How to Choose the Right Floor Mat
This article reviews the important elements of a well-planned floor care system and outlines four common mistakes that could increase your risk for slips and falls.
Why Floor Mats are Important
Did you know that 70%–90% of dirt that enters a facility is tracked in on people’s shoes — that’s a quarter pound per day per 1,000 people!
Without entrance matting and all the tracked-in dirt, 1,500 people can remove 42% of the finish off a floor. This is why the tracked-in soil is the number one cause of building maintenance costs.
Reducing the dirt is critical to the bottom line. Commercial floor mats reduce tracked-in dirt by 80% — that’s a savings of $500–$900 in maintenance costs for every pound of dirt stopped. Plus, the slip/fall cost per claim is well over $20,000, which is second only to auto accident claims. A strategically placed and professionally maintained floor care program can also help reduce these slip/fall costs.
A Floor Care and Safety System
Choosing the right floor mat requires an understanding of location (for example, in a shop floor or in front of an entrance) surface (carpet or flat), and application (will it track oil, dirt, water, rocks, etc.). The right type of floor mat in the right location can make a huge difference in protecting your floors, and most important – your people. Below are the major types of floor mats and the types of applications they work best in.
Scrape – First line of defense that is specifically engineered to trap large particulates and moisture such as mud, pebbles, ice, metal chips, and other large debris at the base of the mat. Scraper mats are mainly for outdoor use, but can also be used indoors.
Brush – Second line of defense. Course fibers are woven into the mat to help remove and hold medium-sized dirt, water, salt and other debris right at your entrance.
Wipe – As the third line of defense, wipe mats are constructed of specially woven yarns to remove and trap fine dust, grit and dirt to prevent soil from spreading in your facility.
Show – Protect your floors while enhancing your corporate image. Works well on a lobby or highly visible area.
Shop Floor – SlipBusters® and SAFEmats® inserts are primarily cotton and are more absorbent than brush, wipe, and show mats. They are designed to capture and hold oils and solvents in a manufacturing environment.
Ergonomic – Anti-fatigue mats can be used where workers stand for an extended period of time. Choose FatigueBusters™ where no absorbency is needed and SAFEmats™ where oils or solvents may leak onto the floor.
Here is an example of how these commercial floor mats work together as a complete floor mat system.
Common Floor Mat Mistakes
- Buying your own floor mats because of perceived cost savings. Rental wipe mat fibers, coupled with professional laundering, stand up and last much longer than typical direct purchase mats. This prevents soil from spreading throughout your building.
2. Poor placement of floor mats. Simply covering your entire floor surface in floor mats is not the most effective strategy for protecting your people and your floors. In fact, too many floor mats can lead to a trip hazard. A needs analysis will help determine the right floor mat for the right application at your facility.
3. Skimping on floor mat coverage to save cost. Tracked-in soil is the number one cause of building maintenance costs. The cost of floor replacement or a potential fall far outweighs the cost of an extra floor mat.
4. Using the wrong floor mat for the application. One of the most commonly misused commercial floor mats is the walk mat, also know as a charcoal mat or wipe mat. While a walk mat works well in an office or lobby application, it does not provide the best protection on a shop floor or in an oily environment. Some floor mat vendors will recommend a walk mat in a shop floor environment because they do not offer a floor mat designed for industrial application.
Review the chart below to see the major differences between a walk mat and SorbIts® SlipBusters®.