When it comes to remodeling your home, you’ll want to pay special attention to your bathroom. Everybody pays attention to the bathrooms in a home, because everybody visits them at one point or another. As such, there is more pressure to keep the bathroom modern and stylish than there is to update most other rooms.
You’ll want to consider more than just aesthetics when you set out to remodel your bathroom. If you really want to make the space fit for the 21st century, you may also want to think about how to make it sustainable. More specifically, you’ll want to consider sustainable bathroom flooring options.
What’s Wrong with Ceramic Tiling? Actually, Nothing
Many people assume that they won’t be able to use ceramic during their bathroom remodel, but in fact that isn’t necessarily true. Ceramic is certainly not the only option you’ll have when you want to give your bathroom floor a sustainable makeover, but it’s a perfectly reasonable choice. The fact is that ceramic is made from clay and other raw ingredients, which means it can be taken directly from the earth. As such, it does not require the destruction of natural resources (unlike wood, which requires the cutting down of trees).
Wood is a common stylistic addition to bathrooms this year, but it can be environmentally irresponsible. Instead of adorning your bathroom floor with hardwood this year, consider choosing imitation hardwood made from ceramic tiles.
Bamboo for You!
Unlike trees, which can take decades to grow, bamboo is easily replaced and can become fully grown within only three years. Better yet, bamboo proves to be more resilient than most hardwood surfaces, beating out maple and northern red oak when it comes to toughness. Plus, bamboo easily resists moisture and mildew, which makes it ideal for use in places with plenty of flowing water. However, you’ll still want to look out for overflowing sinks and toilets, since large amounts of water can overpower these properties and warp the planks.
To avoid these problems, consider purchasing bamboo floor options that have been specially engineered to be extra resilient. You may also consider modular bamboo flooring products, so that you can easily replace individual planks if they become damaged.
A lot of people enjoy the appearance of stone in their bathrooms, but balk at using it when they see the price. Instead of adding an expensive stone coating to your bathroom floors, why not remove a layer and experience the next best thing: concrete?
Most bathroom floors already have a sub-layer of concrete beneath their surface. In years past, exposing this layer would have been considered a design faux-pas. However, current designs have trended towards an industrial look supported by exposed concrete subflooring. Exposing your concrete subfloor and using it as regular bathroom flooring is considered sustainable because it makes use of an existing surface instead of requiring you to install another one. It also lasts for much longer than tiles. Even outside of the bathroom, concrete can provide benefits to homeowners. It offers an excellent way to reduce indoor air pollution—one of the EPA’s top 5 environmental risks to the public—by replacing carpeted surfaces that can easily collect dirt over time.
Using Radiant Heat Flooring
Your choice of materials isn’t the only thing you should consider when remodeling your bathroom floor. You may also want to think about systems that can help you use energy more efficiently. Radiant Heat Flooring is one interesting option: a network of heating coils underneath your floor that provides smooth heat from the ground up. RHF systems are more expensive than traditional furnaces—at first, anyway. However, they eventually offset their costs with long-term energy savings, and are highly compatible with tile floors.
Curious about how much energy an RHF system could save you? Do an energy audit of your home and see where you’re spending the most money. Chances are, a significant portion of your monthly bills are from heating and cooling costs. If they are, you might want to consider more energy efficient options.
When it comes to remodeling your bathroom floor, there are many options you can choose. You might opt for the resilience of bamboo, the simplicity of concrete, or the convenience of tile. You might also consider exploring new ways to heat the space, so that you can save more energy while you use it. Refer to this guide as you shop, and choose green materials that suit your home.