Q: My parents have carpeting in their bathroom and in the guest room/bathroom where I stay when I visit. I love how warm that feels, instead of cold floors that are usually in bathrooms. The bathroom in my condo is big, so I am thinking of using some kind of rug in there over the hard tiles. Is that OK? What should I look out for?
A: Area rugs in any room are a great way to help define a space, add color and express your personal style. Especially in a bathroom, a beautiful rug on the floor provides an unexpected luxurious touch, as well as warmth. As you know, stepping onto a cold floor with bare feet isn’t the most fun way to wake up!
A lot of people think area rugs and carpeting don’t belong in a bathroom at all because of all the moisture. If your bathroom is small, poorly ventilated or has a lot of water splashing around, the dampness and humidity can build up and cause mildew and mold. But if you have a large bathroom, or if it isn’t used often, such as in the case of a guest bath, placing a rug where it won’t get wet is perfectly fine.
Most area rugs can take a little splashing now and then, if allowed to dry. Shop with this in mind, and ask yourself a lot of questions. If you have a hardworking bathroom that does see a lot of action, avoid carpet and consider an area rug designed especially for the outdoors. These rugs are made to hold up to the elements, will be more durable than most other rugs, and may be less likely to grow mold and mildew. Some are even reversible. For all of these reasons, outdoor rugs could work just as well for kitchens, laundry rooms, entryways, or basements. An indoor/outdoor rug might not be quite as plush as a more traditional area rug, but it will still be softer and warmer than tile or wood flooring. And these days, there are so many designs available that you’re sure to find one you love.
Consider a size that will keep the rug away from water or toothpaste, or look for a design you could have trimmed. Make sure the rug won’t slip by using a moisture-resistant rug pad, carpet tape, or other method that will work with your rug and floor.