Kitchen renovations are always exciting. There’s something exhilarating about transforming the appearance or function of a central room in the home. Today, an increasing number of homeowners are looking to not only renovate their kitchens but to do so in a way that is more environmentally friendly.
Here at Castle Building & Remodeling Inc, we know a thing or two about environmentally-friendly remodeling. We believe strongly in green remodeling and sustainability. In fact, we were awarded the first certified home from the Minnesota Greenstar Pilot program.
This program developed a standardized metric for remodeling and building that prioritizes eco-sensitivity and efficiency in construction and materials. Essentially, they created a system that measures whether a build or remodel followed specific protocols that promote sustainability and eco-friendly measures.
So, we have a ton of ideas when it comes to environmentally friendly renovation for your kitchen. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Flooring Material
One of the first steps to a kitchen renovation is redoing the floors. Floors set the tone for the room and help improve the overall appearance of your kitchen.
There’s no shortage of eco-friendly flooring options for your kitchen renovation. Some of our favorites include:
- Marmoleum – It’s like linoleum except that it’s made from renewable natural ingredients. (pictured above)
- Cork – Cork floors are a fantastic alternative to wood or tile, and they have a beautiful appearance with a soft underfoot, which means they bounce when you walk on them. Additionally, cork is an incredibly sustainable material. (pictured above right)
- Friendly Tile Alternatives – If you love the look of tile, there are alternatives like StonePeak, which uses natural materials and doesn’t require sealants, epoxies, or artificial colors.
- Reclaimed Hardwood – If you love the look of wood, and are determined to have a wood floor, go with reclaimed wood. This wood is recycled and repurposed, making it a better alternative to traditional hardwood.
So, start with a beautiful new floor for your kitchen renovation.
Redo The Countertop with Green Materials
Is there anything more important than the kitchen countertop? It’s the showstopper of the kitchen. Most homeowners are looking for a mixture of gorgeous appearance and functionality. While solid surface kitchen countertops continue to be a popular choice, there are many other green alternatives available on the market.
- Quartz Countertops – Quartz is a fantastic alternative to natural stones like marble and granite thanks to its durability, low-maintenance, and function. (pictured above right)
- Crushed Recycled Glass Counters – While it might sound dangerous, recycled glass is a refined countertop material option. It comes in many colors, and it’s made from locally sourced, recycled materials. (pictured above left)
- Crushed Walnut Shell Counters – Walnuts are sustainable and renewable. They’re also lightweight, high-density, and they have a low moisture absorption rate, making them an ideal option for countertops.
These aren’t the only countertop options, but they’re some of our favorite, environmentally friendly options for kitchen renovations.
Focus on Increasing Energy Efficiency
Aside from aesthetics, part of a green home renovation involves addressing energy-efficiency. There are several things you can do in your kitchen remodel to increase energy efficiency.
- Weatherproofing – Weatherproofing windows and doors in your kitchen, ensure that you aren’t allowing any outside air to seep inside and boost those electricity costs.
- Energy-Efficient Windows and Lightbulbs – Swap out any regular panes and bulbs for EnergyStar rated alternatives. These energy-efficient alternatives ensure you aren’t using or losing an unnecessary amount of energy.
- Energy-Efficient Appliances – Switching out energy-sucking appliances for energy-efficient models can help cut tons of money off of your electric bill each month.
- Insulation – Insulation is an essential component to keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you’re redoing your kitchen, be sure all your insulation is up to par, too.
- Low Flow Plumbing – Monitor your water usage and waste by exchanging your regular fixtures for low flow alternatives.
These are a few great renovations and swaps to make while renovating your kitchen to optimize overall efficiency.
Start Your Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Remodel Today
As you can see, creating an environmentally friendly kitchen is all about making a lot of small changes, which, when combined, substantially increase your overall sustainability. The market for sustainability and green building has exploded, so if you love a specific material, the chances are that there’s an environmentally friendly alternative available on the market.
We’re committed to sustainability, that’s why we recently acquired Natural Built Homes, an eco-friendly building materials retailer. While the inside looks different since transitioning it into an additional showroom, you can see it’s original brick and mortar above. So, if you’re interested in renovations from a company that knows and truly cares about sustainability, give us a call.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.