Building administrators are charged with asking several key questions before they select floor mats for their facilities. This may come as a surprise to many, because there is a widespread belief that mats are, well, pretty much all the same. That could not be further from the truth.
Mats are designed for specific purposes. To begin the selection process, administrators should first understand where, how, and why the mat is needed and then, with this clarified, use this information to choose the mat that most effectively addresses these concerns.
Here are the most pressing questions they should ask:
Where will the mat be installed?
Location of the mat is very important. If the mat is to be installed at building entries, for example, it should be designed to absorb and trap moisture and soils. While most mats may absorb some moisture and soil, this may not be their central purpose. This one question can eliminate many different types of floor mats and help administrators focus their attention on the most appropriate entry floor matting systems.
What kind of foot traffic will the mat endure?
Some floor mats are designed for very heavy foot traffic, with as many as 1,500 people walking on the mat every day. Other types of mats may only be able to withstand low or moderate foot traffic, about 150 to 500 building users. It is critical that this is clarified because buying "more mat" than you need can be costly. Yet, selecting a mat for light traffic in an area where there is very heavy foot traffic may cause the mat to wear out quickly and not do its job of keeping floors safe.
Should I select rental mats?
Although the monthly cost to lease a rental mat certainly can be enticing, administrators are advised to take out their calculators and do a little arithmetic. In virtually every case, rental mats cost more over the long term than it costs to purchase floor mats. Further, the quality of rental mats is often inferior. We can tell this just by looking at the warranty. Most rental mats have a warranty for about three, maybe six months. A high-performance floor mat, by comparison, usually has a warranty of one to two years, and sometimes more. Also, most rental mats are cleaned in large washing machines. This constant laundering over time reduces its effectiveness at trapping moisture and soil. The result:
• Administrators are paying more for rental mats.
• These rental mats were never designed to be that effective or last very long.
• The mats quickly lose whatever effectiveness they had due to excessive laundering.
Will workers be standing on the mat for long periods?
We have discussed the need for anti-fatigue mats in earlier blog posts. Whenever workers must stand for long periods, the most effective mat to select is an anti-fatigue mat.
Will the mat be used for branding or marketing purposes?
Image or logo mats are designed to do double duty: With an image or logo embedded into the mat, it can help brand a facility. At the same time, a compelling image or logo mat can also help keep floors safe by absorbing moisture and soils.
Should I purchase mats from a distributor or go online?
If you know precisely what type of matting system you want, you may be able to select mats just by going online. Many of the leading mat manufacturers now market their products directly to end-customers.
However, if you are unsure exactly which type of mat to select or have any concerns about mats, your best bet is to work with a distributor. In most cases, the costs will be the same, as will delivery dates. What you get by working with a distributor is their knowledge. This can help eliminate trial-and-error purchasing and ensure the most effective mat is selected for your facility.
For more information on the many types of mats and how to select the best mats for your facility, contact Crown Matting Technologies at 800-628-5463 or send us an email.