Importance of Entrance Matting Material
Entrance matting is an essential part of any building’s entrance, as it helps to keep the interior clean and safe. When it comes to selecting materials for entrance matting, there are several important factors to consider, including durability, slip resistance, moisture absorption, and ease of maintenance.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing materials for entrance matting is durability. Entrance matting is subjected to a lot of wear and tear, so it needs to be made from materials that can withstand heavy foot traffic and wheeled equipment. Materials such as aluminium, rubber, and nylon are popular choices because they are tough and durable.
Another important factor to consider is slip resistance. Entrance matting should have a non-slip surface to prevent slips and falls, especially when the mat is wet. Rubber and vinyl are popular choices for their slip-resistant properties, and many manufacturers add textured patterns to the surface of their mats to enhance their slip resistance.
Moisture absorption is another critical factor to consider when selecting materials for entrance matting. Moisture can cause slip hazards, as well as damage to interior surfaces. Mats made from materials such as polypropylene, nylon, and polyester are excellent at absorbing moisture and preventing it from being tracked inside.
Ease of maintenance is also important when choosing materials for entrance matting. Mats that are easy to clean and maintain will last longer and perform better over time. Rubber and vinyl mats can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth, while carpet mats can be vacuumed or steam cleaned.
Finally, it’s important to consider the aesthetic appeal of entrance matting. Mats come in a variety of colours, patterns, and textures, allowing building owners to choose materials that complement their interior design.
How Are They Manufactured?
Entrance mats are manufactured using a variety of techniques and materials depending on the specific design and purpose of the mat. Here is a general overview of how entrance mats are typically manufactured:
- Design: The first step in manufacturing entrance mats is designing the mat itself. This involves selecting the appropriate materials, deciding on the size and shape of the mat, and creating a prototype or mock-up of the design.
- Material selection: The choice of materials will depend on the mat’s purpose and location. Materials commonly used in entrance mats include rubber, vinyl, nylon, polyester, and aluminium.
- Cutting and shaping: Once the materials are selected, they are cut and shaped to the appropriate size and shape using cutting machines or hand tools.
- Surface treatment: Some entrance mats require additional surface treatments, such as embossing, printing, or flocking. These treatments can add texture or patterns to the mat’s surface, improving slip resistance or aesthetic appeal.
- Bonding and stitching: If the mat consists of multiple layers, such as a backing material and a surface material, these layers are bonded together using heat or adhesives. The edges of the mat may also be stitched or finished to prevent fraying.
- Finishing: Once the mat is assembled, it may undergo additional finishing processes such as trimming, edging, or cleaning to ensure a smooth and consistent appearance.
- Packaging and distribution: The finished mats are packaged and distributed to retailers or end-users.
Overall, the manufacturing process for entrance mats can be complex, involving multiple steps and specialized machinery. However, by carefully selecting materials and using precise manufacturing techniques, manufacturers can create high-quality mats that meet the functional and aesthetic needs of a wide range of commercial and residential settings.
Making Sure Your Entrance Mat is Fully Complaint
Entrance mats are an important part of any building’s safety and maintenance plan, as they help to prevent slips, falls, and damage to interior surfaces. To ensure that your entrance mat is fully compliant with safety regulations and best practices, there are several key steps you can take:
- Determine your compliance requirements: The first step in ensuring compliance is to determine the specific requirements that apply to your building and industry. This may involve reviewing local, state, and federal regulations, as well as any industry-specific standards or guidelines.
- Choose the right type of mat: Entrance mats come in a variety of materials and designs, each with different properties and performance characteristics. When selecting a mat, consider factors such as slip resistance, moisture absorption, and durability, as well as any specific compliance requirements.
- Ensure proper installation: Proper installation of entrance mats is critical to their effectiveness and compliance. Mats should be securely anchored to the floor, with no tripping hazards or gaps between the mat and the floor. The installation should also take into account any ADA compliance requirements for wheelchair accessibility.
- Regularly inspect and maintain mats: Entrance mats require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure their continued effectiveness and compliance. Mats should be checked for signs of wear, damage, or shifting, and cleaned or replaced as necessary. The frequency of maintenance will depend on factors such as foot traffic and weather conditions.
- Train staff and occupants: Finally, it’s important to train staff and occupants on the proper use and care of entrance mats. This may involve providing guidance on cleaning and maintenance procedures, as well as reinforcing the importance of using mats to prevent slips and falls.
By following these steps, building owners and facility managers can ensure that their entrance mats are fully compliant with safety regulations and best practices, helping to protect the safety and well-being of building occupants while maintaining a clean and attractive environment.
The Most Common Materials Used in Entrance Matting
Entrance matting is available in a wide range of materials, each with its own unique properties and performance characteristics. Here are some of the most common materials used in entrance matting:
- Rubber: Rubber mats are highly durable and slip-resistant, making them ideal for high-traffic entrances. They are also easy to clean and maintain.
- Vinyl: Vinyl mats are also highly durable and slip-resistant, and they are available in a variety of colours and patterns to complement any decor. They are also resistant to moisture and mildew, making them a good choice for wet areas.
- Nylon: Nylon mats are highly absorbent, making them ideal for entrances that are exposed to rain, snow, or other sources of moisture. They are also highly durable and resistant to wear and tear.
- Polyester: Polyester mats are similar to nylon mats in their absorbent properties, but they are also highly resistant to stains and fading. They are also lightweight and easy to clean.
- Polypropylene: Polypropylene mats are highly durable and resistant to moisture, making them a good choice for high-traffic entrances that are exposed to rain or snow. They are also resistant to stains and fading, and they are lightweight and easy to clean.
- Aluminium: Aluminium mats are highly durable and lightweight, making them a good choice for outdoor entrances. They are also resistant to rust and corrosion, and they have a sleek and modern appearance.
Nitrite Rubber/Natural Rubber
“Nitrite rubber” is a commonly used term for nitrile rubber, a synthetic rubber compound that is known for its excellent resistance to oils, fuels, and chemicals. It is a popular material for floor mats, particularly those used in industrial and commercial settings where spills and leaks are common.
Nitrile rubber is a type of elastomer that is made by combining butadiene and acrylonitrile in a process called copolymerization. The resulting material is resistant to a wide range of chemicals, as well as heat and abrasion. It is also flexible and durable, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas.
In floor matting, nitrile rubber is often used as a backing material or as a surface layer in mats designed for use in wet or oily environments. Its resistance to oils and chemicals helps to prevent damage to the mat and the underlying floor, while its slip-resistant properties help to prevent slips and falls.
In addition to its use in floor mats, nitrile rubber is also used in a wide range of other applications, including seals, gaskets, hoses, and automotive parts. Its ability to withstand exposure to oils and fuels makes it a popular choice for use in engines and other mechanical components.
Overall, nitrile rubber is a versatile and durable material that offers excellent resistance to chemicals and other hazards. When used in conjunction with floor mats, it can help to protect floors and prevent slips and falls, making it a valuable component of any safety and maintenance program.
Microfiber is a synthetic material made from very fine fibres, typically less than one denier in diameter. These fibres are made from a variety of materials, including polyester and nylon, and are woven together to create a soft and absorbent fabric. Microfiber is commonly used in a variety of applications, including cleaning cloths, towels, and floor mats.
When used with floor mats, microfiber can provide several benefits, including:
- Increased absorbency: Microfiber is highly absorbent, making it ideal for use in mats designed to capture moisture and dirt. The fine fibres can hold up to seven times their weight in water, which helps to prevent slips and falls and protect interior surfaces from damage.
- Improved cleaning performance: Microfiber mats are also highly effective at capturing dirt and debris, thanks to their small fibres and high surface area. The fibres can trap and hold onto dirt, rather than pushing it around like traditional mop heads.
- Reduced bacteria and odours: Microfiber mats are less likely to harbour bacteria and odours than traditional mats, thanks to their ability to trap and hold onto dirt and moisture. This can help to keep floors and interiors clean and fresh-smelling.
Microfiber mats are typically made by weaving together microfiber fibres with a non-slip backing material. They are available in a variety of sizes, colours, and patterns to match the decor of any environment. Like other types of mats, microfiber mats require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure their continued effectiveness.
Cotton is a natural fibre that is commonly used in the production of a wide variety of textiles, including floor mats. Cotton mats are known for their softness, durability, and absorbency, making them a popular choice for use in residential and light commercial settings.
One of the primary benefits of cotton mats is their ability to absorb moisture and dirt. Cotton fibres have a high surface area, which allows them to capture and hold onto moisture and dirt, preventing it from being tracked onto interior surfaces. This can help to protect floors and carpets from damage, while also improving indoor air quality by reducing the amount of dust and other allergens in the air.
Cotton mats are also highly durable, thanks to the strength of cotton fibres. They can withstand frequent use and washing without losing their shape or effectiveness. Additionally, cotton mats are typically machine-washable, making them easy to clean and maintain.
One potential drawback of cotton mats is their susceptibility to mildew and mould growth, particularly in humid or damp environments. To prevent this, it’s important to ensure that cotton mats are allowed to dry completely between uses and washed regularly to remove any accumulated moisture or dirt.
Coir is a natural fiber extracted from the outer husk of coconuts. It is commonly used in the production of a variety of products, including floor mats. Coir mats are known for their durability, absorbency, and natural aesthetic, making them a popular choice for use in residential and commercial settings.
One of the primary benefits of coir mats is their ability to effectively scrape dirt and debris from footwear. The coarse texture of the coir fibres helps to dislodge dirt and mud, preventing it from being tracked onto interior surfaces. This can help to protect floors and carpets from damage, while also improving indoor air quality by reducing the amount of dust and other allergens in the air.
Made from a thermoplastic polymer, polypropylene fibres are a popular choice for entrance mats, thanks to the excellent scraping property of their abrasive surface. As well as being an exceptional dirt trapper, polypropylene mats are also more cost-effective to produce and tend to be more durable and versatile than nylon alternatives.
Polypropylene entrance mats are used most often within the leisure, hotels, hospitality, offices, and retail sectors.
A synthetic material that is often regarded as the best of the best, mats made from nylon often have a higher price tag than those made from other materials. There are various kinds of nylon, including polyamine, a popular material used in the manufacture of heavy-duty entrance mats. Nylon is especially popular in commercial use, like public transportation facilities and shopping centres where there is high traffic. It provides a soft and luxurious feel underfoot and is effective at scraping and brushing at dirt and debris. It is also incredibly resilient and crush resistant.
As it is also a hard material to impregnate, it offers greater stain and fade resistance than alternatives. Finally, as it offers fast-drying properties, it is especially effective in exterior entrance matting.
Most Popular Entrance Matting Backing Materials
In addition to the materials used for the top layers of entrance mats, it’s also important to familiarise yourself with those used in the backing. There are a few different options out there, including:
- PVC – often simply referred to as vinyl, this is a cost-effective option. You need to be careful when choosing matting with PVC backing though as it is not ideal for environments with very low temperatures. If it gets too cold, PVC can become brittle and start to crack.
- Synthetic Rubber – Nitrite rubber is a popular option as an entrance mat backing, particularly in the rental property market, as it can withstand being regularly laundered. Compared to natural rubber, it also offers the distinct advantages of being more resistant to chemicals, oils, and heat. Furthermore, it has a longer lifespan and can help matting t stay in place, even when used on smooth flooring.