Bathroom rug ideas – 10 ways brighten your space

Bring texture, warmth and personality to hard floors with these bathroom rug ideas

Bathroom with rug
(Image credit: Future)

While bathroom rug ideas might not be on your list of bathroom must-haves, they are a great way of adding a soft touch to cold, hard bathroom floors as well as injecting personality into spaces that can sometimes be seen as purely functional. 

Whether you're looking for a rug for a master bathroom or cloakroom, there's a huge variety available in an array of materials, sizes and designs. Rugs work particularly well in larger bathrooms with expansive floor areas as these spaces can feel especially cold, but a rug can help anchor the scheme, making it instantly more homely and welcoming.

If you are looking for a beautiful rug for your bathroom ideas then our gallery of inspiration, which also includes some tips from the experts, is the place to start

Bathroom rug ideas

While bathroom rug ideas can bring instant personality to a space, there are some practical considerations to take into account when choosing these less than usual bathroom flooring ideas

'When choosing a rug for a space such as a kitchen or bathroom, practicality is key,' says Sabina Miller, head buyer at Heal’s. 'We would recommend a washable rug for use in bathrooms that can be easily cleaned when needed. However this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style for practicality.'

Indeed, as bathrooms are moist areas, it’s advised to opt for either a washable design or one made from water-resistant, synthetic materials where possible, as these won’t be damaged by splashes and are easy to clean.

Regular rugs made from natural fibers may be used provided they are not in direct contact with water and the room is well ventilated. When laying a rug in the bathroom it is also important to fit an underlay to prevent the rug slipping on hard floors.

1. Bring elegance with a botanical design

Penny Morrison traditional bathroom rug

(Image credit: Penny Morrison / Mike Garlick)

Large bathrooms with plenty of wall and floor space offer a useful opportunity to showcase ornate prints as this master bathroom idea by Penny Morrison proves. For a tranquil retreat, opt for delicate nature-inspired designs in soft neutral and pastel shades such as this elegant rug with a subtle floral design. 

2. Liven-up a country bathroom

Molly Mahon bathroom rug

(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes)

Adding a colorful geometric rug is a quick and easy way to bring life to country bathroom ideas. With its large expanse of wooden floorboards and neutral walls this bathroom could run the risk of feeling cold and echoey, but a simple cotton rug handwoven in India makes the space instantly more inviting while also enhancing its quirky cottage feel. 

3. Choose a synthetic rug for a wetroom

Alternative Flooring Anywhere Shadow rug

(Image credit: Alternative Flooring Anywhere Shadow rug)

Opting for practical bathroom rug made from water-resist materials needn’t mean you have to compromise on rustic style as there are designs available that mimic the look of natural fibers. Combining the benefits of synthetic materials, with the textural look of sisal, Alternative Flooring’s Anywhere rugs are a perfect wet room idea plus come in an array of tones to tie-in with your bathroom floor tile ideas.

4. Turn heads in a guest bathroom

Chinoiserie wallpaper in a guest bathroom

(Image credit: VSP interiors)

Being used less frequently than master or family bathrooms, guest bathrooms can offer scope to be a bit bolder with interior design – introducing bold prints over rugs and wallpapers is a good way to achieve a head-turning look. Try contrasting an elegant Chinoiserie wallpaper with an antique kilim-style rug for a playful scheme.

'I chose something striking for the guest bathroom as it’s a bit of fun for guests to enjoy when they visit. However, if it were for my master bathroom, I would choose a quieter color as I would see it every day,' says Henriette Von Stockhausen, founder of VSP Interiors.

5. Double up on pattern

Carpetright Tarkett Starfloor Retro Luxury Vinyl

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Vinyl bathroom floor ideas are a practical yet stylish solution for bathrooms as they combine the look of natural wood, stone and tiles with the benefits of being easier to lay and clean. With a decorative patchwork tile design, this ornate vinyl floor brings individuality to this bathroom while a Moroccan-style rug with a more pared-back pattern helps to temper the scheme and ties it in with the blue wall color. 

6. Use a rug to warm up a modern bathroom

Bathroom with Pooky Lighting and a Berber-style rug

(Image credit: Pooky Lighting)

With their strong architectural lines and streamlined silhouettes, modern bathroom ideas feel stark and cold but adding a tactile rug is an effective way of bringing a layer of warmth to the space. Inspired by traditional Berber designs, this large rug helps to soften this black and white bathroom idea with its striking crittall shower partition and statement black roll top.

7. Choose an antique rug for a vintage feel

Bathroom with Charlotte Gaisford wallpaper and an antique rug

(Image credit: James Balston)

Are you looking for vintage bathroom ideas? Why not cocoon the space in print by papering the floor and ceiling in an ornate print and adding an antique rug on the floor? Contrasting with the pale walls, this antique Persian-style carpet really drawers the eye in this guest bathroom helping to anchor the scheme and make it feel quirky and homely. 

8. Try an eco-friendly design

Weaver Green Herringbone rug in navy

(Image credit: Weaver Green Herringbone rug in navy)

Tread carefully on the planet by opting for a bathroom rug made from recycled synthetic materials such as this simple design.

'Because our rugs are made only and entirely from recycled plastic bottles, they offer all the benefits of a synthetic fiber rug – machine washable, really hard wearing, immune from moth attack, hypo-allergenic, stain resistant and even suitable for use outside,' says Tasha Green, director of Weaver Green. 'You can simply pop them in a washing machine for a spotless clean.' 

9. Keep it simple with a white rug

White bathroom rug from The White Company

(Image credit: The White Company)

For a touch of  spa-like luxury you can't go wrong with a classic, plush white rug to bring softness and warmth underfoot to a tiled bathroom floor. This simple design from The White Company is a brilliant rustic bathroom idea it lets the beautiful patina of this vintage roll top really sing. 

10. Choose a stylish bath mat

Bathroom with rug

(Image credit: Future)

If you do not have space for a rug in your bathroom, but still want to add interest to the floor, then consider a bathmat with a decorative design – every bathroom will always need a bath mat so this could make a good small bathroom idea. 'A form of rug or bathmat in the bathroom is absolutely essential in our opinion – no slippery wet floors in a space very prone to accidents without any underfoot buffer,' says Noemie Deed, founder of Cosy Coco.

What kind of rug do you put in the bathroom?

As bathrooms are moist areas it’s advised to opt for designs that are washable or made from water-resistant, synthetic materials as these are less likely to be damaged by splashes and are easy to clean. Low pile rugs are better suited than deep pile rugs as they are easier to clean and are less likely to trap dirt. With the rise of outdoor living, there are plenty of water-resistant rugs available which be used to brighten up your bathroom as well as your patio.

Decorative rugs made from cotton or other natural fibers can still be used provided they are placed away from areas where they could be in direct contact with water and the room is well ventilated. Using regular rugs in a bathroom can create a quirky homely look and work particularly well in large, traditional bathrooms.

Where should you put rugs in the bathroom?

Where you put a bathroom rug will depend on what type of rug it is. A washable anti-slip bath matt made from cotton or a synthetic fibres is a must-have by next to a bath or shower, however larger rugs that serve a decorative purpose are best placed away from wet areas and are not suitable for wet rooms.

Placed in the center of the room a decorative rug made from wool, cotton or other natural materials can help bring warmth and texture to a large bathroom as well as serving to anchor the scheme. Do ensure that the rug has an anti-slip underlay when used on a hard floor and that the room is ventilated. 

Decorative rugs and runners are also a good way to bring personality to spaces less frequently used like cloakrooms and guest bathrooms. 

Pippa Blenkinsop

Pippa is a contributor to Homes & Gardens. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.