Carpet in the Bathroom
In the 1950's wall to wall carpeting rose in popularity and became more affordable to more than just wealthy families. Carpeting was an attainable luxury and didn't just stop in hallways and living spaces. It went everywhere and by the 1970's, full carpeting was expanding into home bathrooms.
While far less common today, carpeting in the bathroom can still occasionally be found in homes. But is it a good idea? The arguments for having it are warmth in appearance and feeling under feet and less chance of slipping. However, the main argument against carpeting in the bathroom is strong and that point is moisture.
Moisture in the bathroom is abundant. Some of the places it comes from are:
Steam from showers.
Water splashes from the tub or shower.
Water shedding from body when exiting the shower or tub.
Water splashes from the sink.
Water leaks from the vanity, sink, or toilet.
All of this water or moisture goes from the carpet into the pad beneath and causes mold and decay in the flooring and weakens the sub-floor. Mold also produces tiny spores to further grow and breathing them in can cause many different health issues. Carpeting is also a place where bacteria can accumulate especially around the toilet. Bacteria from waste can be accidentally deflected to the carpet.
If your home has bathroom carpeting and removal is not in the budget, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of mold:
Clean the carpet regularly to remove any mold or bacteria.
Keep the carpet as dry as possible. Various devices are available to help prevent water from bypassing the shower curtain.
Install a bathroom fan if one is not already present and operate it more often.
Ultimately, it is not recommended to have carpeting in the bathroom due to the damage and health issues caused by mold and bacteria. For softer feel and to lessen the chances of a slip, bath mats are a great alternative as they can easily be washed regularly.