Plants and Animals

How-To: Moss Shower Mat

February 18, 2014 | by Lisa Winter

Photo credit: Robert Brenner, Sr.

Arguably, taking that first step out of the shower is one of the lowest points of the day. It is possible to make that transition from “insanely comfortable shower time” to “everything else you absolutely have to do with your life” a little easier by stepping out onto a lush, comfortable shower mat covered in moss. These mats are commercially available, but are still on the pricey side. If you don’t have that kind of extra money and/or want a fun weekend project, here’s how to get it for a lot less:

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • -Substrate for the moss, such as high density foam, about 2.54 cm (1 inch) thick
  • -Sharp utility knife
  • -Silicone sealer, like caulk or cement
  • -Posterboard or cardstock for creating stencils
  • -Marker or grease pencil
  • -Spray bottle filled with water
  • -Moss (many kinds of moss can be used, just choose yours based on the amount of sunlight and average temperature of your bathroom)

Here’s how to do it:

  • -Choose the size of your mat. This can be as large or small as you need it to be, given the size of your bathroom. If using foam, be sure that you have enough to make two layers. Bamboo or wood trays will not work quite as well, given their tendency to produce mold and mildew under the conditions required to keep the moss alive.
  • -Choose the shape of your mat. You will need to create several cutouts for your moss. The shape of the cutouts and the edge of the mat are entirely up to you! Any shaping of the edges will need to be done to both pieces of foam, but the cutouts for the moss will only be on the top layer. Use the marker or grease pencil to trace the shapes onto the foam and use the utility knife to cut through the entire thickness. Use as many as you need to cover the mat with moss. Keeping small sections (as opposed to filling a tray with moss) will prevent it from growing excessively.
  • -Seal the mat. An adhesive like silicone caulk is recommended, because it will create a water-tight environment for the moss. Using a product like hot glue or certain other adhesives may melt the foam. Apply the adhesive to the underside of the top layer with the cutouts, making sure each section and the edge of the mat will be properly sealed. Press the top layer to the bottom layer, cleaning up any excess that may have squeezed out the sides. Use books or something heavy to weigh down the mat until the adhesive has dried.
  • -Prep the mat. Once the mat is ready for the moss, it will need to be properly prepped to ensure its survival. Use the spray bottle to mist the surface of the mat. Keep the spray bottle handy in the bathroom while the moss gets established.
  • -Plant the moss. Insert the moss into each cutout, until the mat is covered.

Depending on what species of moss you have used, you might need to water it more than just the drips from your shower once a day. Use the spray bottle to mist the moss for the first couple of months while it gets established. This will keep it moist without over-saturating it.