Best for the Bath: Eight Tips for Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodeling

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Why not include a towel warmer to complete the picture? Vertical Hydronic heaters, $200 to $1,000; towel warmers, $329 to $1,500. (800) 526-2621

Of course you want to go green when you remodel your bathroom or update appliances and fixtures–but cost concerns could be holding you back. The good news is that environmentally safe, energy efficient, water-saving products, natural flooring, and organic linens cost, on average, a mere 5 percent more than their conventional counterparts. So go ahead and splurge–you’ll be creating a healthier, safer environment for yourself and the planet.

1. Installing a low-flow showerhead is one of the best ways to reduce water consumption, and some models also eliminate chlorine. The High Output Shower Filter from Real Goods is $50. (800) 762-7325

2. Crossville’s earth-friendly porcelain tile, the Geostone Eco-Cycle, is made from reclaimed, recycled, unfired waste material from the manufacturing system, which would otherwise end up in landfills. It has no toxic qualities, prevents bacteria, and comes in five natural colors. Twelve-inch tiles cost $1.77 per square foot; (931) 484-2110

3. What is a bath or shower without the comfort of a warm bathroom? The best choice for energy efficient heat is Runtal’s hydronic, instant zoning radiators. These attractive heaters provide warmth where it’s needed while taking up very little space. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and applications. Why not include a towel warmer to complete the picture? Vertical Hydronic heaters, $200 to $1,000; towel warmers, $329 to $1,500. (800) 526-2621

4. HealthyHome’s line of Coyuchi organic towels are priced from $4.99 to $49.99. (800) 583-9523

5. Choose bath towels made from unbleached cotton and natural dyes. Real Goods offers natural towels from $10 to $38 and organic cotton towel sets for $48. (800) 762-7325

6. Marmoleum, the first choice in natural, organic linoleum, has been around for more than 100 years. Made from wood flour, rosins, and linseed oil on a natural jute backing, Marmoleum is truly environmentally sound flooring. Its natural antibacterial properties help prevent unhealthy bacteria and deter household mites. Estimated installation, including material and labor, ranges between $4.50 to $9 per square foot. (800) 842-7839

7. The best choice for shower curtains is organic hemp, which has antimicrobial properties. You can get simple hemp shower curtains from Real Goods for $99. (800) 762-7325

8. Sandhill Industry’s jewel-like recycled glass tiles are fired at lower temperatures than regular tile to save energy. (907) 451-6508