Friday, March 21, 2014

How to: Select the Best Rugs for your Bath

No one likes to step out of the shower or bath onto a cold tile floor. Not only is tile uncomfortable and even dangerous (due to the tendency of slipping), but it also adds no warmth to the room, but where do you begin? If you're determined to keep your bathroom void of a faux chenille with rubber backing, circa 1980, use these simple tips and shop with ease. 

If you've perused the aisles of your latest big box store, you've no doubt seen an assorted selection of rugs designed specifically for your bathroom. While I applaud Nate Berkus (I am a huge fan, in fact) for bringing stylish trends to Target, your choices extend beyond cotton bathmats and the well-known, inexpensive versions of branded "bath rugs" that these stores carry. You can absolutely take your high-quality taste into the bathroom with a high quality rug!

Most consumers associate hand-knotted with the terms "traditional" and "oriental" though a rug connoisseur and even you can attest that times have changed. Conventionally, hand-knotted rugs are more ornate and feature traditional borders though in recent years artisans have developed some of the most beautiful modern designs with the timeless features of bold colors and durability. A wool, hand-knotted rug is a wise choice for the bath because it doesn’t contain glue or synthetics that may erode when exposed to moisture over time. Steer clear of wool tufted rugs in the bathroom, however. Tufted rugs are known to shed and while we love a cozy sock, you likely will not love the feel of furry, wool-covered feet!

Natural fiber rugs (jute, hemp, or sisal) add a spa-like feel to your bathroom space and with neutral tones, work with most any decor. Like hand-knotted rugs, these typically do not have any artificial backing or glues that would decompose over time. Keep in mind, that these aren't typically characterized as "soft" rugs. While spa-like they aren't going to be plush under foot. 

Chenille and cotton are the most common choices for the bathroom. While they are typically
inexpensive and certainly very soft, they have some drawbacks. Most bath rugs in this category have a synthetic backing that will decompose over time. If you're looking for something you can throw in the washing machine, these make great temporary choices. You can change them easily for holidays and seasons, they typically fold with ease due to thin fibers, and you can find them in most home decor or big box stores. If you're using a cotton mat without a backing, I would always recommend a good rug pad to avoid slipping, allow for the rug to breath (to avoid unwanted odors), and to extend its life. 

Follow these few simple tips, and you won’t have to suffer from cold tile or cheap bathmats. Which one will you choose?

Written By: Samantha Palacio

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