Bathroom Renovation Ideas: The Pebble Bathmat

What is it with kids and bathrooms?

At least three in our house, who shall remain nameless, are expert in transforming the bathroom into a flood zone after a 4-minute shower. Puzzled, I have pondered long and hard about how this could possibly happen given the duration of time spent in there. I have deliberately showered with no thought of who was doing the cleanup afterward, in order to see exactly how it is possible to create a scene similar to that when flood irrigating a rice field. I drew no concrete conclusions, but did think of a way to stop the endless stream of waterlogged bathmats – which then need a water wasting laundry cycle of their own. Not to mention the occasional 8 or 9 extra bath towels which double as mops before the next innocent needs to go into the bathroom.

Again, being challenged in the DIY department, I explained to my husband what I had in mind, he looked at me strangely but agreed to give it a try.He put together a frame of stainless steel rods for me, we screwed it to the floor, sprinkled in a very light layer of cat litter and then inserted a liner of rubber sheet. The sheet was rolled at the edges and tucked in around the inside of the steel frame. Then, I headed off to Wal-Mart and bought 10 bags of large, smooth river pebbles. They were only $2 per bag in the craft department and are about one inch in diameter. I turned the bags of pebbles into the framework and spread them around evenly.

Well, it looked great. Now for the real test.

After supper the kids went one by one…one took a bath, the other a shower. (By the way, one of the causes for the flooding I have since discovered, is taking a shower with the curtain hanging on the outside) Enough said.

The result; our pebble ‘landing’ in the bathroom looks and works great!

Once every few days I put 3 inches of water in the tub, then put the rubber liner with the rocks into the tub with a few drops of disinfectant and anti mold solution. While they are soaking I sweep up the handful of cat litter, which is put there to catch any escaping dampness, toss it out and go back to let the water out of the tub. The stones are put back, no soaked bathmats or 9 extra bath towels to wash, I like this idea.

We are getting ready to renovate the bathroom so if this hadn’t worked out for the best there was nothing lost. The pebbles would go outside into the garden to live and a conventional bathmat would return for duty. We are redesigning the framework of the pebble mat to make it look more ‘shop bought’ rather than homemade, but the end result is very effective. I’m sure we’ve now saved enough money from doing laundry unnecessarily to feed a small country’s entire population.

*Caution, if you have small children please keep the bathroom door closed to prevent your little people from eating the pebbles.

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