Where Does A Bath Rug Go?

When planning the layout of your bathroom, not only do aesthetics matter, but safety does as well. You don’t want to finish designing this room without a bath rug or two, but the question becomes, where should your bath rug go?

Since bath rugs can cover potentially wet surfaces that cause slipping, you should put yours in front of your shower stall or bathtub. That goes for smaller or larger bath rugs, although you may need a runner in addition to the rug if your bathroom is bigger.

Curious how many bath rugs should suffice in your bathroom? Can you use a bath mat instead, and what’s the difference between that and a bath rug? Keep reading, as we’ll answer those questions and more in this post!

What’s The Right Way To Use A Bath Rug?

Orange bathroom rug new bathtub

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As we talked about in the intro, the right way to use your bath rug is to put it in front of your shower stall or bathtub. Now, when you finish your shower, you have something plush to step out on. Not only does this keep your feet warm, but it also prevents you from slipping.

While some homeowners may use a folded bath towel in front of their shower or tub, a bath rug is better. It’s more appealing for one, and it’s also non-slip. A towel isn’t, and if it goes skidding and sliding, you will feel unsteady and could fall.

How Many Bath Rugs Do I Need?

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Soft orange bath mat on floor indoors

You know you should have a bath rug in your bathroom, but you’re just not sure how many. The answer will vary depending on the size of your bathroom, but it’s generally one or maybe two rugs.

You should not have carpeting across the entire bathroom floor. Mold can grow underneath or on top of the carpet, and it’s a pain to remove. Well, that’s provided you can get rid of it without having to throw the carpet away.

As for the size of the rug, it should be commensurate with the size of your bathroom. Today’s bath rugs can be quite spacious, so you have plenty of options. Here’s an example of a bigger rug courtesy of Amazon.

Click to see more on Amazon.

Is There A Difference Between A Bath Mat And A Bath Rug?

As we said we would, let’s get back to comparing bath rugs and bath mats.

Materials And Absorbency

A mat is typically made of rubber or cotton with a non-slip underside that makes it safe to use on even wet tiled bathroom floors. These materials are also great at absorbing water.

You’re meant to step on the bath mat post-shower, let it soak up all the water, and then go about the rest of your routine. Since the bath mat absorbs the water, it doesn’t flow and puddle on the floor, reducing tripping hazards in the bathroom.

That’s not to say bath rugs can’t absorb water the same way, but it depends on the type you choose. For example, here’s a rug on Amazon that’s made with microfiber for awesome water absorbency.

Click to see more on Amazon.

If you want a bath rug with water-absorbing properties that’s not microfiber, cotton is another great material. When you buy a pure cotton bath rug (make sure you check the label!), the cotton can absorb so much water that it’s greater than its own weight several times over.

Wool, although not a particularly absorbent material, does promote airflow within its fibers. It can handle a bit of moisture without getting moldy, so it too is a decent choice for your bath rug.


Besides water absorbency, another key difference between bath rugs and bath mats is looks. Mats are often just designed to soak up water without looking pretty. There are always exceptions, but for the most part, these mats are plain and a little uninspiring (especially if you want a colorful design for your bathroom).

Bath rugs come in all colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes you can think of. No matter what kind of design you have in mind for your bathroom, you can surely find a rug or two that fits your aesthetic.

Small Bathroom Rug Placement

Best small bathroom rug size, Where Does A Bath Rug Go?

If your bathroom isn’t the most sizable, then you want to be careful about the rug size you choose. Not only is a too-large rug bad in that it covers too much surface area, but it can easily overwhelm your bathroom. Bed Bath & Beyond recommends a rug that’s 17 inches by 24 inches for your tiny bathroom.

A bath rug of this size is ideal for putting in front of your bathtub or shower stall. If you have a pedestal sink in your bathroom (which creates the illusion of more space), a 17-by-24-inch rug is also a natural fit in front of the sink.

For a mid-sized bathroom, you may find that a 17-by-24-inch rug looks a little too small. Rather than double up or even triple up on rugs, try upgrading to the next common bath rug size. Bed Bath & Beyond says a rug that’s 21 inches by 34 inches should fit in front of your shower or tub quite nicely.

Large Bathroom Rug Placement

Soft gray rug on floor near tub in bathroom

If you’re fortunate enough to have a large bathroom, then you could either get a smaller rug and a runner or a larger rug that matches the square footage in your room. Bed Bath & Beyond recommends a bath rug that’s 27 inches by 45 inches for a bigger bathroom. This covers just enough surface area without hogging up the whole floor.

If you’d like to add a runner, then go with a medium-sized 17-by-24-inch rug and then accent that with a runner that’s 24 inches by 60 inches or a little smaller. If you have a double vanity, this makes for an appealing bathroom solution.


Bathtub near window and slippers on bath rug, Where Does A Bath Rug Go?

A bath rug decorates your bathroom and beautifies it. You can also rely on this rug when you step out of the shower. Some bath rugs are designed to absorb water as well as or even better than a bath mat, plus they look better to boot. Now that you know where to put your bath rugs, you can decorate your bathroom as you’ve always wanted. Best of luck!

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