At Classic, we are passionate about providing our customers with innovative solutions to their problems. The prevention of slips, trips and falls is one of the main goals of any business owner, but addressing this issue is not always straightforward. The best line of defence is the installation of entrance matting, which significantly reduces the ingress of moisture and dirt which can lead to slips, trips and falls. In addition to this, it also enhances the appearance of any building entranceway. In this article we will discuss the need, purpose and how to choose the right entrance matting for various applications. We will also shed some light on the benefits of Verse matting – Australia’s most specifiable entrance mat.
Entrance Matting – Why It Matters
Slips, trips and falls are by far the most common injuries sustained in Australia, yet they are easily preventable. More than 50% of injuries can be attributed to environmental factors such as rain and dirt, which cause floors to become slippery and dangerous. Both managers of public spaces as well as business owners have a duty of care for the general public, customers and employees. Safe Work Australia require all people conducting business (PCBU’s) to manage the risks associated with slips, trips and falls “as far as is reasonably practicable”.
Entrance matting is an ideal way to address this requirement. Entrance matting can be installed seamlessly at the exterior and/or interior of a building entrance, and it will serve to remove and hide dirt and moisture that would otherwise be tracked inside by wheeled traffic or on the soles of pedestrians. This greatly reduces the incidence of slips, trips and falls occurring as people move about the interior of a building; saving managers and businesses from costly claims, reducing cleaning costs and enhancing access to public spaces for all.
Standards, Types & Examples of Entrance Matting Applications in Australia
The Building Code of Australia recommends that entrance matting should be installed at a dimension of at least 1.8m front to back, as this would allow at least two contacts with each foot upon entering a building. This is however just a minimum recommendation, and the effective dirt/moisture removal would be determined by the quality of the matting. In some cases, it may be necessary to extend further or explore alternative matting options which may be better suited.
Types and Materials
There are many different types of entrance mats, and they are all suited to different application scenarios. When thinking of entrance matting, you might think of the traditional coir mat found at the front door of households all over Australia. Most people don’t pay as much attention to the entrance matting seen around the places we visit every day, such as shopping centres, banks, transport hubs and office buildings – but it plays a very important role.
Architectural entrance matting is comprised of two parts which work together as a scrubber and scraper to retain dirt and moisture. Entrance matting is normally constructed of either aluminium, synthetics, stainless steel or sheet fibre to provide structural rigidity. Inserts made from bristle, rubber/synthetic or fibre are then inserted, and these, help to improve traction and retain moisture resulting from both pedestrian and wheeled traffic. Various colour options for the inserts are available, with most office buildings opting for classic black or grey to enhance the appearance of their entranceway and maintain an upmarket image.
What specifiers look for
As a contractor, guiding your clients towards the best solutions for their issue is important. When specifying entrance matting, there are a few key elements to be considered.
Appearance – Every client has different aesthetic goals. Some prefer the appearance of carpet style matting or the rustic appeal of coir, but businesses and high-traffic environments need to consider aluminium matting as it strikes a balance between professional appearance and functionality.
Effectiveness – Every product has different scraping/wiping ability. Carpet style and coir matting is effective at reducing dirt/moisture, but it wears faster and does not hide or retain as much debris as aluminium matting combined with tufted pile/rubber/synthetic brush. Inserts/tufts containing a high number of individual filaments will offer improved brushing ability, as this allows for increased friction and intense dirt removal.
Durability and Expected Lifespan – Aluminium matting is generally the most durable, whilst coir is the least durable. A good indicator for durability is the rating for low, medium or high traffic levels. Double sided construction can also maximise the lifespan of a product. It is also important to consider the needs of your clients both now and in the future, considering expected traffic levels, indoor/outdoor application and the types of people who will be coming through the doors (e.g. people in wheelchairs, couriers with trolleys etc). Most heavy-duty matting products use nylon for the surface material, as it offers a high-end appearance, crush resistance and is very effective at brushing and scraping.
Maintenance – Most business owners appreciate matting which is easy to clean and maintain, and it should also be installed at an appropriate depth such that it will keep adjacent floors clean and dry. Roll-up matting, reversible matting and modular matting are all easy to clean, whilst carpet style matting may require slightly more effort.
Selecting the best mat for the job
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate matting product for a specific scenario. While some mats fit only some specific usage scenarios, others, such as the Integra Verse help to solve this selection issue, as fits most of the application scenarios. Backed by a 35-year warranty, Verse is a durable, hard-wearing and visually pleasing entrance matting system for high-traffic applications.
An ideal matting system, such as Verse, allows you to meet the needs of your clients through the following ways:
- Modular and Reversible – Modular construction and reversibility maximises wear and makes for easy cleaning and repairs. It can be specified in various ways, for example it is possible to order module 1-2-1-2 or other configurations.
- Quick Drying and Highly Effective –Designed to retain up to 95% of moisture and dirt during scraping and wiping, with the unique design fusing alternate layers of rubber and aluminium to channel moisture towards the periphery for easy removal.
- Elegant Appeal – Constructed from aluminium scraper bars and re-purposed conveyor belt rubber held together by high tensile steel wires, Verse has a contemporary, slim appearance which is more in line with current building designs. This makes it suitable for office buildings, schools, shopping centres and other developments.
- Suitable for wheeled traffic – Some matting products such as coir and carpet style can cause difficulties for wheeled traffic. Rubber wiper strips installed in Verse allow wheelchairs, trolleys, bags and equipment to be rolled smoothly across the surface without getting stuck. Verse requires less effort for pushing, and the level of ‘trolley’ vibration is reduced.
- Specifiable – An intuitive design that allows the matting system to adapt to user needs is a must. With varying amount of aluminium and wiping area for improved absorption, the variants can support less or more traffic making the system ideal for different applications and budgets. This allows it to be specified in accordance with the unique requirements (e.g. particularly wet environments).
- Quick Lead Time, Easy Install – Average lead time of two weeks is ideal and with Verse, a modular low-profile design makes for straightforward installation, easier shaping and reduced waste.
Entrance matting is a remarkably effective way to enhance the appearance and safety of any public building entranceway. It will help to significantly reduce the ingress of moisture and dirt, keeping adjacent floors clean, dry and as safe as possible. There are a range of products available on the market, and the choice of product will depend on the usage scenario and budget. By taking into account the needs and expectations of your clients, you can determine the right solution. In difficult applications where no single product can meet requirements, you may benefit from the range of specification options and longevity provided by Verse. For more information, contact Classic Architectural Group.