Types of Entrance Mats and Their Features

Mats are generally divided into three broad categories:

  • Entrance Mats
  • Interior Mats
  • Industrial Mats / Elevator Mats

Entrance Mats (Hercules Entrance Mat and WalkAbout Entrance Mat)

Soil is everywhere. It is a part of the earth we live on and managing it is a vital part of our everyday existence. Even the least sophisticated commercial facility requires some type of soil management program. At the heart of soil management is the concept of prevention - prevention of contaminants from entering a building. 85% of all soil enters a building on the feet of building occupants. Of this, at least 80% is dry soil and the rest is oily. The dry soil can range from large particles to powder-like dust. Over the years, many products have been developed and sold to help keep soil at the door and out of the building. The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) has estimated that it costs $600 to find and remove one pound of soil after it has been allowed to enter an average building. This cost is primarily labor. Since entrance mats stop and contain soil and water, it is obvious that removing soil from a mat can be less expensive than removing it from a building since the soil is concentrated in a localized area.

Four things an entrance mat should do:

Stop soil and water at the door
Most, if not all mats claim to do this. The most effective mats provide a combination of scraping and wiping to stop the maximum amount of contaminants.

Store soil and water for removal
The most effective entrance mats are designed to provide a place for soil and water to go to for storage. It is important that the storage be designed for maximum storage and ease of removal when the mat is cleaned. It is important that the mat provide a way for the contaminants to be contained so that water cannot spread to the surrounding floor creating a slip/fall hazard. Water that flows off the sides of the mat is referred to as seepage. Mats with flat borders allow water to seep off the edges, thus increasing one’s exposure to slip and fall. Excessive floor damage is also created by the water seepage around the perimeter of the mat. Higher performance mats provide a dam that will hold the water back from floor surfaces and from reattaching to one’s shoes. Hercules has 1 1/2" beveled edge to fulfill the ADA requirements.

Minimize tracking of soil and water
This capability is best accomplished by a BI-level construction that provides an upper surface for walking and a lower area where soil and water are stored until removed by cleaning. The amount of soil that a mat allows to be tracked back on to patrons’ shoes is commonly referred to as the performance threshold. The best mats on the market maintain this high/low-level construction thereby trapping large quantities of moisture and dirt keeping not allowing it to reattach to peoples shoes and be tracked further into the facility. Low performance mats, for example the Hercules berber surface or those with ribbed or square patterned face yarn alone will not hold up under foot pressure, thus allowing more water and dirt to reattach to shoes and be tracked into respective facilities.

Provide a safe surface
The mat should be slip-resistant to prevent slipping on the floor when it is walked on. Also any water on the mat should be contained in a reservoir below the traffic surface to prevent slipping on flooring surface adjacent to the mat. Rubber-backed mats provide a better slip resistance than vinyl-backed mats. Rubber-backed mats do not curl as do vinyl mats thus reducing trip and fall exposure.

Entrance mats may also be scraper mats that provide the first line of defense against soil. Scraper mats should always be used with other entrance mats that will provide wiping properties to remove fine soil and water from feet. (Black Magic Logo Mat)


Interior Mats (Primetime Mat and Rainbo Mat)

These mats perform many tasks. In many cases, they are used as “dust control” or “finishing” mats when used in conjunction with a scraper entrance mat in a soil management program. They are usually made with a nylon textile surface that will provide good wiping characteristics. Nylon is typically used over olefin because of the high twist level of nylon fibers which allows the mat to more effectively remove soil and spring back up after cleaning. Olefin mats will crush out in as little as 30-days rendering the mat virtually useless. Other uses of interior mats include spot, spill and soil control in high-use areas such as vending machines, coffee service areas, copy machines, registration areas, etc. It is important that mats used in these areas provide safe footing that minimizes trip and fall hazards as well as slip resistance. The best interior mats are made with a rubber backing that will resist slippage on any surface – carpet or hard surface. (Rainmate Mat)

There are also specialty interior mats designed to provide enhancements to the environment by controlling the growth of microorganisms that can be disease bearing as well as odor causing.


Industrial Mats and Elevator Mats (Black Magic Logo Mats and Grizzly Mat)

Industrial mats usually fall into a broad use area – Traction Control/Floor Protection mats

Traction Control mats are engineered to provide safe footing with minimum movement in any environment. Typical applications include outside entrances, ramps and floor areas where contaminants such as oil, grease or water are common. For maximum safety, these mats should be designed for minimum slippage on any surface. In addition, the mat surface should be constructed with maximum traction properties. Another use of industrial mats is to protect the floor from contaminants such as food and liquids.


Custom Logo Mats (Rainbo Mat and Primetime Mat)

Logo mats are available in constructions that allow them to be used as entrance mats or interior mats.

Logo entrance mats should be made with the same construction as non-logo entrance mats in that they should provide the soil and water stopping and storage or scraping properties inherent in the best entrance mats. One of the most common misapplications of matting products is the use of interior logo mats at the entrance to a facility. Since interior mats do not provide the permanent bi-level construction required in an entrance mat, these mats can become saturated with soil and water and become a source for contaminants. The result is a mat that allows water to seep onto the floor around the mat causing unsightly and unsafe conditions. Interior logo mats are designed for dust and moisture control in conjunction with a planned matting program of scraper and entrance mats.


Rightway, Inc.
2800 Regal Road
Suite 104
Plano, TX 75075
Tel: 1-800-637-0938
Fax: 972-867-1936