Homeowners and contractors alike have long debated the pros and cons of carpeting in the bathroom. While some may argue in favor of carpet in the bath as a preferred floor covering because of its warm and fuzzy feeling underfoot, others argue the ability to keep it clean in such a humid environment is simply too much.
Hard flooring such as ceramic tile, porcelain, natural stone, or vinyl is a far better choice for the bathroom floor, but the fluffy flooring has some advantages, not many, but some. Let’s explore both sides of the coin and settle the debate once and for all.
Why Carpet Does Not Belong in the Bathroom
For a room that is constantly experiencing changes in heat and humidity, carpeting is not the most ideal floor covering. Here are four main reasons why you should not have carpet in the bathroom:
Carpet Is a Magnet for Moisture
Carpet is a magnet for moisture–between the steamy vapors from the shower to water dripping from your body, and everything in between, the carpet in the bathroom is bound to get wet. Bathrooms don’t have time to fully dry due to the humid environment and damp spaces like these are prone to mold and mildew formation. Breathing in spores can lead to a whole range of illnesses and cause breathing difficulties. Even if mold and mildew were not a health concern, they can cause damage to the subfloor which can lead to the need for a complete (and potentially costly) floor replacement.
In addition to mold and mildew, carpet, when in a damp and humid environment, is a breeding ground for bacteria. Let’s paint a picture; the bathroom, the loo, the outhouse, whatever you prefer to call it, its main purpose other than for cleaning ourselves, well we don’t need to say it. Carpet around the bath absorbs all the splashes and leaks from the toilet bowl and sink, and let’s just say, that’s not a pretty picture. The only way to completely clean and disinfect a bathroom is through deep, deep cleaning, which over time will destroy the carpeting.
Susceptible to Stains
Unlike hard surfaces, carpets absorb moisture, and whatever else splashes onto the floor; toothpaste, makeup, soaps, shampoos, urine, you name it. Stains are very hard to prevent and eliminate even on stain resistant carpeting. Errant splashes and spills commonly become set-in stains making your otherwise tidy bathroom look dingy and dirty no matter what you do.
Leaks and Floods Are Debilitating
Wet spots are bad enough on any flooring, but plush carpeting can make the root cause of the puddles harder to identify. There could be a leak or a flooded appliance. In addition to needing to repair the cause of the leak or deal with the aftermath of a flood– which can be difficult enough on non-carpeted flooring– if carpet has been soaked with contaminated water for longer than 48 hours, it will need to be replaced.
Benefits of Carpet in the Bathroom
Carpeted bathrooms are a mini-trend that seems to resurface every now and again, but after the reasons not to have bathroom carpeting described previously, surprisingly, there are arguments in favor of the plush, fluffy flooring option.
It Feels Good Underfoot
Nothing feels better after a relaxing bubble bath or shower than a soft, plush carpet underfoot. In addition to the obvious retro “That 70’s Show” aesthetic that can be achieved with wall-to-wall carpeting in every, and we mean every room, no one likes the harsh reality of the cold tile in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. As if these obvious benefits weren’t enough, there is something to say for the safety carpet can provide in the bath, even when slightly wet carpet offers traction as opposed to its more slick, slippery counterpart–tile.
Proper Maintenance Can Avoid Weaknesses
We have explored the weaknesses of carpeting your bathroom, but with proper maintenance these issues may not be as serious, or as frequent. Upgrading your bathroom fan to circulate airflow and help keep moisture and humidity at bay can prolong the life of your bathroom carpet. Dry vacuum once a week to keep moisture from seeping to the subfloor and mitigate bacteria growth. Blotting spills and spots right away can be more effective when treating stains and shampooing the carpet at least once a year can greatly decrease stains and extend the look of your carpeting.
How to Live with a Carpeted Bathroom
In some cases, the carpet may have come with the house, and you may not be in a place to replace or re-do the flooring quite yet. In this case, or if you’re dead-set on having a carpeted bathroom, there are several things you can do to make it work.
- Laying mats over the existing carpet particularly near the bath or shower and around the toilet that can protect the carpet from dripping water and splashes but are also washable.
- Choose synthetic materials. Synthetic materials dry out much faster than organic options such as wool.
- Look for lower pile options. Less thickness means fewer problems surrounding trapped moisture.
- Install a water-impermeable subfloor
- Consider carpet squares that can be removed and replaced easily and affordably
- Double check the adhesive
- Keep it as dry as possible
To Carpet or Not to Carpet: Should Carpet Be in the Bathroom? That Is the Question
Whether you’re for or against, the good news is Flowers Flooring has the carpet options for you to carpet your bathroom if you so desire, or if you plan to rip it up and go for a more traditional flooring plan, Flowers carries a variety of non-carpet solutions that will fit the bill. Explore tile, vinyl, rubber flooring, and laminate options that make much better solutions for the bathroom.
About Flowers Flooring
Flowers Flooring has two locations – Cornelius, NC and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.