Choosing the Best Outdoor Entrance Mats

Choosing the best entrance mats for an outside commercial application is crucial to help control dirt and grime before it gets tracked into your building.  We refer to the area directly outside of an entrance as Zone 1.  Mats used outside in a Zone 1 application should possess several qualities to enhance their performance.  First, as a general rule of thumb, an outdoor mat should consist of materials that are not absorbent.  Think of a wet towel on the floor – an absorbent mat will stay wet and transfer moisture to shoes as people enter your building.  Using an absorbent mat will only compound many of the issues a good entry matting system seeks to abate.  Floor mats that have surface fibers made from a polypropylene fiber or have an all rubber or vinyl construction work best for outdoor applications.

A second quality that a good outdoor floor mat will possess is that the walk surface of the mat will have an surface construction that is designed to scrape the bottom of shoes.  This aggressive surface construction traps sand, salt and gritty particulates BEFORE it get tracked in further.  If the dirt gets tracked into your building, it will compromise the ability of your interior matting to perform their duties of moisture control, and furthermore, the gritty particles will cause wear and tear on interior floor finishes and carpet.  And ultimately, one will need to spend time and effort to remove that sand, salt and grit once it gets into your facility.  This translates into additional maintenance costs.

A third consideration prior to choosing an outdoor entrance mat is how well it will stand up to the elements.  Constant sunlight can cause UV degradation, wind can pick up mats and move them from the desired location, poor construction can cause water to pool and possibly freeze in cold weather situations.  Please find a few of the more popular entrance mats for outside use below.

Aluminum Entrance Mats

Aluminum entry mats are available in a variety of thicknesses.  Aluminum mats are usually used in a recessed application of a 3/8′, 1/2″ 3/4″ or Deep Pit recesses starting at 1-1/2″ in depth to almost 6″.  Deeper recessed pit applications are usually outfitted with some sort of drainage system.  That said, the recessed mats generally hold water that gets collected below the walk surface.  The water that is trapped will evaporate over time so the need for a drain system is usually not required.  The 3/8″ thick mats can be outfitted with beveled edges for a surface use application.  The most important feature to seek in an aluminum entry mat used outside is the “tread insert”.  For a Zone 1 application, a tread insert should perform the functions of “scraping the bottom of shoes”.  The best tread inserts for this function are the Polybrush, Vinyl or Serrated tread options.  Pictured below are each tread option in a different thickness mat.  For all Aluminum Mats, please refer to the following Link:  Aluminum Walk Off Mats

Super Scrape Rubber Mats provide an inexpensive outdoor scraper mat option. Superscrape outdoor entrance mats will last a long time and will help to keep the dirt outside where it is supposed to be. Superscrape floor mats are made from a nitrile rubber material and can be outfitted with a high definition logo if desired.

Brush Hog Walk Off Mats are great for use around sandy beach environments. They help to trap sand and hold it within the nonabsorbent mat fibers

Mat-A-Dor outdoor entrance mats are 5/8″ in thickness and have been around for a very long time. They are generally thicker and heavier than most other floor mats designed for a surface application so be mindful of any door clearance issues. The rubber “fingers” of the Mat-A-Dor mat provide a very aggressive scraping action and any grit falls below the walk surface and is retained within the mat.

Vinyl Link Mats are popular with schools and military installations. They provide a long lasting option for scraping in a Zone 1 walk off mat scenario. Vinyl link entry matting can be used as a surface mat with beveled edging or in a shallow recessed application. These mats are made to order and cannot easily be modified onsite. Vinyl Link entrance matting can also be outfitted with a high definition or low definition logo. These mats are fairly expensive and each mat is made to order. There is no additional upcharge to have a logo design added to the mat.