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A Closer Look At Different Types of Matting Materials

Posted February 6, 2013 in Matting
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Most commercial spaces install matting on their floors as an effective way to keep employees and customers safe from slip and fall accidents. Apart from their anti-slip properties, mats make floor maintenance easier and come in a variety of styles and appearances. Depending on your entrances and doorways, it may not be ideal to use the same type of entrance matting throughout the entire building. Depending on where you place them and how much wear and tear they are likely to incur in common areas, it’s wise to explore the different types of matting available. Here is a look at some of the common matting materials used and the best place for them.

Nylon vs. Polypropylene

Nylon-vs-Polypropylene

Polypropylene fibres (also referred to as Olefin) serve as the matting world’s basic workhorse fibre.  Polypropylene is a synthetic, durable fibre that resists staining and wear by being exceptionally resilient and tough.  Polypropylene is also non-absorbent, which makes it good for both indoor and outdoor use – but also limits its drying effectiveness when used indoors.  Polypropylene is also relatively inexpensive and easy to clean and is available in a wide variety of matting styles and colours.

Nylon fibres, however, are exceptionally absorbent – and this makes them the ultimate choice for dryer matting.  This extra absorbency doesn’t come without a cost, though; nylon fibres are softer than polypropylene so they show more wear and tear over time when used alone in a mat.  Nylon fibres can also be more susceptible to staining, depending on how they are coloured:  piece-dyed nylon starts out as a ‘white’ fibre and the colour is applied to the outside only, whereas solution-dyed nylon has the colour added when the nylon is still a liquid and the colour runs throughout.  Think of the difference between peeling a beet and peeling a carrot!

Anti Fatigue Mats

Anti-Fatigue-Mats

Anti fatigue mats have been proven to ease back pain and other fatigue or soreness in the body that comes from working or standing for long hours on hard or difficult surfaces. They are typically made of rubber, PVC foam, or other composite materials and are chiefly designed to reduce the strain on the body.

Dryer and Scraper Mats

Dryer-and-Scraper-Mats

Most entrance mats can be divided into one of these two categories:  dryer mats, and scraper mats.  As their names suggest, dryer mats are primarily meant to dry incoming feet, and scraper mats are primarily meant to scrap dirt off incoming feet.  An ideal entrance matting system deploys scraper mats as the first line of defence, backed up with a secondary line of dryer mats to finish the job.

Scraper mats have a rough, aggressive texture and to scrape and trap coarse dirt, sand, and excess water as close to the doorway as possible.  Dryer mats have a plusher, softer texture to finish wiping and drying incoming foot traffic.  During wet weather, many customers will try to clean the soles of their shoes while stepping into a building or a store and will purposely walk towards your entrance matting. To aid this, ensure that you’ve placed enough scraper and dryer mats both outside and inside the doors for the amount of foot traffic you expect.

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