You’ll see all kinds of suppliers professing to have fantastic mats at stopping dirt and water, but one mat doesn’t fit all situations. The aim of this blog is to cut through the hype and tell you exactly how to choose the right entrance mat for your circumstances.
We get all kinds of weather in Britain; which ensures we have so much to speak about. Mother Nature has blessed us with this variety, ensuring our small island gets a little sun, a smattering of snow and a hefty dose of wet weather each year.
As blessed as we are with variety, it sure makes it difficult to keep our building entrances clean and slip-hazard free. Fortunately the cavalry charging to our rescue, comes in the form of entrance mats and matting. Unfortunately it can be a tricky decision knowing which entrance mats are right for you. So let’s help you choose:
Loose lay mat or well / recess matting?
First of all, check if the mat you require needs to fit in a well or recess, or if it needs to be loose laid, i.e. it is placed on top of the floor. This will determine the options available to you.
Buying a well / recess mat limits your options, because you need to ensure you have matting to fit the exact measurements and the correct depth to ensure it sits flush with the surrounding floor. Get it wrong and you have an unsightly gap around the edges of the well which looks poor, collects dirt and can create a trip hazard.
Ensure you measure correctly and consider having a professional installer / builder do the work for you. It’s worth purchasing a mat slightly oversized that can be trimmed to fit the well exactly.
Alternatively go for mat tiles, which can be assembled to fit any size or shape of mat well.
A loose lay mat gives you far more options and flexibility. For instance you may need to move the mat for cleaning, or only require the mat when the weather is particularly bad. A loose lay mat can be rolled up and moved or stored as needed.
What size mat do I need?
Always go for the largest mat that will practically fit in the entrance area. This will ensure it is as effective as it can be, because it will maximise the number of steps your visitors will take on the mat enabling it to scrape and wipe dirt and water off the visitors’ footwear or from wheeled traffic.
Of course budget may also play a part in your thinking. Larger mats tend to cost more, so we recommend trading mat size with mat quality. Just bear in mind that you need visitors to take at least a couple of steps on the mat for it to have a worthwhile effect. It’s pointless having a small, yet fantastic quality mat, if they will only step on it once.
What should the mat be made of?
This depends on the volume of foot traffic that will pass over the mat. In a domestic setting, where the mat is walked over only a handful of times during the day, you can choose a cotton mat. This will be very absorbent to soak up the moisture and can usually be thrown in the washing machine when it needs cleaning.
In a commercial setting, a cotton mat may become saturated with water, particularly on a wet day. Man-made materials, such as nylon, polycarbonate or, more recently, recycled PET help water to evaporate more quickly and therefore will not become saturated in a high footfall area. These man made fibres are also harder wearing, making the mat more durable.
There is also a choice of materials for the backing, usually PVC or rubber. PVC is often cheaper, but it is not as durable or anti-slip as rubber backed mats. Rubber mats will last longer and are better at staying in place on hard or carpeted floors.
If the entrance mat is destined to placed outdoors and exposed to the wet weather, then it is best to be made out of all rubber. A mat with a fabric top would act like a sponge, soaking up water and liable to becoming saturated in wet weather.
Which colour should I choose?
Mats are designed to remove dirt and water, which means they become dirty through use. If you wish to clean the mat less often, then it’s best to choose a colour that will help hide the dirt. Darker colours such as dark greys and browns tend to do this the best. Even better choose a mat with flecks of colour which helps disguise dirt better than a unicolour mat. Of course, the best thing to do is to clean the mat regularly so that dirt doesn’t build up to a level where the mat can no longer hold it.
What to do next:
Hopefully this short guide has helped you understand how to choose the right entrance mat. Even though we may have narrowed down your choice, you’ll notice that there’s still a wide choice of mats available to you. If you need any further help, then you are welcome to Contact Us and let us help you make the right entrance mat choice for your circumstances.