How to Choose the Right Walk-Off Mat System

Mats are designed to protect the floor while providing insulation, comfort and an aesthetically pleasing look. Mat systems differ from carpet tile systems that cover entire floor sections. Mat systems, in contrast, are strategically used in areas with high foot traffic.

What Is a Walk-Off Mat System?

Walk-off matting is commercial flooring primarily used in a facility’s main entryway. Walk-off floor mats are typically located in areas with heavy foot traffic, such as in front of doors and the middle of hallways. 

These mats are designed to protect the floor from dirt and other damage. They also can be used to guide people through the facility. 

Walk-off mat systems are beneficial because they are both highly durable and movable. They can be repositioned to accommodate an event or to accommodate the way people move throughout a facility. These mats are designed to scrape the dirt and debris off shoes and prevent it from spreading throughout the building. These systems can significantly decrease cleaning times and costs and prevent significant floor damage. 

There are two main types of mat systems:

  • Surface matting: Surface mats are placed on the surface of floors and are a great fit for places with regular foot traffic. They absorb dust and water well, significantly improving floor safety. They have the flexibility to be placed in areas where temporary covering is required and/or only a small amount of space needs to be covered. The installation time is short, and the cost is low. Surface mats are easily laundered and replaced.

  • Recessed matting: Recessed walk-off mats are strategically placed and designed to be installed at the same level as the surface. These mats can prevent tripping. However, the installation process is time-consuming and usually cost-prohibitive. Because of their permanence, these mats usually are chosen only when a certain aesthetic is desired. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mat System

There are multiple factors to consider when choosing a walk-off mat system, or any mat system, for your facility. Following are some of the most important considerations:

  • Facility needs and fit: Choose a system that meets your facility’s needs. A surface walk-off mat system is easily laundered, so it’s likely optimal if you have heavy foot traffic or have people enter from severe environmental conditions such as from large amounts of snow or dirt. Recessed matting could be a good choice if you have limited foot traffic or lower levels of dirt and water.

  • Cost: Cost is always a factor, so it’s important to know that a recessed walk-off matting system is much more costly than surface matting.

  • Durability: Both surface mats and recessed mats should last years; however, replacing surface mats when worn out or damaged is much easier because recessed mats are usually permanently glued down. 

  • Style and aesthetics: This factor should not be overlooked, particularly when customers and clients frequent your facility. The appearance of a facility has a significant impact on how consumers perceive a company or organization. Choose a system with an appearance that complements the look of the building and provides a professional yet inviting appearance. Darker colors can help disguise markings and stains in facilities with heavy foot traffic. This can elicit an appearance of cleanliness between vacuuming and deeper cleanings. Entrance mattings that have the company’s logo or an inviting message to customers can further contribute to this appearance of professionalism.

  • Indoor versus outdoor matting: The most effective mat system for your facility also will depend on whether the system will be placed indoors or outdoors. Indoor matting should be durable and tough with a surface that extracts dirt and debris from the bottom of the entrants’ shoes. Outdoor matting must be tested for environmental conditions like high heat and heavy rain while also having effective scraping properties. 

How Alsco Can Help

Alsco Uniforms offers a wide array of regularly laundered floor mats to keep areas safe and efficient while looking professional. Reach out today to learn how we can help you. References

Effectiveness of Walk-Off Mats in Reducing Interior Dust Lead. (2022). National Center for Healthy Housing. 

The Great Benefits of Walk Off Matting Systems. (May 2022). Specialist Mats.

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