5 Ways to Make Your Refit More SustainableRebecca Hinshelwood
More and more consumers are considering the sustainability of their purchasing decisions. Fitting out your home is no different. When planning a kitchen or bathroom refit, the sustainability of the materials plays a part in your choices. This may not be because you are an eco warrior! You may simply want to make the most efficient and durable selections that you can. This makes economic sense after all. It’s often the case, though, that what makes long term economic sense is actually the most ecologically sustainable decision too.
So how do we make our rooms more sustainable?
1. Natural Materials
Look first to use natural materials in your kitchen and bathroom. There is a reason that stone has remained a consistent building material for centuries. It’s both great looking and long lasting. And for marble and granite surfaces, there is less manufacture process involved in the creation of your worktop or sink surround. The stones are mined and cut into slabs of the natural material. The environmental impact comes from the quarrying and transport of the materials. When you consider the sustainability of stone within your home over a plastic alternative, natural materials like granite or marble don’t shed particles in the same way as plastics so are preferable to a sustainable home environment.
2. Durable Materials
The great technological advances of modern stone lie in the sealing of granite or marble to make the surface even more durable. You can even go a step further by choosing quartz or dekton which mixes a small proportion of resin to construct a material that can withstand the most demanding of kitchen environments. Quartz will tend to have less of an environmental impact from transportation than the quarried stones as products can be found more readily.
3. Classic Design
The sustainability of your kitchen or bathroom is not just to do with the properties of the materials used. It is to do with how long lasting the appeal of the room design will be. As fashions and trends come and go, how can you be sure that your decisions will continue to please you for years to come? The key, of course, is to choose a look that is classic and timeless. This can be achieved in both traditional and contemporary schemes using stone features. Choose worktops and sink surrounds in tones that are flexible to the wider design concepts surrounding them; so tones of grey, white or cream. This means that even should you redesign the space, your stone worktops remain in keeping.
4. Reuse and Recycle
While you may choose to invest in marble, granite or quartz worktop, how can you include low waste principles in your kitchen or bathroom? Work out how much of your cabinet structure you can reuse. Unless your refits form part of a home extension project, the shape of your rooms will remain unchanged. Even if the room shape and size is changing, unit shells are moveable and flexible and are ultimately reusable. If you’re going for a traditional design scheme, look at sourcing original features such as taps and switches. Or for modern schemes, reduce the materials that you’re using by selecting handleless cabinet fronts to sit under your worktop.
5. Energy Efficiency
Whilst you may want to consider the energy efficiency of your kitchen or bathroom materials, it is also important to ensure that your rooms run efficiently day to day. If you are including a stone worktop as part of a kitchen refit, look at also selecting LED lighting and an induction hob. For bathrooms, LED lighting is also a great start, but also consider lower flow plumbing to limit water waste.
When you wish to make sustainable choices during your next kitchen or bathroom refit, then, try to simplify the process. All materials will have some level of environmental impact. So reuse what you can and take the long view to choose a stone that will last you a lifetime.