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Entryway Matting – To Rent or To Buy?


The Background

buy_rent_dice-1.jpgEntryway matting systems play a critical role in helping to keep your facility clean – and an effective entryway system can act as the first line of defense in a building in order to prevent exterior dirt and moisture from being tracked onto your interior floors.

The Topic

Typically, there are two ways that an entryway matting system can be put in place at a facility: they can either be rented or they can be purchased.

But which way is better?

The Evaluation

Depending on the specific circumstances at your facility, one option or the other will potentially make more sense, and you are encouraged to work with your distributor partner to determine the best fit. In general, these two entryway matting options can be evaluated based upon the following criteria:


Rental matting is typically constructed of a non-reinforced nylon fiber carpet face on a rubber backing – and typically the non-reinforced nylon carpet surface crushes down soon after the rental mat is placed at an entryway, and over time and multiple launderings the backing has a tendency to ripple. In addition, users of rental mat programs have little to no control over the age and quality of the mats being delivered to their building – and it is not unusual for a rental mat delivery to include mats which have stains, odors, and even worn down “bald spots” mixed in with clean mats which will vary in age from brand new to 5 years or older. With purchased matting, a range of options is available to select the right mat for the desired application, and an entryway matting system comprised of matting which has a permanently reinforced bi-level surface and associated finishing, slip resistance and anti-fatigue mats can be specified. These mats will typically have more robust backing and construction, and are designed to last longer. Finally, when matting is owned, the facility can decide when the mats are too old and are in need of replacement, allowing the building to better control the quality and image being projected at the entryway to your organization.


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As stated earlier, rental matting is typically a wiper mat constructed of a non-reinforced nylon fiber carpet face on a rubber backing – and while this construction holds up well in the industrial laundry process, it does not provide the best soil and moisture management system. The non-reinforced nylon carpet surface crushes down soon after the rental mat is placed at an entryway, which causes the dirt and moisture to sit on top of the mat – and this dirt and moisture can then reattach to pedestrian traffic and track into the facility. A more effective entryway matting system would include a range of purchased mats designed for specific applications within the facility – including a scraper mat with a textured surface top to remove heavy soils from shoes, a scraper/wiper mat with a permanently reinforced bi-level surface to allow for dirt and moisture to be trapped below shoe level, and a wiper mat to remove any fine particles that remain.



Rental matting is typically available in a limited number of stock sizes, and a limited number of color options, whereas purchased matting is available in a variety of sizes and colors – and can even be customized to fit your building design aesthetics or messaging. And purchased matting is also available for anti-fatigue, kitchen and scraper applications which may not be available from a rental service. Instead of trying to cobble together multiple rental mats to cover an area, an appropriately sized purchased mat can be selected to do the job for you.


One of the primary reasons to choose a rental mat program is because it removes the need to have to think about the ongoing maintenance of the matting – and for this reason alone, many facility managers like the convenience of outsourcing the cleaning and placement of their mats to a rental service. While there are many applications where this service potentially makes sense, the reality is that an effective entryway matting system maintenance protocol which includes regular vacuuming and periodic cleaning can be implemented by facility staff as well.



Rental matting consumes more resources than purchased matting – rental matting requires more fuel and results in more emissions for transportation to pick up and delivery the matting, and laundering the matting requires additional energy, water and chemicals. Purchased matting can provide years of performance while being vacuumed and cleaned in place – and there are several matting options which also contain recycled content. And finally, an entryway matting system can also assist a building to earn credits toward LEED certification – the matting system deployed is required to be 10’ feet in length in the primary direction of travel in order to handle 4-5 footfalls for building visitors.


Rental matting typically costs around $.20 per square foot per week – which means that over the course of a five-year contract, a 3x5 mat will cost around $780. Conversely, the same 3x5 mat can generally be purchased for around $100, meaning that a new mat can be potentially be purchased every year and the facility would still be saving money!

The Conclusion

In conclusion, unless your facility is one which regularly exposes your matting to a tremendous amount of grease and oil soiling, the quality, performance, selection, sustainability and cost of a purchased entryway matting system tips the scales in favor of buying instead of leasing your matting.


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