Why is a carpeted bathroom a bad idea?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Wall-to-wall carpet in the bathroom was a hot design trend in 1970s. It was often a shag texture and next to a sunken bathtub. Together, they were a fashion-forward emblem of the era. 

    While sunken tubs slipped out of vogue long ago, we occasionally still come across a carpeted bathroom in our inspections. It is a quick and cheap way to cover up deteriorated older floor tile; but the carpet and underlying pad act like a sponge to absorb and hold any wetness from:

  •  Shower steam that condenses on the carpet.
  •  Water splashing from the tub, shower and sink.
  •  Water dripping onto the carpet while towel drying after bathing.
  •  Minor toilet leakage that seeps into the carpet pad unnoticed.
  •  And last, but not least, the men in the house may have poor aim or a split-stream that sprays urine around the base of the toilet.

    We call out carpeted bathrooms as an area of concern for homebuyers in our inspection report because of the potential for mold growth, but don’t really need to when the carpet is already visibly stained and matted. While it is possible to live with a carpeted bathroom if your are incredibly meticulous about moisture control, why go to all that trouble? A small rug with anti-slip bottom surface provides a soft place for bare feet after a shower, and it is easy to remove and clean—or just replace. 

    Also see our blog post Why is the grout cracking and coming loose at my floor tile?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about STRUCTURE AND ROOMS:

What are the building code requirements for notching and boring holes in a wall stud? 

What causes dark or light "ghost" lines on ceilings and walls?

Can you access or exit a bedroom through another bedroom?

What is the difference between a carport and a garage? 

What are simple ways to find the cause of a ceiling stain?

What is the minimum size of habitable rooms in a house according to the building code? 

Why is my garage ceiling sagging? 

How can I identify what kind of wood flooring I am looking at?

Why does my concrete floor slab sweat and get slippery?

What is the minimum ceiling height for rooms in a house? 

Why are there score line grooves in the concrete floor of the garage?

How much can I cut out of a floor joist? 

How can I tell if my floors are sloping?

Why do the floors slope in this old house? 

What are the common problems when a homeowner converts a garage to conditioned living space, such as a family room?

• How can I tell if a wall is load-bearing? Which walls can I take out? 

    Visit our STRUCTURE AND ROOMS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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