Fibrous entrance matting is designed specifically to absorb moisture and remove dirt. The two most common materials for entry mats are polyamide and polypropylene; each has its advantages, and it is important to know how they differ, so you choose the best fibre for the application and the brief.
Polyamide is a type of nylon, a synthetic fibre considered to be the optimum for entry matting construction in both moisture absorption and dirt removal.
For high-traffic areas that require heavy-duty entrance matting, polyamide is the most common choice. The fibre allows for constructions with a mix of fine yarn piles for moisture absorption and thick monofilament piles to scrape off dirt.
The ability of polyamide to wick away moisture is an essential safety feature. Both moisture absorption and dirt removal are vital in furthering the life of interior flooring, whether hard or soft. Trapping dirt from both foot and wheeled traffic – so it can be easily vacuumed away – means polyamide matting quickly recovers its storage capacity, ensuring it lasts longer and retains its visual appeal.
Another advantage is its crush resistance and durability. The strength of the fibres allows them to retain their form for longer, and because polyamide is hard to impregnate, and therefore more stain and fade resistant, it maintains that ‘as new’ condition. For these reasons, it is the most popular choice for commercial, tertiary and public building lobbies where looks matter.
Polypropylene, by comparison, is a thermoplastic whose fibres have an abrasive texture, making it very efficient in scraping dry material off shoes, and whose lower cost offers a budget alternative to polyamide. The fibres are generally durable and are frequently used as dirt-barrier runners in corridors for maximum floor protection and safety. This versatility makes polypropylene an effective solution for a number of interior applications, such as corridors in schools and gyms, and at thresholds between different zones in a factory.
No matter which fibre you choose, entry matting needs to fulfil several criteria. Not only must it effectively trap dirt and moisture, it also needs to be easy to clean. It should feel soft underfoot, look good, and protect a building’s interior flooring into the future. Both types of fibres provide these qualities, and your final choice will be guided by project requirements.