Sustainability refers to the capacity for the Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. More specifically, being sustainable means successfully co-existing whilst avoiding depleting the earth’s natural resources. In the face of climate change, we can all make small changes to do our bit to help protect the environment and the valuable resources that the planet has to offer. An easy first step is to consider the products and materials that you use within your house or at work. The washroom is a great place to start.
Making more eco-conscious choices about what materials you incorporate into your washroom design can seem like a daunting task, however, to get you started there are a couple of things to first consider:
How eco-friendly the material is.
How sustainable the material is.
Sustainable materials can be used in large quantities over a long period of time, with appropriate planning and development, without significant environmental impact.
Some well-known examples of sustainable materials are concrete, glass, steel, and stone, but green materials like mud, straw, timber and recycled and renewable products are also fantastic additions to any sustainable design. However - just because a material can be sustainably sourced doesn’t necessarily mean it’s eco-friendly.
To be eco-friendly, a product must have a positive impact (or at least no negative impact) on the environment and living things. This covers the manufacturing process, transportation, installation, along with its daily use.
So, what are the best materials you can choose to utilise when designing an eco-friendly, sustainable washroom?
At Maxwood Washrooms, we design commercial washrooms with both your needs and the environment in mind. We offer a variety of materials for you to choose from, including a number of sustainable solid surfaces, and are always happy to discuss and explore sustainable options. Here are a few of our favourite sustainable materials that can be easily incorporated into your design-
Durat is a unique, sustainable solid surface material made of recycled plastics, available in over 200 colours. Durat is easy to maintain and hard-wearing, ideally designed to withstand the washroom environment. The best part? It’s 100% recyclable, meaning it can be reused and repurposed in the future.
Richlite is another recyclable panel and solid surface material. It’s similar to hardwood and is suitable for duct panels, vanity tops, and cubicle cladding. It’s made from an impressive 65% recycled paper and even has natural anti-microbial properties, making it fantastic for modern hygiene-conscious washroom designs. Although the colour range is less varied than Durat, Richlite makes up for it with its exceptional service life. It is designed to last, even in wet environments, and has a minimum 20-year guarantee. It’s the ideal choice for those concerned about cleanliness and longevity.
Another option for those wanting a more unique, luxurious finish is Quartz. Quartz is available in a large range of colours and finishes, meaning it can be tailored to suit your personal taste. Although Quartz is only made up of a minimum of 20% recycled content, it is carbon neutral. Achieving that elegant timeless finish can come at a premium and it can be expensive compared to other washroom surfaces, however as a premium product Quartz is unrivalled.
Veneer is a wood-based panel material that is 100% recyclable and entirely biodegradable. Fantastically versatile and is available in a wide range of finishes, it does require more regular and gentle maintenance and care but can be the perfect material for multiple requirements within a modern washroom.
Laminate, tile, and stone are all durable, long-lasting washroom flooring options that can add style and elegance to your design. All three are easy to clean and maintain, reducing the need for vigorous cleaning and unnecessary water wastage, a major factor within the sustainable design. For more information about efficient water conservation in the washroom, check out this blog post.
If you’d like to learn more about the sustainable materials we have available, contact us to discuss your design needs. We’re available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively, give us a call at 020 3657 7615.