The Surprising Place You Shouldn’t Keep Your Bath Mat, According to Home Stagers

published Feb 11, 2021
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Getting a bathroom ready for an open house typically involves trying to make it look cleaner and bigger. Home stagers Amanda and Jess Salles of Salles Interiors Staging say there’s a good (and overlooked) place to start: the floor. Aside from a good scrubbing, home stagers assert there’s one floor-related bathroom task that everyone seems to forget about — picking the bath mat up. It’s the one kind of rug you shouldn’t leave on the ground.

Canada-based home stager Tara Melhus, often shares staging tips with her large following on TikTok. And her latest post laid out why bath mats should never be seen while showing a home to future buyers.

“Bath mats are really personal items because they are pieces of fabric that we use when we step out of the shower — we step on them with bare feet,” she says.

Even mats in front of the sink are off-limits during a showing. “When we’re standing in front of the sink, we’re brushing our teeth, we’re brushing our hair,” Melhus says. “Those are all personal things that we do and it wouldn’t be great if someone is walking through your home for a showing and they end up with your hair all over their socks.”

Not to mention damp items are a breeding ground for bacteria, so Melhus says lifting bath mats off the ground should be a regular practice.

“When I have guests coming, I take the floor mat off, and I light a pretty scented candle,” Jess Salles says. 

Home staging is about controlling the way potential buyers perceive your home. That’s why Jess Salles says every room should be so clean it feels like you’re walking into a showroom.

“When potential purchasers come into an apartment, they don’t want to envision somebody else’s life there, they want to envision their own life there,” she says. “And they don’t want to think about somebody else getting into the shower and using it.”

Along with cleanliness, Amanda Salles says multiple bath mats laid around the bathroom can also make it feel smaller.

“If there’s a floor mat on the floor,  your eyes go to the dimension of the floor mat, not of the whole room,” she says.

Melhus recommends draping the bath mat over your tub or shower or even hiding it completely. “Go with the tri-fold method where you don’t have any edges showing,” she says.

Lifting the bath mat up seems simple enough. The more difficult task to keep up with? Remembering to clean the floor underneath it regularly to prevent color marks.

“Once you remove that bath mat, sometimes the grout between the tiles has gotten very gray and grimy,” Jess Salles says. She suggests regularly cleaning it to make it look “fresh and new.”

Though it’s typically overlooked, performing this simple task is an easy ritual to integrate in your daily life. 

“After we wake up from our night’s sleep we make our bed,” Melhus says. “After we shower, it’s the same kind of practice — lift the mat.”