The exterior of your home or business can sometimes become a fairly treacherous situation, especially when dealing with weather. Outdoor mats can help with traction and clean off shoes to keep from dragging in water and debris on your shoes.
There are three major components to consider when trying to decide which outdoor mat is the best for your needs:
- The backing, which provides the mat with the ability to hold traction and not skid or move around;
- The surface, which adds stability to your steps as well as can grab dirt and liquids off of shoes;
- And the edge, which can be beveled or raised to trap water inside and not allow it to escape and cause dangerous slippery floors.
The backing of your mat will usually be made from some sort of rubber as it has tractile properties and can grip your flooring well.
However, the texture of this backing is also very important. Too smooth, and it could move under your feet and potentially cause a fall or injury. So, it is necessary to ensure during their manufacture that the mats have the proper grip texture to avoid that potential.
The surface of your mat is something to consider. The right surface can grab dirt, water, and debris from the shoes of those who walk on it without them having to shuffle or rub their shoes into the mat.
There are two main types of outdoor mat surfacing material, used for their durability and resistance to UV light damage.
- Vinyl loop mat – This type of mat surface is designed to capture water and dirt from any shoe that steps across. They are made of extruded vinyl in randomly bonded patterns and allow moisture to sink inside and keep the surface of the mat safer. These are ideal mats for use in areas that see a lot of water.
- Rubber surface mat – Rubber surface outdoor mats are mainly used in places where traction can be a bit unstable at times. While these will also help clear water and such off of shoes, it holds it in channels molded into the rug’s surface. The rubber surface provides more strong grab when stepped on due to the natural traction rubber provides.
There are different types of edges you can get on your outdoor mats. The type you would want depends on the placement and purpose of the mat.
Beveled or raised edge mats have rubber edges that are raised towards the center to provide a barrier to trap in any moisture caught by the mat. This will ensure the absolute minimum amount of water makes it past the mat and onto your floors where it becomes a slip hazard. These types are better suited for an entrance mat, as they collect the water that would otherwise get everywhere.
Edgeless, or borderless, mats have no rubber border around the mat. These are more typical in the vinyl loop mats, as those are more about wicking moisture away from the shoe than keeping the water contained. This type is more suitable as a traction mat in an open setting that may potentially be wet all around.
So, Which Is The Best?
While most mats manufactured for outdoor use and constructed of durable synthetic material will serve well in any outdoor mat placement, it is a good idea to give some consideration to the purpose of the mat and where it will be.
So in short, if you want to get the best use and results from your outdoor mats, the answer is that it depends on your purpose.