1-Hour Project: How to Build a Cedar Bath Mat

I saw a cedar mat like this online for $35 and thought, “Hey, I can make a better one for less.” You can build one, too, in three easy step.

Time

An hour or less

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

$20-50

Introduction

I saw a cedar mat like this online for $35 and thought, “Hey, I can make a better one for less.” You can build one, too, in three easy steps.

Materials Required

  • 1-1/4-in. brad nails
  • 1x2 or 1x6 lumber
  • antiskid pads
  • finishing supplies
  • paint stir stick
  • Sandpaper

Some planning and building tips to know:

  • I chose cedar for its looks and rot-resistance, but any wood would be fine.
  • My mat is 14-1/2 x 30 in., but you can make yours any size. Just be sure the slats are supported by runners no more than 15 in. apart.
  • Large knots create weak spots, so you may need to buy extra lumber to get sections that are free of knots.
  • Although the nail holes won’t show, I patched them with wood filler before sanding and finishing. Left exposed, the nail heads may rust and stain the floor.
  • I finished my mat with tung oil. Oil finishes aren’t as durable as some others, but they’re easy to renew when the finish starts to wear—just wipe on a fresh coat.
  • Be sure to apply anti-skid pads on the bottom to keep the mat from sliding on hard floors.

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

Cut the Slats

cut the slats cedar bath mat

If your local home center doesn’t have good-quality 1x2 stock for the slats, buy a 1x6 and cut 1-1/2-in. strips. An 8-ft. 1x6 provided all the slats I needed. Learn how to rip boards on a table saw safely here.

Step 2

Round the Edges

round the edges cedar bath mat

I rounded the slat edges with a 1/4-in. round-over bit. If you don’t have a router, ease the edges with 100-grit sandpaper.

Step 3

Assemble the Mat

assemble cedar bath mat

Clamp wood scraps to your workbench to form a square. Lay out the slats against the guide using spacers cut from a paint stir stick. Then cut three runners 1 in. shorter than the width of the mat. Fasten the runners to the slats with 1-1/4-in. brads or nails. Besides paint stir sticks for spacers, see what other unique uses you can get out of free stuff from The Home Depot.