Renovating a bathroom is not just about upgrading a space; it’s about transforming your daily routine. Whether you’re in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, or anywhere else, the bathroom is one of the most frequently used areas in a home, and its design and functionality can significantly impact your daily life. Buffalo Grove, with its charming neighborhoods and a community-focused lifestyle, sees many homeowners looking to improve their living spaces to match their needs and aesthetics.

Before you dive into selecting tiles or fixtures, it’s crucial to plan carefully to avoid common pitfalls that could turn your dream bathroom into a renovation nightmare. Mistakes in a renovation can be costly and frustrating, particularly in a place like Buffalo Grove, where homes blend contemporary needs with community values. From choosing the right remodelers to focusing on the fine details like lighting and space planning, every decision counts.

In this guide, we’ll explore some common mistakes to avoid during your bathroom renovation journey. 

Not Researching Local Remodelers

When you’re planning a bathroom renovation in Buffalo Grove, one of the first steps is to find the right professionals. It’s tempting to go with the first contractor you find or the one who offers the cheapest quote, but this can lead to subpar results. However, experienced bath remodelers in Buffalo Grove such as Matrix Home Solutions, know the ins and outs of bathroom upgrades, from bathtubs to showers and conversions. 

Begin your search by asking friends and neighbors for recommendations. Check online reviews and business profiles, and don’t hesitate to ask for references for their previous work. This research can save you from unnecessary costs and delays and ensure your bathroom turns out exactly as you envision.

Ignoring the Budget

Setting a realistic budget is critical for any home improvement project, and bathroom renovations are no exception. Costs can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t carefully plan and monitor your spending. Start by outlining all expected expenses, including materials, labor, permits, and a contingency fund for unexpected issues.

Discuss your budget with your chosen remodelers. A good contractor will help you understand where you can economize and where it pays to invest in quality. 

Overlooking Ventilation

Ventilation is often an afterthought in bathroom renovations, but it shouldn’t be. Poor ventilation can lead to mold, mildew, and other moisture-related problems that can damage your newly renovated bathroom. A quality ventilation system will help maintain air quality and protect the integrity of your bathroom fixtures and finishes.

Ensure that your renovation plan includes a powerful enough vent fan, considering the size of your bathroom and the local building codes. The fan should effectively remove moist air from the bathroom and vent it outside your home, not just into the attic or between walls. This setup will help prevent moisture issues and maintain a comfortable and healthy bathroom environment.

Neglecting Storage Needs

Storage is a critical component of bathroom design that is often overlooked. Without adequate storage, your bathroom can quickly become cluttered and less functional. When planning your renovation, think about how you use the space and what storage solutions will enhance functionality and aesthetics.

Incorporate a mix of storage options like cabinets, shelves, and drawers. Consider vertical storage solutions that use wall space efficiently, and don’t forget about hidden storage opportunities, such as in-cabinet organizers or under-sink drawers. Tailoring your storage to your specific needs will make your bathroom more organized and enjoyable to use.

Choosing the Wrong Materials

The choice of materials can make or break your bathroom renovation. It’s crucial to select materials that are not only visually appealing but also suitable for high moisture and heavy use. Materials like porcelain tile for flooring and quartz for countertops are popular because they are durable and water-resistant.

Avoid materials that are prone to water damage, like certain types of wood or non-laminated particle board. Also, consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance when choosing surfaces and finishes. Your remodeler can guide you in selecting the best materials that balance cost, aesthetics, and longevity, ensuring your bathroom looks great and functions well for years to come.

Inadequate Lighting

Proper lighting is essential in a bathroom, impacting both its functionality and ambiance. Many homeowners overlook this aspect, resulting in poorly lit or harshly bright spaces. To avoid this common mistake, plan for a layered lighting scheme that includes ambient, task, and accent lighting. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting is critical near the mirror and shower areas, and accent lighting can enhance the bathroom’s aesthetic and highlight design elements.

Consult with your remodelers about the best placements for light fixtures to ensure no shadows or dark spots. Consider energy-efficient LED options that offer a range of light temperatures suited to grooming tasks, which require clearer and more direct light. This thoughtful approach to lighting not only improves the bathroom’s usability but also creates a more welcoming space.

Following Trends Over Needs

It’s easy to get swept away by the latest design trends featured in magazines and on social media. However, it’s vital to prioritize your needs and personal style over fleeting trends. Trends come and go, and what looks stylish today might look dated in a few years, not to mention it may not suit your everyday needs.

Instead of focusing solely on what’s trendy, think about the longevity of your design choices. Choose elements that you will love and will serve you well over time, regardless of trends. Neutral colors for major fixtures and tiles can serve as a backdrop for trendier, easily swappable accents like towels and decorative items. This strategy allows you to update the look without undergoing another full renovation.

Poor Space Planning

Space planning is critical in a bathroom renovation, especially in smaller bathrooms where every inch counts. A common mistake is creating a layout that feels cramped or fails to take traffic patterns into account. Effective space planning ensures that the layout is functional and that fixtures are placed optimally for use.

Discuss with your remodelers how to best utilize the available space. Consider whether current fixtures like the bathtub or shower are the right size or if they could be reconfigured for better space utilization. Smart choices, such as installing a sliding door or a shower without a tray, can save space and improve the flow of the room.


Renovating a bathroom is a significant undertaking that can greatly enhance the comfort and value of your home when done right. By avoiding common mistakes such as neglecting lighting, blindly following trends, poor space planning, overlooking accessibility, and DIYing complex tasks, you can ensure a successful renovation. Remember, the key to a flawless bathroom renovation lies in thoughtful planning, choosing the right materials, and involving skilled professionals. Engaging with experienced remodelers in Buffalo Grove will help translate your vision into reality, creating a space that meets your needs and reflects your personal style for years to come.