A bathroom remodeling project can also be a green project, if you take the time to choose materials from an eco-friendly standpoint. Your flooring is a major source of materials and it is a common way to give the bathroom a facelift. Tile is usually the primary choice, since it can withstand the moist environment. The following are just a few of the green options available when it comes to choosing your bathroom tile.
Option #1: Recycled Tile
Recycled tiles come from a variety of sources. You can find recycled glass, ceramic, and stone tiles from specialty suppliers or from salvage building stores. This is an exceptionally good choice if you are going for a period look in the bathroom – such as looking for year appropriate tile for remodeling a bathroom in a 1920's craftsman home. The main issue will be finding sufficient tile in the design you like. You can make this process easier by choosing your tile with a theme – such as by color, material, or tile shape – and then mix and match it from within this theme.
Option #2: Eco-Tiles
There are several makers of eco-friendly tiles. These are made from natural clay and minerals that are mined responsibly to avoid major environmental damage. Some tiles are even made from the waste materials from other manufacturing processes, such as collected stone dust from rock cutting. The best option is to find a local manufacturer to cut down on the carbon footprint of having the tiles shipped for long distances.
Option #3: Recycled Glass Tiles
These tiles are made of old glass, such as bottles, that is then recycled and reformed into beautiful glass tiles. You have much the same choice is colors, shapes and designs as you would buying newly-manufactured tile, but with the peace of mind of knowing you are keeping glass out of the landfills. These tiles can be a bit pricier than other options, though, so you may want to primarily use them as accent pieces if you are on a tight budget.
Option #4: Linoleum Tiles
Linoleum is an often overlooked green option. Don't mistake it for its distant cousin, vinyl flooring. Vinyl is made of petroleum products while linoleum comes from natural materials. The main components are wood, cork and limestone dust, which is then bonded together with natural resins. You can even get fully eco-friendly options that use natural mineral pigments to dye the linoleum with its designs and colors. Even better, linoleum is biodegradable if you ever remove it in the future. While linoleum traditionally comes as sheets, there are also individual tile options that can look a bit more sophisticated than the designs of the past.