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Are you the contoured bathmat type? Yes? No? Don’t even remember seeing one in recent decades? Me too! Until a friend mentioned it and Facebook exploded.

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toilet roomRecently, my friend posted a Facebook update about how hard a time she was having finding a great rug for around her toilet.

It seems they have fallen out of favor. I remember, being a kid in the ‘70s, seeing these fluffy rugs around every toilet in every home. I’ve always thought of them as the “toilet cozy set,” but the Google informs me that, no, it’s the “contoured bath mat.” Except, of course, it has nothing to do with the bath. It’s a toilet-floor cozy.

Well, my friend’s status update unleashed a flurry of comments, including from yours truly!

I hadn’t thought about them in years. I don’t even remember the last time I saw one in someone’s home. I commented that I’d never use one. Why? I’ve known too many men with bad aim.

Well, lord, that started another debate between men sitting/standing, and we won’t go there.

But the “contour mat” had its fans and its detractors.

Pros of the toilet-floor cozy?

Some folks are great at home maintenance. If they see it, they clean it. These are the ones who wash their contour mats frequently, so it’s not always a bastion of filth.

I saw one mother say that it’s precisely because her boys have bad aim that she uses the mat. She’d rather buy a new mat a couple times a year than have urine-soaked flooring that inevitably gets stained.

In many colder regions, the mat can make the difference between having your feet frozen in the morning or not.

But when contour mats are really, really recommended is when you’ve got unsealed stone floors in your bathroom. These absorb liquids, and that includes pee. It’s super-smart to use contoured mats in these bathrooms, but it’s critical they be cleaned often and replaced a couple times a year.

Cons?

A lot of people have issues with mats for exactly why I said — bad aim. There’s also the way we often have shoes on or dirty feet, and the often-damp rug picks up that filth. Add in all the toilet paper fluff and heaven knows what else, and some folks get the heebie-jeebies.

A big downfall with contoured mats, too, is when homes are listed for sale. The homeowner might think it looks nice and cozy, but do you know how it looks to a buyer?

It can seem like they’re trying to hide flaws. If you were in a strange home, inspecting a bathroom, do you really think you’d like to be lifting up a toilet mat to see what the floor looks like underneath? Or would you just assume they’re hiding something? I’d be the latter, myself.

The takeaway

If you’ve got unsealed floors, you should definitely have protection for them in the form of a quality mat. But if you’ve got sealed floors and it’s all about having cushy, comfy feet in the morning, why not get a great pair of slippers instead?

With all the cleaning and replacing required by contoured bathroom mats in busy households, it’s a pretty taxing thing for Planet Earth. With rubberized backing, manufacturing, and much more involved in the contoured bathmat industry, it’s actually a pretty positive thing to see fewer of these mats in use in the world.

My friend, though, praises her husband’s aim and she keeps a spotless house. For her, it’s a part of what a perfect home is, and I can’t fault that. But you’ll find me among the growing number of folks who opt for slippers, not mats, and who prefer a more minimalist, less fluffy look in their loos.

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.