Bathrooms use a lot of water. In fact, this is the room that uses most of the water in your home. The toilet accounts for 26.7% of all water usage, on average. The shower adds 16.8% to that figure. The interesting part of this is, while you can’t avoid using water, there are ways to upgrade almost every fixture you have to reduce water usage.
Below, we’ll cover the bathroom upgrades that will go easy on your water bills and the environment — while turning your bathroom into a more beautiful, contemporary space.
Choose a Low-Flow Toilet
Modern toilets use a lot less water than older ones while providing plenty of flushing power. In 1992, a U.S. law was passed that mandated all new toilets sold within the U.S. to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less. Contrast that with older toilets, which can require twice or even four times as much water — 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. You can see where replacing those older toilets can save a lot of money while upgrading the look of your bathroom.
Replace Your Showerhead With a Low-Flow Showerhead
This is an inexpensive upgrade that you can install — and it could save you many times over on your water bill. On average, if you took seven-minute showers 25 times per month, a regular showerhead flowing at 2.5 gallons per minute would use 440 gallons of water. Replace it with a low-flow model that uses about 1.5 gallons per minute? That number drops to 262 gallons per month, which saves you roughly 2,000 gallons each year.
Opt for a Low-Flow Faucet, Too
Similarly to showerheads, you can install low-flow faucets to help rein in water usage. Though the bathroom faucet isn’t among the largest water users in the bathroom, this still chalks up to big savings. Standard faucets use about 2.2 gallons per minute, but if you get a water-saving faucet, it could consume between 0.8 and 1.5 gallons per minute.
Rethink the Bathtub
Hot baths are undeniably a relaxing luxury — but they also use a lot of water. The average bathtub will need between 25 and 50 gallons for a fill — whereas a 10-minute shower with a water-saving showerhead will use roughly 25 gallons of water. The first thing that you can do where the bathtub is concerned is to treat baths as a luxury. It’s perfectly fine to indulge once in a while, but daily baths can drive up your water usage.
Another great way to reduce water usage during baths is to replace your tub with a water-saving bathtub. These are quite unique in that they’re designed to hold less water than a traditional bath while giving you the same comfort. Essentially, they’re designed to fit the contours of the human body, which allows you to soak while using far less water.
Combine New Fixtures With Good Habits
The upgrades mentioned above will save a lot of water yearly, making them well worth the investment. They’ll enhance the look of your bathroom, too, replacing old and worn fixtures with new, stylish ones.
Past that, you can save even more water by combining your updated fixtures with good habits:
- Make sure to shut the bathroom faucet off when you’re not actively using the water. In other words, don’t let the water just run while brushing your teeth.
- Minimize shower time and treat baths as a luxury to ease water usage.
- Regularly check your plumbing. Leaks account for up to 13.7% of water usage within the home. If your toilet keeps running, faucets drip or pipes seep, that is water being wasted. It may not seem like much, but it adds up over the course of a year. Worse, plumbing leaks could cost you even more if they go unnoticed long enough to cause rot or some other kind of damage to your home.
Saving water means investing wisely in fixtures. Nowhere is this more important than in the bathroom, which is the biggest water consumer in any home. Consider upgrades to bring your water bills down and to give your bathroom a much-needed update.
Author bio: Erica Garland is Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom and has 15-plus years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. Modern Bathroom sells a variety of products you would need for any bathroom renovation project. With such a large selection of vanities, faucets, sinks, toilets and showers, Modern Bathroom is sure to have the perfect piece to give your bathroom an updated look.