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Matting – How Much is Enough?

Posted February 20, 2013 in Matting
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When you opt to have your office, store, or lobby fitted with mats, size and dimensions are very important to give you a perfect fit. Mats that curl up against walls or those that are too small can either cause accidents or fail to prevent them. Therefore, it’s best to understand your requirements when comparing custom versus standard sized mats.

How much matting do you need?

While custom ordering your mats, you can order a specific size right down to the inch.  If you are unsure about how much floor space you need to cover, there’s a rule of thumb for commercial lobbies and spaces.  Ideally, people’s first 12 – 18 footsteps into your building should be taken on your entrance matting system to remove as much dirt and water as possible.

It’s important to choose the right size when ordering your mats, as resizing them yourself after they’ve been delivered really isn’t possible.  Custom matting is made to size and has vinyl edging applied with special adhesives to ensure long life; cutting and regluing this yourself can cause the backing to detach from the mat face and make it more prone to wear and tear. We’re always happy to meet with our local clients for a ‘no obligation’ quote to measure and help you choose the right matting product(s) for your area.

When considering what type of matting you need, take into account the position of your entrance or doorway, whether the doorway opens directly to the outdoors or to a vestibule, the size of the actual usable doorway, and also the amount of foot traffic in the area.  Next, it’s important to select a size that is large enough to ensure that most traffic doesn’t miss the mat and step anywhere else when you enter. For instance, most standard doorways are about 36″ wide; at minimum, you should have a mat that’s 3’ wide if the traffic pattern runs straight away from the door.  If most people veer off in one direction or another, a 6’ wide mat is a good choice.

Remember the 12 – 18 footstep rule for choosing a length if you can!  The length of your mats should capture most of the foot traffic. For functional reasons, we recommend at least a 3’ run of matting beyond your doorway at an absolute minimum, but more is always better.  The more matting length you have, the more dirt you’ll trap.

Some mats can be had without any sort of edging, but for maximum safety and visual appeal we usually recommend it.  For heavier-duty styles of entrance matting, you can usually choose from different profiles of edging:  our usual commercial duty edging is called Heavy Edge, but if your entrance has wheeled traffic (like wheelchairs, trolleys, or carts) we recommend Cart Edge with its longer run and gentler slope.  Having your mats made with edging also gives your mat dimensional stability to resist corner flip and gives it extra heft to keep it in place on your floor.

In the end, entrance matting should be about function over form: keeping your floor as safe and dry as possible in any weather.

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