Sunday, May 26, 2024

9 Things to Do When Renovating Your Bathroom

Renovating your bathroom is not just about replacing an old sink or updating faded wallpaper; it’s a strategic move that can significantly boost the appeal and value of your home, especially in a bustling market like Chicago. In this city, where every corner of a property matters in the real estate chess game, a polished and functional bathroom can make your home stand out to potential buyers or simply enhance your living experience.

In Chicago, where the architectural landscape blends modern high-rises with classic brick homes, a renovated bathroom serves as a crucial selling point. It reflects the overall care put into the home and can persuade buyers in competitive listings. Beyond aesthetics, an updated bathroom also promises potential buyers that they can save on future maintenance. This not only increases the immediate appeal of the property but can significantly impact its market value.

1. Plan Your Budget Carefully

Embarking on a bathroom renovation requires a well-planned budget. It’s tempting to dive right into aesthetic choices like tile designs and fixtures, but beginning with a financial framework is crucial. Start by estimating the costs of essential elements like labor and materials. Labor often consumes a significant portion of the budget, so get a few estimates to find a balance between cost and quality.

Additionally, consider investing in quality materials that might cost more upfront but will decrease the need for repairs and replacements in the long run.

2. Hire a Plumbing Team

One of the most critical hires for your renovation will be the plumbing team. This step is vital, as these professionals ensure that the water flows smoothly and efficiently in your new bathroom. They can handle everything from installing new pipes to fitting the latest fixtures. Moreover, hiring a reliable residential plumbing team in Chicago means that they’ll adhere to local building codes, saving you from any troubles later on.

Hiring experienced plumbers also means they’ll spot potential problems early, saving you time and money. They can offer valuable advice on everything from the optimal layout for pipes and fixtures to the best materials for long-term durability.

3. Choose the Right Materials

Selecting the right materials for your bathroom isn’t just about looks; it’s about functionality and longevity. For flooring and walls, ceramic tiles or porcelain are popular choices because they resist moisture well and come in a variety of styles. For countertops, consider materials like granite or engineered quartz, which are both durable and can add a touch of luxury.

When selecting materials, also think about the typical Chicago climate challenges. The right materials can withstand high humidity in the summer and the occasional cold draft in the winter, ensuring your bathroom remains comfortable all year round.

4. Maximize Space with a Smart Layout

Whether you’re working with a compact space typical of many Chicago condos or a larger suburban home, maximizing bathroom space is key. A smart layout is essential to enhancing functionality without compromising style. Consider installing a corner sink or a vanity that fits snugly against two walls. Utilizing vertical space for storage can also make a small bathroom feel more spacious.

Incorporate elements like recessed medicine cabinets or built-in shelves to keep the space uncluttered. For smaller bathrooms, a walk-in shower with a clear glass door can visually expand the area more than a bathtub might.

5. Install Efficient Fixtures

Investing in efficient fixtures is not only an environmental win but also a financial one, particularly in a city like Chicago where water costs can add up. Consider replacing older models of toilets, shower heads, and faucets with water-efficient ones. These fixtures use significantly less water than standard ones, which reduces your utility bills and supports sustainability.

Low-flow toilets and showerheads can cut water usage by more than half, and modern designs ensure that the reduction in flow does not affect performance. Look for products with the EPA’s WaterSense label, which meet strict criteria for water efficiency and performance. Such upgrades are often highlighted in real estate listings, appealing to eco-conscious buyers.

6. Ensure Adequate Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial in a bathroom, especially in regions with Chicago’s variable climate which can lead to high humidity levels. Without adequate ventilation, excess moisture may cause mold and mildew to thrive, potentially damaging surfaces and affecting indoor air quality.

Installing a high-quality exhaust fan can significantly improve air circulation and moisture control. Consider a model with a humidity sensor that automatically turns on when moisture levels are high. Additionally, ensure that the venting system expels air outside directly, rather than into an attic or between walls, to prevent structural issues.

7. Consider Accessibility Features

Making your bathroom accessible can significantly enhance its usability for people of all ages and abilities, and it’s particularly pertinent given the aging population in many Chicago neighborhoods. Features like grab bars, a walk-in shower with a bench, and a comfort-height toilet can make the bathroom safer and more comfortable for everyone.

These modifications not only meet current needs but also future-proof your home. As more buyers recognize the value of accessible design, incorporating these features can also increase your home’s market appeal and potential resale value.

8. Add Personal Touches

Your bathroom should reflect your personal style and fit the overall aesthetic of your home. Chicago homes vary widely from modern downtown high-rises to traditional brownstones, so select decor that complements your home’s character. Consider unique tiles for a custom look, or add plants for a touch of greenery which can also improve air quality.

Personal touches like art, bespoke fixtures, or a statement mirror can transform a standard bathroom into a luxurious retreat. These elements do not just serve decorative purposes; they also create an inviting space that resonates with potential buyers or enriches your daily living experience.

9. Review and Revise Before Finalizing

Before finalizing your renovation plans, take the time to review every detail with your contractors. Ensure that everything from the layout to the finishes aligns with your vision and budget. This step is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings that could affect the project’s timeline or outcome.

Revisions might be necessary as the project progresses, so stay flexible and communicate openly with your renovation team. Regular check-ins can help keep the project on track and ensure that any adjustments are made promptly and effectively.


A well-executed bathroom renovation can rejuvenate your home and enhance its value, especially in Chicago’s competitive real estate market. By following these essential steps, you ensure that your new bathroom is not only beautiful but also functional, efficient, and tailored to your needs.

Whether you’re updating fixtures to save on water, optimizing the layout to maximize space, or adding personal touches to showcase your style, each improvement contributes to your home’s appeal. These upgrades can significantly impact your home’s resale value, attract potential buyers, and offer daily benefits to your household. Start planning your bathroom renovation today and transform this essential space into one of the highlights of your home.

Kellie Kearney
Kellie Kearney
Hi! I'm Kellie, a mammy of six vibrant youngsters. Juggling the roles of stay-at-home parent, I share honest stories and parenting fails. You'll often find me as a mum bun wearer, professional cake eater, and also a coffee lover. My typical day involves navigating through parenting challenges, whether it's enticing my little ones with a tempting custard cream, googling our next adventure, or eagerly awaiting Joe's return home. Join me on this rollercoaster journey of love, chaos, and laughter!

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