icon Small Bathroom Rug Placement: 10 Points to Consider

Small Bathroom Rug Placement: 10 Points to Consider

A well-decorated home is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. But finding the balance between utility and decoration can be challenging, especially when working with tight spaces.

If you're outfitting your home's bathrooms with small rugs, you'll want to consider how and where you'll place those rugs. You'll also want to take some time to think about your rug's qualities and features.

Small bathroom rug placement can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. Review everything you need to know before placing a new rug or mat.

10 Points to Consider When Placing a Small Bathroom Rug

When placing a small bathroom rug, there are several points you'll need to consider. Some of the most crucial things to think about include:

  1. Size
  2. Absorbency
  3. Material
  4. Washability
  5. Style
  6. Stability
  7. Location
  8. Height
  9. Moisture Retention
  10. Special Features

Let's address these points in greater detail to discuss why they're essential to proper bathroom rug placement.


The first thing to consider when placing a new bathroom rug is size. If you're decorating a small bathroom, size is critical. However, it's also crucial for those with large bathrooms.

You must choose rugs based on utility, style, and size when decorating a small bathroom. Covering the whole floor with mats is never a good idea, as this can lead to mold problems.

Looking at a close up of a tub, edge of toilet and a rug on the floor.

Instead, you'll want to choose and place rugs that fit your floor plan. If you need a new bath mat, select an option that's the same length as your tub or a doormat-size rug.

Similarly, when choosing a new rug for the toilet area, you could maximize your free floor space by choosing a contoured rug that fits onto your toilet's base. Rugs for the front of the sink follow the same rule.

The rugs in front of the sink should be large enough to fit beneath the user's feet. Naturally, if your space is larger, you could choose longer rugs to fit that space. But you'll want to choose rugs that are good at absorbing water.


You should think about absorbency when placing a small bathroom rug. All bathrooms sometimes get a little humid, especially the floors. You'll need a bath mat to soak up any excess moisture.

Smaller bathrooms can be challenging to outfit with absorbent mats, as many such mats are large. However, there are a few models designed for small spaces. Always measure your space before you place.

Close up of a high pile blue and white striped rug

And while it's a great idea to invest in highly absorbent bathroom rugs, especially near plumbing appliances, it's also wise to have a few thinner options handy. Cotton rugs, for example, are both light and absorbent.

A thin cotton or jute rug can add a touch of gentleness to your bathroom. Unlike memory foam rugs, these options are thin and easy to keep clean. But like synthetic rugs, they can hold onto moisture.

Keeping your bathroom floors dry is crucial for safety and hygiene. After all, mold and mildew love humid environments. But with absorbent and lightweight rugs, you can help prevent mold growth.


The type of material your bathroom rug is made of can significantly impact its placement. After all, you wouldn't put a sheer white linen rug in your mudroom, would you?

Absorbent rugs and mats tend to be made of thick materials like cotton or memory foam. These materials work well near toilets, showers, sinks, and bathtubs because they help soak excess water.

But if you're outfitting a larger bathroom with small rugs, choosing mats made of various materials might be better. Some of the most common materials used in bath rugs include:

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Memory Foam

If you're placing a small rug near the entryway to your bathroom, you'll likely opt for a mat made of thinner, lighter material. Cotton, bamboo, and nylon sit low against the wet floor and dry quickly.

However, wet spaces require thicker rugs made of more absorbent material. Polyester and memory foam mats are solid options for these areas. However, memory foam can be challenging to machine wash.

Before you place any new rugs, consider your washing machine. Does it have what it takes to handle several small bathroom rugs? Or must you form an attack plan when cleaning your bath mats?


How easily can you wash and dry your bathroom mats? If the answer is anything but "very," you may want to invest in new rugs. 

While bathroom rugs are typically designed to absorb moisture, they're only sometimes built for machine washing. If you own a memory foam bathroom rug, you must follow several steps to keep it clean.

Chair with laundry basket sitting next to a washing machine and next to that is a shelf with linens.

Unless you're sharing your home with the tidiest people in the world, there's a good chance that your bathroom rugs will eventually get dirty. Soiled shoes, stinky socks, and mildew-laden fabrics are eventualities.

As such, it's a great idea to place machine-washable rugs near the bathroom entrance. Highly absorbent options, like bath mats, should remain as close to their related appliances as possible.

This setup will help you avoid cumbersome washing tasks as often as possible. It also helps your rugs retain their original color and vibrancy, adding to the room's overall style.


Every home has a unique style. While some home decorators prefer to march to the beat of their own drum, others trust in interior design services. Either way, choosing décor is all about achieving the ideal style.

When placing small bathroom rugs, consider how those rugs influence the room's overall style. Choosing rugs and mats that match the chosen color palette can help.

White bathroom focus is on the white bath tub, next to the tub is a table with flowers on it and chair, in front of the tub is a stool and a woven rug.

Finding complementary styles and colors is far more straightforward than you might think. To start, you'll want to refer to a color wheel. You can find tons of matching hues after picking a color and choosing a configuration.

You can also choose complementary rug fabrics by considering your bathroom's style. A classic braided rug could blend beautifully if your bathroom is decorated with neoclassical marble fixtures.

However, if your bathroom is sporting a mid-century modern feel, you could choose a set of brightly patterned flat rugs instead. The best option for you depends on your vision for your bathroom.


Not all rugs are equally stable. Some can slip around, especially when placed on sheer tile floors. If you're naturally clumsy or have young children living in the house, you'll want to choose a rug that stays in place.

If you've selected a handmade rug without backing, you can easily attach an anti slip fabric beneath it. The same is true of synthetic rugs that might be lighter. 

When placing small bathroom rugs, always consider which areas might be the most slippery. Typically, the flooring right outside the tub or shower area gets the wettest, followed by sinks and toilets.

While you don't have to ensure that all your bathroom rugs are non-slip, preparing mats near slippery areas is crucial. Non-slip fabrics and sprays are affordable and often add minimal height to your rugs. 

However, as stated before, location is a significant factor you'll want to consider. As with real estate, location can be everything for bathroom rug placement.


The most crucial aspect of small bathroom rug placement is location. After all, once you've got your hands on the perfect set or series of mats and rugs, the only thing left to do is decide where they go.

As you might expect, this is one of the most consistently frustrating aspects of putting down new rugs. Not only will you need to consider 'wet areas' when placing your mats, but you'll also need to account for size.

Close up of a colored floor plan with a blue pencil sitting on top.

One of the best ways to determine rug placement location is to do a little measuring and sketching. If you still need to, use a measuring tape to measure your bathroom walls' length, width, and depth.

Also, measure your appliances to know how much floor space they occupy. You can then use these measurements to sketch a blueprint of your bathroom space

From that point forward, you could use size-accurate pieces of paper to represent your rugs. Try moving these pieces around until you have a pattern or configuration you like. Also, remember rug height.


Those with smaller bathrooms may need help with rug height. If your bathroom door opens inward toward the sink or toilet, it can catch on a high-pile bath mat. This contact will ruin your rug over time and can be frustrating.

Choose a short-pile absorbent rug if your bathroom door takes up a decent percentage of your bathroom floor space. Fortunately, these aren't impossible to find.

However, some doors are set very low within the jamb. If every rug you own (including the thinnest options) snags on your bathroom door, it may be time to replace your door!

Besides, bathroom doors with minimal gaps can help your bathroom become moldier faster. The more air can escape beneath or above the door, the quicker the room can dry after showers or baths.

Moisture Retention

It's a good idea to place an absorbent mat near your shower, tub, and sink. These thirsty mats help to wick away water after washing your body or hands. However, high absorbency does come at a price: moisture retention.

One of the last things that any home decorator wants is bathroom mold and mildew. But if your chosen rugs could be better at quickly releasing the moisture they've trapped, you could unknowingly grow mold.

And while it is possible to paint over old ceramic tiles (especially those with mold stains), you can't do the same with rugs. That's another reason washability is such a pivotal factor to consider. 

Still, some absorbent rugs are easy to wash and machine dry. Before you invest in new bathroom rugs, always double-check for special features.

Special Features

Does your preferred bathroom rug have any special, notable features? If so, you'll certainly want to consider them before placement.

For example, some rugs are made of naturally mold-resistant synthetic materials like nylon. These can be both highly absorbent and machine washable. As such, they're great options for doorways and tubs/showers.

Modern white tub with a white rug in front of it on the floor.

No matter how large or small your bathroom is, you'll want to ensure that the rugs you put down are the ideal options for that space. Investing in rugs with plentiful special features could be a smart move.

That said, choosing rugs with the most beneficial features is vital. For example, if you're not particularly fond of hi-tech devices, skip out on that Bluetooth-enabled bath mat.

How to Place a Small Bathroom Rug

Now that you know the points to consider when placing a small bathroom rug, we can quickly touch on the steps you want. You can apply the above information to these steps to make things easier.

To place a small bathroom rug, you'll want to:

  1. Measure Your Space
  2. Sketch a Floorplan
  3. Consider Wet Spots
  4. Account for Washability
  5. Pick the Best Possible Rugs
  6. Make Them Non-Slip

Following these steps, you can ensure a well-decorated bathroom with the perfect number (and style) of rugs. You'll also help prevent mold while increasing household safety!

Choose the Best Small Bathroom Rug Placement  

Small bathroom rug placement doesn't have to be frustrating. Whether working with a tiny powder room or a massive bathroom, you can put down helpful rugs in just the right places.

To keep your feet happy and your bathroom clean, consider rug size, height, material, and absorbency. It's also a good idea to consider how your new rug will coordinate with your pre-existing bathroom décor.

If you need a little design inspiration, contact me today

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