Protecting flooring finishes with engineered entrance matting systems

By Mark Christon, Export Sales Manager, Genesis Global Systems

Genesis Entrance Mattings are extremely versatile products that can be used in almost any location.  This carefully-developed range of entrance mattings has been used across a wide variety of sectors from domestic, commercial, healthcare and hospitality through to leisure and sporting arenas.

And with good reason.  Effective barrier matting is the vital first line of defence that  protects all floor coverings and finishes from unnecessary soiling and premature damage.  Ceramic tile, porcelain tiles, terrazzo, natural stone, textile, wood, laminate or vinyl: it makes no difference what type of floor finish has been specified and installed.   Unless adequately protected, the floor’s appearance (and eventually its structure) will deteriorate over time due to the effects of wet and dry soiling tracked in on the soles of shoes, and, in some instances, the tyre treads of wheeled traffic.

Today’s modern entrance mats, with their carefully selected infill materials and colour co-ordinated styling, bear very little resemblance to the soil barriers used by our ancestors, who placed straw, sawdust and old rags in doorways to keep floors clean.  They may look more impressive but they serve the same basic purpose: to remove soil and moisture from the soles of shoes, and the treads of wheeled traffic, as they cross the threshold.

Today’s high specification and purpose-engineered barrier matting will significantly reduce cleaning and maintenance costs.  When effective entrance matting is installed, interior floors not only last longer, they need less attention.  By trapping soil and moisture in one localised area, the frequency of regular and periodic intensive floor cleaning throughout the rest of the building is minimised.  As up to 60% of a building’s total cleaning and maintenance costs can relate to floor coverings, the potential savings are considerable.

Barrier matting also helps to create safer environments.  On any floor surface, moisture contamination can clearly become a slip hazard, but so can dry contaminants.  For example, clean ceramic floor tiles that normally have a good co-efficient of friction value in dry conditions can become surprisingly slippery if grains of fine sand or street dust are walked or blown onto the floor.  This is because these tiny dry particles act as a lubricant.

pic2

Installation basics
For entrance flooring to be effective due regard must be paid to its location, the level of traffic envisaged, and the type and volume of soiling expected.

In many contracts, entrance flooring is an afterthought, so it is hardly surprising that so many mat installations are poorly specified or inadequately sized.  This, in turn, can lead to premature replacement of floor coverings, unnecessary cleaning and maintenance bills, and the occurrence of avoidable accidents.

To get the barrier matting specification right, it is important to get considered and calculated answers to a few key questions.

Where is the entrance area situated?  Is the external approach sheltered by an overhanging architectural elements such as a canopy or a veranda, or is it open to the elements?  Will barrier matting be installed outside the building to provide a first line of defence?  Is the area prone to prevailing wind and rain?  How much soil will have to be collected?   How busy is the entrance area?  The volume of ‘traffic’ anticipated is critical. Will the matting system have to cater for a few dozen people entering the building or will there be thousands of pedestrians crossing the threshold every day?  The type of mat required may also be determined by the type of traffic expected, such as wheeled traffic.

It is worth looking at four specific questions in more detail.

pic5

How busy is the entrance area?  

The volume of ‘traffic’ anticipated is critical.  Some matting system have to cater for only a few dozen people entering a building each day; while others must be able to cope with thousands of pedestrians crossing a threshold every day.  Other need to meet the requirements of very high traffic loads on an occasional basis, such as sports stadia or concert halls.  The correct specification of the barrier mat will also be affected by the type of traffic expected, particularly weather it is wheeled traffic, pedestrian traffic or both.

The second key question is will the matting system need to absorb large amounts of water?

In extreme cases, where excessive rainfall is likely to be encountered, a suspended drained reservoir system might be necessary to ensure water can collect without flooding.
The third key question, and one that is often overlooked, is will the location be prone to soiling by unusually heavy levels of dry sandy soil?

In some coastal locations, for example, the emphasis should be on using mat components that are designed to effectively brush the soles of shoes and also provide adequate capacity to collect the soil.  The sheer amount of soil anticipated will determine the type of mat and the overall size of matting.  Most mats are woefully undersized for the tasks they have to perform and this will prove to be a false economy in the long term.

‘Is oily soiling expected?’ is the fourth key question’

If the entrance area is adjacent to a busy car park or garage, different contaminants may have to removed.  Flexible textile tufts and scraping filaments might be appropriate to remove more oily, greasy soil from the soles of shoes.

How much soil will have to be collected?  The sheer amount of soil anticipated will determine the type of mat and the overall size of matting.  Most mats are woefully undersized for the tasks they have to perform and this really is a false economy.

pic3

How busy is the entrance area?  The volume of ‘traffic’ anticipated is critical. Will the matting system have to cater for a few dozen people entering the building or will there be thousands of pedestrians crossing the threshold every day?  The type of mat required may also be determined by the type of traffic expected, such as wheeled traffic.

According to Construction Specialties, there are five important functions of entrance matting that should be considered when evaluating the entrance mat to any building.

Safety: First and foremost, entrance matting is the first line of defence in preventing slips and trips in a building.  An effective entrance mat will scrape, brush, capture and absorb dirt, debris and moisture, cleaning the soles of shoes before they reach the internal floor surface, stopping the spread of dirt and moisture at the door.

Interior floor surface protection: Tracked in dirt and moisture can cause scratches, scuffs and general damage to interior floor surfaces which are often a hefty investment for the building owner or manager.  Entrance matting can stop the ingress of damaging debris, helping to keep the floor looking clean and fresh for longer.

Reduction in interior maintenance costs: Studies show that more than 80% of dirt and debris within a building is tracked in on the bottom of shoes. An effective entrance mat of roughly 6 metres in length can remove up to 75% of this dirt from the soles of shoes, helping to contain the dirt in one place, and reducing the amount of cleaning required elsewhere within the building.

First impressions: A smart entrance creates a welcoming environment for visitors.  There are many different matting options, from grid sections to textile matting.  It is important to remember while aesthetics are an important consideration; they should not outweigh function and performance.

Improving indoor air quality: In environmental programmes, such as LEED, a building’s indoor air quality is assessed.  Entrance matting systems can actually contribute to this part of LEED.  Removing dust and other particulates at the door improves the indoor air quality of a building, making it cleaner and safer for all occupants.

Genesis Matting offers specifiers a range of options to ensure that their projects project this professional, welcoming, air to visitors on arrival.  Genesis Entrance Mattings are an extremely versatile product that can be applied to almost any situation.  They have been used successfully across a wide variety of sectors from domestic, commercial, healthcare and hospitality, to leisure and sporting arenas.
Entrance matting for commercial use can be separated into three simple zones:

Zone 1: External for primary coarse dirt retention

Zone 2: External and internal to clean and absorb residual moisture and dirt

Zone 3: Internal to absorb moisture and dry. The key point to remember is that 90% of dirt is removed within the first 4.5 to 5 metres when using correctly specified entrance matting in all three zones.  It is that simple.

The specification will depend on the anticipated level of traffic.  For low traffic areas, which equates to around 500 users per day, Genesis recommends a brush mat in zone 1, a 100% polypropylene mat in zone 2 and an Eco Clean mat in zone 3.

For medium traffic areas, with less than 2,000 users per day, Genesis recommends a fluted rubber mat in zone 1, a 100% polypropylene mat in zone 2 and a Roclean mat in zone 3.

In high traffic locations, with over 2,00 users per day, Genesis recommends a reversible rubber matt in zone 1, a buffed rubber insert in zone 2 and Roclean mat in zone 3.

pic4

Product range
Genesis offers Rubber Matting that is used as a scraper mat to prevent dirt, grit and grime from entering buildings. It has a flat, smooth, surface that makes it perfectly accessible for wheelchairs, trolleys or wheeled luggage.  The matting has a raised platform which facilitates the draining of excessive fluid from the surface; while its superior natural rubber compound can withstand extreme weather and medium to heavy traffic.  The mat is 12mm deep as standard or comes as a drop-in mat for a Genesis frame in a 12.5 by 1,000 by 1,500mm mat.

Genesis’s Roclean Matting is a professional range manufactured from tufted textile formed using two-coloured six polyamide fibres.  These have a coiled form to absorb maximum dust.  Durability is ensured by the thick 100% rubber sole; while reinforced borders offer better resistance to wear and tear and improve stability. 
 Roclean matting is antistatic and has a high UV resistance. 
The matting is also machine washable and carries an Efl fire rating.  As standard, Roclean matting comes in 850 by 1,500mm and 1,150 by 1,800mm in Steel Grey or Dark Brown; with other shapes available on request

Genesis’s Reversible Superior Insert are designed to be fitted between mill profiles and assembled with galvanised steel rods.  They are available in both 12mm and 18mm in either Grey or Black.

Genesis’s Reversible Fluted Rubber mats feature aluminium sections containing rubber inserts.  These are linked with galvanised steel cables and secured with plated fixings for maximum resilience.  They are designed for internal or external use where heavy foot traffic is anticipated.  There a two standard thicknesses – 12mm and 18mm – both in black

Genesis’s Romat Polyamid matting is made up of heavy duty dust protection rubber and carpet strips, inserted into mill aluminium profiles sections.  These sections are connected with semi-rigid PVC strips, reducing noise and allowing the matting to be easily packed up and relocated.  The matting is 12mm thick and comes in Anthracite, Blue or Red.

Genesis also offers a range of Matwell Frames.  These metal profiles are designed to be set into the floor.  The single 17/23 model can be laid either way up, providing a frame for 17mm or 23 mm thick brush mats. There are two finish options: Silver or Brass.

To create a clean division between Entrance Matting and surrounding floor coverings, we recommend an installatioin featuring a Genesis matwell frame with Genesis corner angles and feet.  The frame is available in different heights and should be set in place to the surround of the recess and then secured with screw fixings, ensuring the top edge is flush with finished floor level on all sides.

After the framing has been secured in place to the surround of the recess, the base must be brought up to suit the exact thickness of the matting. This preparation must provide a smooth level base that will ensure the matting sits flat and remains stable under the heavy foot traffic applicable to the application once trafficked.  Latex is used in most locations, providing an excellent substrate that can be self leveled to an exact depth.  Where latex cannot be used, materials such as ply or rubber sheeting can be substituted.

Cleaning & Maintenance
The first step is to vacuum the mat to remove dust and dirt from its surface, and also vacuum along the profiles to clean interstices.

Intermediate maintenance is undertaken by rolling up the mat on one side or, even better, taking it out of the mat well.  It should then be cleaned with a broom or brush to remove dirt stuck below.  Once the bottom of the mat well has been vacuumed clean, the mat can be replaced.

Thorough maintenance involves taking the mat out of the mat well. Then, with the profiles positioned vertically, the mat should be cleaned using a high-pressure water spray.  Alternatively, the mat should be placed on a flat surface and cleaned by an injection / extraction process or with a dry cleaning powder.   In either case, after washing, allow the mat to dry in a vertical position.
Regular maintenance is required so the barrier matting remains effective. Normal daily soiling can be dealt with using a high-power suction vacuum cleaner. The use of rubber bladed wet floor tool attachment should increase the effectiveness of the cleaning.

During periodic maintenance, the best results can be achieved by a spray extraction carpet-cleaning machine.  The use of a mild detergent (neutral pH) cleaning solution in the carpet cleaning machine should loosen ingrained soiling and aid the removal of oils and grease. More stubborn stains should be treated a solvent-based spot remover prior to re-cleaning with the detergent solution.

Chewing gum can be removed by freeze spraying or with a proprietary chewing gum remover and then scraped or combed out of the matting carpet pile. This should be done before the full cleaning process is started.

Genesis Global Systems Limited
Ellerbeck Way
Stokesley Business Park
Stokesley
North Yorkshire TS9 5JZ
T: 01642 713000
W: www.genesis-gs.com