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Why do I need an entrance mat?

Q:

I see them everywhere I go and they seem to come in all different styles and material. Why do I need an entrance mat?

A:

When you walk into a business, you’ll often step on an entrance mat. Chances are you haven't ever paid much attention to them, but there are some great benefits to having people set foot on a mat before walking across your floor.


Stop Soil and Water At The Door

Surprisingly, not all entrance mats are designed to do this. The most effective mats provide a combination of scraping and wiping features to remove the maximum amount of contaminants from footwear and prevent them being tracked into your facility.

Store Soil and Water for Removal

The most effective entrance mats are designed to provide a place for soil and water to be held in storage once the mat has removed them from incoming footwear. It is important that the storage feature be designed for maximum holding capacity and ease of removal when the mat is cleaned. It is also crucial that the mat provides a way for soil and water to be contained so they cannot spread to the surrounding floor. Contaminants that flow off the sides of a mat cause damage and can lead to slip/fall dangers. Mats with flat borders do not provide the necessary containment for best performance. Higher performance mats provide a dam that will hold the soil and water for removal during cleaning (learn more in How to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls).

Minimize Tracking of Soil and Water

This capability is best accomplished with mat construction that provides an upper surface for walking and a lower area where soil and water are stored until the mat is cleaned. The amount of soil that a mat allows to be reattached to shoes is directly related to the construction of the mat. High performance mats utilize a permanent rubber reinforced construction, trapping large quantities of moisture and dirt and minimizing the amount of soil and water being tracked further into the facility. Low performance mats, such as those with non-reinforced rubber or cut pile face yarn alone, will not hold up under foot pressure and will crush in a short period-of-time, allowing more water and dirt to reattach to shoes and be tracked into the facility. A permanent rubber reinforced construction is also durable, extending the performance life of a mat and reducing the need to dispose of mats frequently.

Provide a Safe Surface

The bottom of a mat should be slip-resistant to minimize movement on the floor when it is walked on. Any water on the mat should be contained in a reservoir below the traffic surface to prevent moisture on the flooring surface adjacent to the mat that can cause slip/fall incidents (read on in Prevention: Slips, Trips and Falls). Rubber-backed mats provide a better slip resistance than vinyl-backed mats. Rubber-backed mats do not curl, as vinyl mats do, thus reducing trip and fall exposure. Some rubber-backed mats have cleated surfaces on the bottom that further enhance non-skid properties and allow moisture to dry from underneath the mat.

Taking the time to choose the correct entrance mat will keep your facility both cleaner and safer in the long run.

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Written by Brian Evans
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Brian Evans is a floor matting specialist with over 10 years’ experience in the Industrial/Safety & Material Handling Industries. He started his career conducting onsite customer assessments and understanding customer needs. Currently, Brian has advanced his career to include Account Manager, Business Development and Sales Management operations. Focused on solution selling and addressing core customer needs, Brian conducts training on ergonomics & safety, sharing knowledge to our distributor partners, including the end user.   Full Bio