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Entrance Matting for Public Buildings

Entrance matting is the first line of defense in keeping dirt and debris from entering the building and can remove up to 80% of dirt.  Over a 20 day period, 1000 people will deposit 24 pounds of dirt. For public buildings with high daily traffic, the benefits of a good entrance matting system are very measurable in annual savings of cleaning costs. 

It is a legal requirement to keep entrances safe and accessible in public buildings. Entrance mats play a role in reducing slips and falls due to wet floors by properly drying wet shoes and in keeping indoor and outdoor entrances accessible for people with mobility impairments such as walking aids and wheelchairs.

Additional benefits of a proper entrance matting system are also improved air quality through reduction of air particles and to preserve the floor by absorbing much of the initial abuse that would otherwise shorten the floor’s usable life.  These benefits have been recognized by environmental building assessors, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). 

With so many requirements, what should you look for in a proper entrance matting system?


Removing Dirt

Proper use of entrance matting can reduce the amount of dirt that is brought into the building that would otherwise get trapped in interior carpeting.  Carpet soils have a texture that is similar to a razor, and as carpets are walked on, their fibres can be cut. This shortens the overall life span of the carpet.  Within the first 6 feet, 42 % of the floor’s finish or carpet nap will be removed after only 1500 people have entered.  Entrance matting absorbs much of the initial abuse to extend the life of the interior flooring or carpeting to protect the investment. The more dirt removed at the entrance, the less can become airborne inside the building, thereby improving air quality.  LEED recommends a permanent entryway walk-off system at all regularly used, exterior-to-interior entrances and entrances from covered parking garages.

What to look for:

  • Entrance matting should be made from coarser yarns to scrape shoes in transit to remove dirt and debris.
  • LEED recommends permanent entryway walk-off systems at least 10 feet long(up from 6 feet in previous versions of LEED).

Keeping Up Appearances

The entrance is the building’s first impression.  Entrance mats come in a range of colours and patterns to match any interior and improve the overall aesthetics of the entrance giving it a professional, stylish and upscale appearance making every first impression a great one. Even in between cleanings, entrance mats should continue to look great after thousands of people have walked over them. 

What to look for:

  • Duo-colored or tri-grit patterns in darker or neutral colours help to hide dirt between cleanings to maintain the appearance of the entrance. 
  • Crush resistant mats will tolerate more wear and keep its appearance and functionality longer in high traffic conditions.



Preventing slips and falls

Wet, slippery floors are dangerous.  Entrances quickly become wet on rainy or snowy days with water being walked in on shoes.  When water settles on the floor, the moment a shoe touches down, the fluid is trapped under the shoe and the person slips, similar to hydroplaning. The person loses control and falls.  This can lead to expensive fines and compensations. 

What to look for:

  • Entrance mats need a high water absorption rate to clean and dry shoes.  Absorption capacities between 4 to 5 litres of water per square meter are suitable for heavy traffic areas. 
  • Shoes should touchdown at least three times on the mat for proper scraping and drying. 

Meeting Fire Classification Requirements

Entrances also become a main exit during fires or other emergencies.  Although fire classifications vary by type of building, type of entrance and type of entrance matting system, it is recommended to consult the fire guidelines when selecting an entrance matting system.

What to look for:

  • Installed entrance matting usually requires a fire classification of Bfl-S1 or Cfl-S1 according to European standards.
  • Loose lay entrance mats have lower classification requirements since they can be easily removed in the event of a fire.


Removing Tripping Hazards

Matting should be secure; have a firm backing or no backing, and have a level surface. Carpets should be of shallow dense pile and non-directional to allow easy passage for wheelchair users.  Avoid coir matting, deep pile or excessively grooved carpet. Exposed edges of carpet shall be fastened to floor surfaces and have trim along the entire length of the exposed edge. Carpet edge trim should not be curled or broken. 

What to look for:

  • The maximum pile thickness of entrance matting should be 1/2 in (13 mm).
  • Changes in level between 1/4 in and 1/2 in (6 mm and 13 mm) shall be bevelled with a slope no greater than 1:2.

Maintenance & Cleaning

Entrance mats function optimally when regularly cleaned. By removing soils through a combination of grooming, vacuuming, and extraction, the mat’s life span can be extended. A maintenance schedule should include daily vacuuming of the top surface, especially in heavy traffic areas, to prevent dirt from building up and being ground into the mat.  Weekly grooming of the carpet will maximize vacuuming by loosening the fibres and creating easier access to the soil underneath.  Grooming also helps to aerate fibres to allow quicker drying.  Also sweep or vacuum under the mat to clean the floor or carpet underneath. Monthly injection and extraction shampooing will clean fibres and remove any leftover dirt.

Notrax® has a full selection of outdoor and indoor matting for professional use.  Indoor matting is available in single zone, multi-zone and multi-functional entrance matting in a variety of colours and materials that suit any entrance to create a total matting solution for a stylish yet safe entrance.