What Is the Point of a Wooden Bath Mat?
By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated
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Wooden bath mats serve the same purpose as a cloth bath mat—to provide a non-slip surface when you're exiting the shower or bath. Though cloth bath mats or rugs are nice and plush, a wooden mat offers additional benefits: resistance to mold, mildew, and bacteria.
What else can a wooden bath mat do to enhance your bathroom? If you want to find out more information on wooden bath mats, their benefits, and their easy maintenance, then keep reading!
What are the benefits of wooden bath mats?
Say goodbye to bacteria and mold
According to the American Society for Microbiology, cloth bath mats are an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. Their plush texture, while soft and comfy on your feet, retains water, creating the perfect environment for bacteria and mold to flourish.
Wooden bath mats, such as those made from teak or bamboo, are often treated with anti-mold and anti-mildew varnishes. Some woods are also naturally anti-bacterial!
We all know how gross it can be to step on a cold, spongy bath mat after getting out of the shower. Do you wish you could avoid that feeling? Good news! A wooden bathmat doesn't retain water as a cloth mat does, which gives you increased comfort and makes it much more difficult for any unwanted microorganisms to put down roots in your bathroom.
Elevated to promote evaporation
Wooden bath mats are elevated off the floor, allowing excess water to evaporate more quickly after it drips through the wooden slats. Unfortunately, when a cloth bath mat is saturated with water, all that moisture is trapped inside the fabric and can't easily leave. As you know by now, that's a dangerous environment to have in your bathroom.
Easy to clean
Most wooden bath mats require virtually no maintenance at all! When you need to clean your wooden bath mat, you can easily wipe it down. In contrast, a cloth bath mat needs to be machine washed and dried regularly, which can be a huge pain. The increased maintenance may also lead you to clean your bathmat less, which isn't good for you or your bathroom.
Sustainable and functional decor
Because wooden bath mats are naturally strong and durable, they can serve you for years without needing to be replaced. However, cloth mats, especially thin ones, can degrade quickly. This can be exacerbated by machine washing, which you need to perform regularly to keep your mat clean anyway!
Minimalistic look and feel
Do you wish your bathroom could look and feel more peaceful? The addition of a wooden bath mat will instantly give the room a Japanese onsen-inspired vibe, bringing a whole new vibe to the room. With their neutral tones, wooden bath mats are simple, elegant, and an excellent match for nearly any color palette.
Are cedar bath mats good?
Absolutely! In addition to the numerous benefits stated above, cedar bath mats can provide added luxury to your bathroom with their fragrant aroma. Each time you use your bathmat, the natural timber scent of your cedar mat will fill the air.
An added benefit of the cedar bath mat is the feel of the wood. Some people find wooden bath mats offputting because, let's face it, they're much harder than cloth mats and take a bit of getting used to. However, cedar is a softer wood and feels great to stand on.
Can you use a teak bath mat in the shower?
Yes! Teak is actually an excellent wood to use in your shower due to its natural oils. The high oil content of teak makes it exceptionally water-resistant, so you can keep it in your shower without worrying about mold or mildew growing on it. Teak is also very low-maintenance due (again) to those natural oils.
If you do choose to keep a teak bath mat in your shower, it's a good idea to scrub it every so often with a soft-bristled brush to remove any accumulated soap scum. You can also let it dry out and re-seal it with some teak oil from time to time to restore its original aesthetic.
Other than that, this wood will take care of itself!
Are bath mats and shower mats the same thing?
No, bath mats and shower mats are two different things. Though they both have some anti-slip function, the main difference is in the material they're made of and where you place them in your bathroom.
A bath mat is used on the bathroom floor at the foot of the bath to soak up excess water that drips off your body as you exit the bath. As discussed earlier in this article, bath mats are usually made of absorbent cloth.
A shower mat is used inside the shower. These are usually made of water-resistant materials like plastic or rubber and are placed on your shower floor to provide extra grip and prevent slipping. Shower mats should be durable and easy to clean to avoid the accumulation of mold and soap scum.
How do you keep wooden bath mats from getting moldy?
While most wood is naturally resistant to water, mold, and mildew, it does require a little upkeep if it's going to be getting wet frequently. Teak requires little maintenance, but woods like bamboo can be more susceptible to developing mold and may need more frequent cleaning. Here are some tips for maintaining the cleanliness of your wooden bath mat:
- Reduce moisture in your bathroom. After taking a steamy shower or bath, leave your bathroom fan on and the door open to promote steam evacuation and evaporation of any accumulated moisture.
- Wipe off excess water. If any water has accumulated atop your wooden bath mat, wipe it off with a cloth. That way, the moisture isn't stuck sitting on the wood for too long.
- Treat your wood with teak oil. Since these oils are water-resistant, you can also treat other types of wood with teak oil to up the ante on these qualities.
- Gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap. This is an excellent solution for a quick clean and can easily be part of your weekly bathroom routine!
- Use commercial cleaner. In the case mold that has already formed, you may need something stronger. Commercial wood cleaners and oils will provide excellent protection and a deep clean.