March 25, 2024

Avoiding Disaster: Choosing The Right Entry Mats

In the daily hustle of running a business, one detail often slips under the radar until it is amiss: the commercial entrance mat. Entrance mats are so prevalent in our routines that we scarcely spare it a second thought—until, that is, it fails to fulfil its purpose. Suddenly, we are confronted with muddy floors, slips, and falls, and we realize the critical role of mats in maintaining order and safety within our facilities. In this guide, we will uncover the significance of commercial mats and provide insights to help businesses make informed decisions about this essential yet sometimes overlooked asset.

How Much Traffic Is Expected to Come Through the Business?

Assessing the foot traffic your business experiences is crucial for selecting the right entry mats. This helps determine the number of mats needed, the most suitable type, and the frequency of service. Neglecting this aspect can lead to significant floor damage from debris and moisture tracked indoors.

  • Quantity of Mats – Whether your business has a single entrance or multiple access points, it is vital to ensure adequate mat coverage. High-traffic areas may require multiple mats strategically placed to effectively capture dirt and moisture, while low-traffic areas may need fewer mats.
  • Type of Mats – With a diverse range of mats available, including durable scraper mats and absorbent waterhog mats, selecting the appropriate type is crucial. Tailoring your choice to your business's size and specific needs ensures optimal performance in preventing dirt and moisture from entering your premises. Additionally, integrating a combination of mats with strategic placement throughout the facility enhances floor protection and safety for customers and employees.
  • Frequency of Service – Regular service is vital for maximizing the effectiveness and longevity of your mats. Facilities experiencing heavy foot traffic benefit from more frequent cleaning or replacement schedules to maintain cleanliness standards and prolong mat lifespan. Conversely, some companies may opt for less frequent scheduled services to prevent unnecessary wear from excessive cleaning.

Fun Fact: Did you know, without entrance matting, up to 42% of a floor’s finish could be compromised with just 1500 people passing through the facility? (3M)

large crowd walking

What Is the Right Size Mat?

Several factors are considered when determining the appropriate size for an entry mat, such as the entrance dimensions, building size, layout, and potential slip and fall risks. Additionally, customer preference plays a significant role, as some may prefer extensive coverage while others may prioritize a more minimalist approach.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Width: It is recommended that the width of the mat matches the width of the doorway. Alternatively, covering at least 80%of the doorway's width ensures comprehensive coverage to effectively capture dirt and moisture from incoming foot traffic.
  • Length: Aim for at least fifteen feet of matting at the entrance. Use a combination of different mat types strategically, ensuring each mat is stepped on at least twice. This helps minimize the amount of dirt tracked throughout the rest of your facility.

Fun Fact: Did you know covering at least 15 feet of matting at an entrance can prevent 80-90% of dirt from coming into the facility? (Cleaning & Maintenance Management)

width size needed for a mat
recommended length for a mat

What Type of Materials Are Used in Mats?

Understanding the materials used in mats is essential for evaluating their performance. While it may be tempting to assume all mats are created equal, commercial-grade mats offered by mat rental companies differ significantly from their retail counterparts found at department stores. Crafted from heavy-duty materials, these mats are engineered to capture and trap dirt effectively, crucial for managing the substantial influx of dirt in facilities.

Here are some materials to look out for:

  • Nitrile: Found in various mat types, nitrile is commonly used for the backing due to its durability and resistance to oil and fire.
  • PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): Utilized in waterhog mats and logo mats, PET offers strength, durability, and quick drying properties. It is also environmentally friendly, often made from recycled content.
  • Solution-dyed Type 6 Nylon: Classic mats are crafted from solution-dyed type 6 nylon, known for its durability, vibrant colour retention, and excellent stain resistance.

Materials to Avoid:

  • Thin Vinyl: Mats constructed with thin vinyl are more prone to wear and tear and may curl at the edges, posing as a tripping hazard.
  • Low-Quality Polypropylene: Mats made from low-grade polypropylene fibers may deteriorate quickly, reducing effectiveness in trapping dirt.
  • Flimsy Polyester: Mats constructed from flimsy polyester materials may fray or pill, diminishing appearance and functionality over time.

Fun Fact: Did you know nylon can be coloured in two ways: acid-dyed or solution-dyed? Think of it as comparing a radish and a carrot. Acid-dyed is like a radish's skin—colour is only at the surface level. Solution-dyed, like a carrot's vibrant hue, penetrates through for better colour retention. (M+A Matting)

good mat materials list
bad mat materials list

How Can I Arrange My Mats for Optimal Cleanliness and Safety?

Implementing a "mat entry system" involves strategically placing and using commercial mats to enhance cleanliness, safety, and the overall aesthetic of a facility. Each type of mat serves a specific purpose, and when used together, they can make a significant difference in maintaining cleanliness and safety standards. Here is how the system works:

  • Step 1: Position a scraper mat at the entrance or vestibule of the facility. These mats feature threads designed to scrape off tough dirt and grime from shoes, providing the first line of defence against debris entering the building.
  • Step 2: Follow up with a waterhog mat shortly after the entrance doors. Waterhog mats are designed to trap moisture efficiently, with water dam borders to contain water and beveled edges for a safe transition from the mat to the floor. Some models can hold a significant amount of water equivalent to almost three standard milk jugs, aiding in keeping floors dry and safe.
  • Step 3: Place classic mats in hallways, lobbies, or corridors to capture residual dirt that may still be present on footwear. These mats feature a high-twist design that pushes dirt to the bottom, maintaining appearance and longevity, making them ideal for high traffic areas.
  • Step 4: Finally, position a logo mat near the front desk or reception area to serve as the final entry mat. This mat not only helps keep the area clean but also showcases the company logo, reinforcing brand identity and professionalism. Placing the logo mat last ensures that it remains clean, preserving the visibility and impact of the company logo.

Fun Fact: Did you know that 30% of dirt is trapped in the first 3 feet of a typical mat? (ISSA)

Can Commercial Mats Be Cleaned In-House?

As mentioned earlier, the materials and designs of commercial mats are often crafted to effectively trap dirt and prevent its spread throughout a facility. However, attempting to clean commercial mats in-house can be a challenging and inefficient process for businesses. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Time and Cost: Cleaning commercial mats in-house requires considerable time and effort, which can be costly for businesses in terms of labour and resources. Moreover, it may necessitate multiple wash cycles to ensure thorough cleanliness, adding to the expense.
  2. Sustainability: In-house cleaning of commercial mats may not be sustainable, as it can result in excessive water and energy consumption. Laundering facilities are equipped to clean mats efficiently and sustainably, minimizing environmental impact.
  3. Optimized Wash Cycle: Professional laundering facilities can tailor the wash cycle to suit the specific needs of your business and traffic volume. This ensures that mats are neither under-washed nor over-washed, preserving their longevity and effectiveness.
  4. Ineffective Cleaning: Commercial mats require thorough cleaning to remove embedded dirt effectively. Industrial washing machines are necessary for this task, as they can provide a deep clean and reach the root of the mat fibers. In contrast, relying solely on a commercial vacuum may not be sufficient. The vacuum may struggle to collect dirt from the bottom fibers of the mat, resulting in ineffective cleaning and compromised performance.

Fun Fact: Did you know that it is estimated that only 10% of dirt is removed from mats using a vacuum cleaner? (Georgia State University Test)

manager deciding on mat rental

To conclude, choosing the right commercial entry mats are essential for ensuring cleanliness and safety in your space. By considering factors such as space, sizing, materials, layout, and upkeep, you can improve the appearance and functionality of your facility. If you need further guidance or assistance in choosing the right mats tailored to your specific business needs, our team is here to help.

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