recycle. Unfortunately, when it comes to remodeling, people are rarely interested in reusing old construction supplies. However, many items are affordable and will help prevent debris from heading to a nearby landfill. According to David Toht, former contractor and remodeling expert, “Much of our landfill, with estimates ranging from 22 percent to 40 percent, comes from construction debris.” By reusing old materials and appliances whenever possible, you can reduce this overall number significantly.
4. Choose Sustainable Materials
When it comes to choosing construction materials for your new bathroom, an important thing to pay attention to is where these materials come from. Items that require lots of manpower or fuel to produce may not be sustainable products. Items like cork, bamboo and sheet linoleum, on the other hand, are rapidly renewable products and are a smart choice for any homeowner or remodeling agent who is interested in keeping their project environmentally friendly.
Another final thing to keep in mind when remodeling your bathroom is longevity. Although you may make great decisions regarding environmentally friendly products or practices, if you repeat the process every few years it will not be ideal. Try to think through how you want your bathroom to look for the next five, ten or even twenty years to ensure that what you pick is sustainable and will last for decades.
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