Schools are busy places and, with so many people walking in and out every day, it’s a good idea to invest in a simple solution that can help your floors stay clean.
Dirty and wet floors are not only unhygienic, they also create a slip hazard for anyone walking across them. This can be very dangerous, especially in a busy environment with lots of students moving around.
An entrance mat can help to keep all your pupils and staff safe and give your school premises a much more business-like, professional look. Read on to find out which type of entrance mat you should buy.
The top factor to consider when purchasing an entrance mat is where it will go. This is because the mat material and design will differ greatly depending on whether it’s going inside or outside.
If the mat will be positioned outdoors you’ll need something thick, hard-wearing and, above all, weather-resistant. No one wants to step onto a saturated mat that could ruin their shoes or soak their feet, so choosing one that allows water to flow away from the surface of the mat is ideal.
Indoor mats, on the other hand, need to be able to stop dirt and water from getting in and decrease slip and fall risks. They are also one of the first things that people notice when walking into a building, so choosing a high-quality mat (possibly with your school logo printed on it) is the perfect way to make a great first impression.
There is a wide variety of different materials and surfaces to choose from when it comes to matting, including:
- Coir – this is a traditional matting material made from coconut husks. Its durable construction makes it a great option for high traffic public areas like schools as well as clubs, pubs, offices and restaurants.
- Rubber – rubber matting is available in several designs including honeycomb and ribbed. It is ideal for heavy-duty use as the strong construction provides excellent crush and soil resistance.
- Microfibre – this material is very absorbent and lightweight, which means you can transport the mat from place to place more easily. Microfibre also dries very quickly, ready to be used again.
- Polypropylene – perfect for use in heavy-duty entrance areas, polypropylene matting is attractive, durable and the ideal choice in large spaces. Most mats made from this material are also UV-resistant and flame retardant.
The thickness of a mat, also known as the pile, is also an important factor to take into consideration. Knowing which pile size to choose is based on a few points including whether the mat will be placed indoors or outdoors, the door clearance and the depth of the area the mat will be going into.
You can get anything from super-thin mats for use inside, such as Decalon, right through to extra-thick ones such as rubber matting; these are usually more comfortable to walk on and are best suited for outdoor use.
Also, if the school entrance door is flush to the floor the chances are that you haven’t got room for a thick mat. However, if there’s a sizable gap between the door and the floor a thicker pile can offer the added benefit of excluding draughts.
Generally speaking, the bigger your entrance mat the better! This is because both feet need to make contact with the mat for it to work effectively and the more times a person can step on it, the more dirt it will remove.
However, we know that limited space and tight budgets mean this isn’t always feasible, which is why we recommend that the width should be equal to (or greater than) 80 percent of the width of your entrance doors. In terms of length, you want each person to be able to take at least two steps (one step on each foot) on the mat to dry and clean their shoes as much as possible.
Keeping your entrance mat clean is the best way to maintain it and make it last for a long time. What you don’t want is something that wears away after a couple of months, leaving you with a ripped mat and an unsightly entrance to your school premises.
For the majority of doormats, dry vacuuming regularly will remove most of the dirt and dust that is embedded in the fibres. However, every so often, it’s a good idea to give the mats a deep clean to help remove any stubborn dirt marks and stains.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk