Eco Elegance: Choosing sustainable bathroom fixtures

One of the biggest changes in interior design in the last 20 years is the fact that it’s not just about the ‘look’ any more. Designers and consumers are much more aware that their choices have a wider impact on the planet.

Creating a more sustainable home is all about selecting products with the lowest possible carbon footprint and the best possible quality, so they’ll serve you well for many years. When it comes to sustainable bathroom fixtures, there’s the added consideration of choosing products that can help conserve water, especially in drought-prone locations.

So if you’re building or refurbishing and want to focus on making your bathrooms more sustainable, what should you look out for? Let’s take a look at how to select bathroom fixtures that are as sustainable as they are beautiful.

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What materials should I look for in a sustainable faucet or shower?

Choosing sustainable faucets and showers for your bathroom starts with checking what materials your preferred product is made from. It can be tempting to buy a lower-priced faucet, especially if you’re on a tight budget – but this can be a false economy, because cheaper faucets are often made from cheap materials.

Check what the cartridge inside the faucet is made from – cheap ones are often made from plastic. Secondly, check the materials on the faucet body and handle – sometimes these are also made from plastic with a chrome coating. Plastic faucet components don’t withstand wear and tear as well as metal ones, which means the lifespan of a cheap faucet is much shorter – and when it does wear out, those plastic parts can’t be recycled.

From a sustainability standpoint, it’s much better to choose faucets with solid brass or stainless steel components, and ceramic cartridges that have a longer lifespan and are easy to recycle. All Artos faucets are made with solid brass internal components, steel or brass bodies, and ceramic cartridges for optimal longevity and recyclability.

You should also check the finish on your selected fixtures – if budget allows, it’s always better to choose a PVD finish over electroplated because it’s extremely durable and can further extend the lifespan of your bathroom fixtures.

What other factors should I consider when creating a sustainable bathroom?

Aside from what your bathroom fixtures are made from, there are a number of other factors that can determine how sustainable your space will be in the longer term.  
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Timeless design

Sounds obvious, but when you’re designing a sustainable space, it’s important to consider how well your choices will ‘age’ and whether they’ll look dated in a few short years. The key to design sustainability is creating spaces that can adapt easily to changing trends, without throwing everything away and starting again – so consider faucets, showers, and other fixtures with timeless appeal.

Opt for simple shapes, and think carefully before implementing trendy finishes – for instance, matte black and brass are fashionable right now, but if you want your fixtures to stay in situ for a decade or more, it might be better to choose stainless steel or nickel, both of which have remained in style for decades.

Water efficiency

Sustainability in the bathroom isn’t just about the lifespan of your fixtures, it’s also about how they perform over time. In some areas of North America (particularly California), there are already strict code requirements in place related to water consumption, and bathroom fixtures have to conform to these. 

But right across the US, prolonged droughts in summer are becoming more frequent – so in future, it’s likely that other states will have to implement similar codes. Even if they don’t, eco-conscious consumers will want to minimize waste in all areas of their homes – and that includes bathroom faucets and showers.
Selecting faucets with adjustable flow restrictors and flow aerators means you can still enjoy a decadent bathroom experience with minimal water consumption. 

While filling the tub is definitely not an eco-friendly way to wash, you can still create a spa experience in the shower – our F973NSVO valve means you can combine a rain head shower with a handheld spray AND wall-mounted body jets for an invigorating experience that also complies with California legislation.

Where it’s made

When you see a beautiful faucet or shower set in the showroom, you probably don’t consider where it came from. But making conscious choices involves looking into the provenance of your fixtures, too. At Artos, we manufacture most of our plumbing fixtures in Italy, meaning they have fewer freight miles and therefore a lower carbon footprint. This also means we have much better visibility in terms of raw materials sourcing and ethics, further enhancing the sustainability of our products.
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Ease of repair

Last but not least, when buying a new faucet or shower set, it’s important to ask what happens if something goes wrong. Is it possible – and easy – to get replacement parts for your product? Or will you simply have to replace it?  One of the things we’re most proud of here at Artos is our customer aftercare. We’ve got countless examples of times we’ve worked with our customers to provide replacement parts for five or more years old faucets – but where a simple repair meant the faucet didn’t need to be replaced. We’re very proud to offer a lifetime guarantee against leaks and material failure on our faucets and showers, and we’re always happy to replace perishable components like o-rings and seals.

Want to find out more?

If you’re designing a sustainable bathroom and would like to learn more about selecting the most eco-friendly faucet or shower fixtures, our experienced team will be happy to help – get in touch today with any queries.

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