Entrance matting is a simple yet effective way to maintain carpet within a property, particularly in buildings that may experience a higher than average footfall, such as offices, retail outlets and hotels. Here, Lisa Tomin, CEO at CFS, explains the different elements that must be considered when specifying secondary entrance matting within a building.
There are typically two types of entrance matting used in commercial settings: primary and secondary. Primary entrance matting is generally used externally, outside the main entrance of a building, to reduce the amount of dirt and moisture transferred into a building. This increases the effectiveness of secondary or internal matting, which is installed inside a building, usually in receptions, entrances or foyers.
Secondary entrance matting usually consists of two functional materials: an absorber yarn and a scraper yarn. As the name describes, the scraper yarn removes any debris from footwear, such as dirt or gravel, whilst the absorber yarn absorbs any liquid from the shoe that might be brought in from the outside, protecting any floor covering that may be installed further into the building.
Entrance matting can be made from a range of materials, including nylon, polypropylene, coir, cotton or microfibre, all providing similar results, but each with its own benefits and preferred specification:
Nylon entrance matting is the preferred material of choice for many commercial sector buildings, due to being heavy duty in nature with the ability to combine high density scraper yarn with a superior level of absorbency. This can, however, be reflected in the price, with a higher cost outlay than other materials.
Polypropylene is a good alternative to nylon entrance matting, providing high levels of scraping due to the abrasive quality of the material, whilst remaining absorbent. It makes for an especially good performer when it comes to scraping dry dust. As most polypropylene entrance matting is spike proof and easy to clean, it works particularly well when specified in leisure settings, such as golf clubs.
Coir, cotton and microfibre
Coir, cotton and microfibre are all generally best specified within a domestic setting. This is due to their high levels of absorbency, but lower ability to scrape debris from the shoe and therefore inability to prevent damage to floor coverings further into the building. Moreover, coir, which is made from the shell of coconuts, shouldn’t be used in a commercial setting due to its inability to work well with wheelchairs.
Using secondary entrance matting within a commercial setting provides numerous benefits to both the property owner and those using the building on a regular basis. Studies show that more than 70% of dirt and moisture in buildings is tracked in by pedestrian and wheeled traffic, something that can be significantly reduced through the use of entrance matting. By doing so, floor coverings remain in better condition for longer, providing a more positive experience for those using the building, a particular consideration where the aesthetic of a building is important, such as hotels or shops.
This, in turn, will mean property owners have to spend less time and money cleaning, refurbishing and replacing floor coverings that have been damaged through the traipsing of dirt and debris from outside, reducing maintenance costs in the long run. As entrance matting is generally hardwearing and durable, it will only need replacing every three to 10 years. It is also easy to clean, with a daily hoover enough to maintain the quality of the matting throughout the duration of this time.
As well as providing protection to floor coverings further within the building, entrance matting provides significant health and safety benefits to those using the building. With 90% of slip accidents in public buildings occurring on wet floors, reducing the amount of liquid brought into a building from outside can reduce the amount of slips on wet floors.
Secondary entrance matting does, however, fail sometimes, but this is predominantly due to incorrect specification as opposed to product failure. Secondary entrance matting needs to be installed in large enough quantities to sufficiently clean the footwear of those entering the building. In order to have an effect, we would recommend installing enough for at least six strides to prevent the transportation of exterior debris into the building, with the added suggestion of covering the entire entrance where possible.
When the product needs to be installed in such high quantities, the onus is on manufacturers to create secondary entrance matting that not only meets the functionality requirements outlined above, but also looks aesthetically pleasing enough to be installed throughout an entire room. Incorporating a range of colours, styles and piles will mean that buildings do not need to sacrifice their interior design for functionality.
By following this guidance on specifying secondary entrance matting within a project, you can increase the longevity of floor coverings throughout a building, whilst providing health and safety due diligence for users of the building, ensuring a perfect installation, every time.