20 January 2010
R3project round-up 6: the Bathroom
As you can guess, in the bathroom it is most of all about water, and using as less as possible of it. Our showerhead and the tap of the sink have low-flow faucet aerators that mix the water with air. That way less water is used but you still get the effect of a full shower. The aerators are easy to install, and only cost around 3€, while saving up to 50% water! We believe it’s a must for all taps.
Toilets are also using quite a lot of water. We find it easiest to reduce the water consumption at this end by regulating manually how much water we need each time to flush. Our Stop Flush system by Roca, let’s you decide how much water you need each time; the first flush starts letting water down the toilet bowl and the second flush stops it. If you happen to forget or your guests don’t know this system, it simply stops after a full flush of 12 litres. Read about other options for water-saving flushing devices here.
The next things to keep in mind are the materials you use in the bathroom. Because of the contact with water and a higher humidity level in the air, natural materials are not always recommended for bathrooms. We decided to use the same locally produced tiles as in the kitchen, only in red instead of white and green. The walls around the bathtub and the sink are covered with recycled plastic slate tiles, also a Spanish product. You can read about this experiment here and here.
The bathtub was actually in the apartment when we started the renovation, and despite a few scratched that could easily be fixed, it was in perfect shape. It was however not easy to convince the workmen to use this old tub instead of buying a brand new one, even if they are cheap. Bathtubs and sinks create a lot of waste when they are thrown out, often only because of a change in fashion, and not becasue they are broken. That is why we decided to get the sink Kalahari by Roca, a locally produced sink, made of much less material than most other designs.
We are also avoiding the use of PVC, so the alternative to a shower curtain was a simple glass sheet: long lasting and easily recyclable. Mirrors are not especially eco-friendly objects, so the best thing you can do is get a second hand one. Last but not least, we keep our bathroom clean with some eco-cleaning action. Click here for some recipes for eco-friendly cleaning products you can make your self- and that work!
If you want to know more about the R3project, you can read the round-ups of kitchen, living-room, office, bedroom and general installations.