3 Good Reasons why the Length of Matting is Important

Making the right entrance matting choice is important, but one point our team of matting experts at COBA Flooring simply can’t stress enough is ensuring that any installation has a sufficient ‘length’ of matting for optimum ‘moisture-wiping’ performance.

Creating ‘entrance zones’ (exterior, interim and interior) provides maximum benefits, but this is not always practical in every building design, and this is where it is important that the length of matting compensates.

If it is a new building (or even a renovation for that matter) and a recessed mat-well is planned, then it is helpful for architects to consider the size, and factor this required length into their initial designs.  If this isn’t possible, then smart carpet entrance runners integrated within the flooring design can be an effective solution.

There are at least three good reasons:

People may stop to wipe their feet at home, but can you remember the last time you watched people stop to wipe their feet in a reception area, a shopping centre, or any public building for that matter?  The answer is probably ‘no’.  That is why having a long enough ‘walk off’ area is imperative. Our team at COBA Flooring recommends allowing a minimum of six footsteps to wipe footwear.

It’s important to assess the volume of footfall and plan your matting installation around this.  To do this, the Entrance Flooring Systems Association (EFSA) has some recommendations.  Calculate roughly how many people will use that particular entrance each hour and assess whether your building requires entrance flooring for Low, Medium or High use.  Less than 80 people per hour is classed as ‘Low ‘and a minimum of 3-4 metres of matting is recommended; up to 400 people per hour is ‘Medium’ and the recommendation is 6-7 metres.  If around 800 people walk through per hour, then the assessment would be ‘High’ therefore requiring a minimum of 8-10 metres length of matting.

COBA Flooring recommends that very heavy-duty environments, such as those experiencing around 2000 people a day passing through, should install between 9 and 12 metres of matting.

Also bear in mind, disabled accessed.  It takes a minimum of 2.5m length of matting to clean a full revolution of a wheelchair.

It’s easy to ‘pigeon-hole’ matting as simply being a necessity for floor protection or dirt control.  Many offices and commercial buildings have smooth floors for either practical or aesthetic reasons and these are lethal when wet.  Even a fine film or patches of moisture is hazardous.  Moisture control is essential for floor safety and matting is singly the most effective way of dealing with this.

HSE statistics for 2012-2013 reveal that slips and trips were the most common cause of major injuries to employees (RIDDOR).  Slips, trips and falls were responsible for more than half of all major (56%) and almost a third of over seven day (31%) injuries to employees, making up 37% of all reported injuries to employees (RIDDOR).  This statistic is an example of ‘employees and accidents in the workplace’ in general, and does not take into account slips experienced by the public.  Slips can cause serious injuries, even fatalities.  These cause considerable distress and personal suffering, and are very often the precursor to compensation claims.

Matting that is doing its job of dirt and moisture control should actually deliver substantial cleaning cost-savings, which can make a difference to any public or private sector organisations’ expenditure. The more matting used then the more effective it is going to be in wiping moisture and trapping dirt and debris. Effective entrance matting can also increase the lifespan of interior floor finishes reducing soiling in carpets and abrasive debris scraping smooth floors.

Our team of entrance matting specialists at COBA Flooring can give further advice on this subject, and also assist you with any specific enquiries you may have regarding your installation, contact us on 0116 240 1161.

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