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Bath Mat Won’t Stick to Tub? Try These Easy DIY Fixes

bath mat won't stick to tub hdr

There’s nothing worse than taking a shower in a slippery tub. You’ll spend half the time trying to find your balance to avoid a nasty fall!

Thankfully, there are quite a few solutions to this problem that have affected many-a-household.

One of the most traditional ways is to simply throw down a bath math for a slip-free showering experience.

But the problem is…

These special mats often have a little trouble adhering to the tub!

If you’re wondering why your bath mat won’t stick to your tub, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the typical culprits behind slippery bath mats.

Then we’ll give you all the goods on how to make a bath mat stick to your tub hassle-free!

Bath Mat Slipping

There are quite a few reasons why your bath mat may be slipping. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes.

Suction Cups

bath mat suction cups close

The majority of bath mats come with suction cups on the bottom.

These attach to the tub and provide extra traction to keep the mat in place.

Since the cups are the main form of anchoring, any issue with this structure will cause slipping.

For example, if the shape of one of the cups warps, it’ll affect the stability of the entire mat.

Other than that, debris can reduce the friction between the mat and the tub.

When dirt makes its way into and under the suction cups over time, it’ll decrease the traction they create.

This will make sticking the mat to your tub next to impossible!


Just like your aging bathtub, bath mats can’t live forever either.

After a few years of service, you’ll notice that the tub mat is in need of replacement – and we’re talking just visually here, never mind, how they perform.

Due to normal wear and tear, the mat will simply deteriorate over time.

That’s when the suction cups break down and change shapes. It’s no surprise, this will stop them from sticking to the tub sufficiently.

Other than that, as the mat ages, it’ll collect all sorts of tiny debris, soap scum, mildew, hair…you name it.

Not only will this reduce friction, but it’ll make for an unpleasant eyesore.

Mold & Mildew

It’s no surprise that mold and mildew can grow on BOTH sides of bath mat, making it slippery.

And oh boy, can tis cause it to move around just by stepping on it.

What’s more is that mold and mildew can weaken the material of a bath mat over time, causing it to fold up on itself more easily and losing it’s integrity to grip the tub.

I’ve found that the mold issue can affect both a suction-cup type mat as well as the ones with the grippy, foam bottoms similar to shelf-liner material.

Tub Surface

If you’re struggling with getting your bath mat to stay put, the issue may be with your tub itself.

To help you understand this, let’s take a look at how suction cups work.

These tiny structures are concave and made of a material like silicon rubber.

Once you place a cup on a flat surface and push it down, you’ll force the air between the two surfaces out.

This causes an imbalance in air pressure, which keeps the suction cups in place.

In order for this to work though, the flat surface must be completely smooth and non-porous.

Any bumps, ridges, etches/scrapes, or other imperfections on your tub will stop the suction cups from creating a proper air-tight seal.

And it goes without saying that any kind of textured or rough anti-slip layer that’s been added to your tub or shower floor will not be suction-cup friendly!

How to Keep Bath Mats from Sliding

foot keeping bath mat in place

With the common culprits out of the way, we can move on to solutions!

In this section, I’ll walk you through what you can do to keep your bath mat securely in place.

Yet, before I do that, you should prepare some materials you’ll need first.

This will streamline the process and make it easier for you to resolve your issue.

Here’s what you may need depending on which option you choose:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Alcohol spray
  • Adhesive tape
  • Non-slip decals
  • Shelf liner

Ok first…

Regular Cleaning

One of the simplest ways to ensure your bath mat stays in place is to clean it regularly. As we mentioned, dirt and other debris can reduce friction.

So, a strict maintenance schedule can help you avoid this problem from coming up in the first place.

Ideally, it’s best to throw the bath mat in your washing machine every week or two depending on many showers they go through throughout the week.

I know this seems cliché (“just keep it clean!”), but this will both improve traction and keep your mat looking fresh and brand new.

Once the mat is completely dry, pump a few sprays of alcohol onto the suction cups.

This should help remove any impurities, including traces of dust, to give you the best results.

Double-Sided Tape

Waterproof tape for bath mat

You might not believe it but I’ve used double-sided tape to keep mats in the tub from slipping while showering.

This adhesive can be applied directly to the bottom of the bath mat and will help it stay in place without leaving any residue on your tub or tile.

Double-sided tape is typically made of strong, durable materials like polyester or acrylic, which means it can withstand exposure to water and heat without losing its grip.

This one from Amazon is perfect as you can not only remove if when the time comes, but you can wash it and replace it whenever needed.

Non-Slip Decals

Another solution relies on non-slip decals. These are stickers that adhere to flat surfaces using suction and static electricity.

The top surface of the decals can create a large amount of friction. So, once the stickers are in position, you can place the bath mat on top.

These decals will act as a substitute for suction cups. You can check out our favorite decals from Amazon here.

While the stickers are incredibly effective, there’s one major disadvantage. When you use a decal, it locks in place and doesn’t budge.

That means replacing the stickers can be a bit of a pain.

Shelf Liner

If you’re looking for a quick fix, then a shelf liner may be the way to go.

These liners act like non-slip decals, but without the sticky layer.

That means you can place the liner directly on the tub, without needing any extra adhesive.

This combines the benefits of non-slip decals and is especially useful in tubs with texture or surfaces that aren’t completely smooth.

You’ll be able to keep your mat from slipping when you’re using it. Then, as soon as you’re done, you’ll be able to lift the shelf liner off the tub with ease.

To top it all off, this is the most affordable option on the list. You can get a full roll of shelf liners for a few bucks.

Replace Bath Mat or Use Peel and Stick Mat

Aside from a deep cleaning, you may simply need to buy a new mat.

It’s just a way to start from scratch and begin your routine cleaning for many years of slip-free showers.

Another fix that isn’t quite so quick but offers greater potential for a permanent solution is to install a Peel and Stick product.

After carefully cleaning the bottom of your tub, you carefully stick the entire traction mat down.

Make sure your tub is squeaky clean and super smooth to use this correctly.

It’s a winner if you have the patience and right kind of tub!

Check out this popular mat on Amazon to see if it’s right for you.

You can see in the video below how to install one of these cut-to-fit mats:


Why Won’t My Bath Mat Stick to a Fiberglass Tub?

Your bath mat won’t stick to fiberglass tub because of the tub’s texture. If you examine the surface closely, you’ll notice the tub has hundreds of bumps.

These are meant to increase the traction between your feet and the tub. However, when you place a mat down, the friction will decrease.

How to Make Suction Cups Stick to Textured Bathtubs?

You can try wetting the suction cups or warming them up. Although, you shouldn’t have to do any of that.

If the suction cups aren’t sticking in place without much force, then you may need to replace them.

How to Make a Bath Mat Non Slip?

There are many tips you can try out. For example, using non-slip decals or double-sided tape.


Figuring out why your bath mat won’t stick to your tub can be frustrating. There are several culprits that may be behind the issue.

These include problems with the materials, suction cups, tub surfaces, and natural aging.

To resolve these, you can try using non-slip decals or velcro. You can also rely on shelf liners if you’re in a pinch.

Finally, remember to keep your bath mats clean to ensure they stay in place.

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