Tip 1: Plan Your Budget
It may sound obvious, but the first step to a successful renovation project is knowing your budget. This means both deciding ahead of time how much money you can allocate toward your project and balancing that projection with area-specific market research. (See our blog post on the cost of a bathroom remodel in the Chicago North shore area.)
Tip 2: Don’t Rearrange if You Don’t Need To
If you’re going to spend money remodeling, make sure you’re not cutting cost corners that will leave you ultimately dissatisfied with your results. That said, don’t rearrange your fixtures if you don’t need to. Relocating plumbing will add extra costs to your budget, so if your bathroom layout already works well, don’t make a change just for the sake of change.
Tip 3: Hide the Toilet
If, however, your toilet is the first thing you see when you enter the bathroom, you will want to relocate it. You don’t necessarily need to build a compartmentalized commode, but in general, you’ll want to make sure it isn’t in your direct line of sight when you enter. Hiding your toilet can transform your space from utilitarian to elegant.
Tip 4: Research Market Trends
Be aware of market trends, but don’t be a slave to them. For instance, one popular recent trend is converting your bathtub into a frameless glass shower. You should follow this trend if you plan to resell or if you find your tub isn’t in use and is merely hogging floor space. On the other hand, if you have young children and need the tub for bathing, keep it.
Tip 5: Know Your Flooring Options
Do you want a floor that’s easy to care for? If so, choose glazed or porcelain tiles over something more porous like limestone. Do you want a non-slip floor? Then install textured tiles or small tiles with lots of grout lines. The type of flooring you install should be based on your needs as well as your aesthetics.
Tip 6: Plan Adequate Storage
Thinking through your storage requirements is incredibly important in your bathroom remodel in Chicago. You’ll want to make sure you have sufficient storage for your personal items as well as for your towels and other linens. On the other hand, you won’t want to install an enormous vanity that interrupts your bathroom flow. Consult your designer on how to achieve this balance.
Tip 7: Consider Fixture Hanging Heights
Design your bathroom for optimal efficiency by carefully considering where you’re mounting towel rings, sinks, mirrors, shower heads, toilet paper holders, etc. The Balance offers standard guidelines for bathroom norms, but check these dimensions with your contractor for your own bathroom design.
Tip 8: Create Solid Ventilation and Heating Systems
What you can’t see is every bit as important as what you can. For your bathroom, this means ensuring solid ventilation through properly-maintained HVAC systems. Ensuring your HVAC system is properly maintained will help prevent mold growth over time.
Tip 9: Pair Several Lighting Sources
Adequate lighting is extremely important in bathrooms. The best way to ensure good lighting is to combine several different sources, such as: ceiling lights, mirror/task lights, sconce/decorative lights, or natural light from a skylight or window.
Tip 10: Stay Involved in Your Project
Finally, stay involved in your bathroom renovation project from beginning to end. Even after you’ve finalized all material selections, there are still decisions to be made. For example, your contractor will need to decide which direction to lay floor tiling and where to start laying whole pieces. While this might seem like a minor detail, it can influence your overall aesthetic. So check in with your contractor at each major phase of the renovation.