Cedar Bath Mat

This ver­sa­tile mat is also per­fect for an en­try or mud­room.

The Family Handyman - - CONTENTS - By Matt Bo­ley

Isaw a cedar mat like this on­line for $35 and thought, “Hey, I can make a bet­ter one for less.” The project is su­per sim­ple, prac­ti­cal and ver­sa­tile: It can be a bath mat, an en­try mat for a pa­tio or a drip-dry plat­form for wet shoes. Here are some plan­ning and build­ing tips: I chose cedar for its looks and rotre­sis­tance. 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 an­ti­skid pads on the bot­tom to keep the mat from slid­ing on hard floors.


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.


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.


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.

Square Run­ner Spacer Slat

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