While carpet is very rarely installed in bathrooms today, you may come across it if you buy or rent an older home. Wall-to-wall carpet in the bathroom may be one of the worst offenders on the list of flooring faux pas because carpet is so poorly suited for high-moisture environments.
If you find yourself in a living situation with carpet in your bathroom (and ripping up the carpet is out of the question), there are a few things you can do to help make the best of the situation:
Although putting a bath mat on top of carpet may seem like overkill, it’s a smart move that will help minimize the amount of water that gets absorbed into the carpet. Invest in a couple thick bath mats and place one by the shower and one in front of the sink. This extra layer of protection between wet feet and the carpet will help absorb moisture before it causes too much damage.
Ever step out of the shower and realize your curtain didn’t keep all the water inside? Puddles from faulty shower curtains and doors aren’t a big deal when you have a hard-surface floor in your bathroom, but they can cause problems when you’re dealing with carpet. If you notice water is leaking out, it may be time to replace your curtain with one that’s heavier duty. You can purchase interior shower curtain liners that have small magnets at the bottom, which help keep the curtain flush with the side of the tub.
Running your bathroom fan frequently will help keep humidity under control. Repeated exposure to humidity can cause mold and mildew growth over time, so keeping the humidity of your bathroom down is key if you have carpet in your bathroom.
If your bathroom doesn’t have a fan, or if it doesn’t work well to pull the humidity out of the room, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Depending on the size, the dehumidifiers can be costly, so this is a good option if you’re planning to stay in the home long term. You can set dehumidifiers to run when the humidity of the room reaches a certain level, or you can run it as needed.
Any leaks from the shower or tub should be curbed immediately. Even a small leak can turn into a large one over time, so be sure to take action as soon as you notice one. Common places for leaks are around faucets, drains and the bottom of the tub where the seal has weakened.