Floor mats are available with two distinct types of backing: rubber-backed mats and vinyl-backed mats. Rubber backed entrance mats are superior to vinyl-backed entrance mats for a variety of reasons explained below.
Rubber Entrance Mats
Rubber is the preferred backing for all floor mat products. Rubber backed floor mats are made for high-use, heavy-traffic areas; perfect for office buildings, schools, hospitals or commercial facilities. Premium, commercial-grade rubber will not dog-ear, curl up and become a potential tripping hazard. All Mat Tech entrance mats are ADA compliant.
This rubber can be produced smooth or with cleats (grippers) that help hold the entrance mat in place on carpeted surfaces. In addition to being able to withstand extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and its ability to always lay flat, rubber is fade, stain and mildew resistant.
This backing helps produce entry mats that are durable and yet low maintenance. Vacuuming should take care of virtually all the cleaning for these door mats, but they can also be hosed off, shampoo or steam extracted and even laundered in a washer.
Vinyl is a composite material and, although slightly less expensive than rubber, it does not have many of the key features associated with rubber mats. Vinyl mats are often placed in light to medium-use locations such as smaller retail stores, back doors and lower traffic entrances.
Vinyl mats are more chemical resistant, more resistant to moisture absorption and can be produced in a wider variety of colors than rubber floor mats can. The vinyl material, however, does not have the same resistance to extreme temperatures or the durability of rubber, especially when being unrolled and rolled frequently. Eventually, the vinyl may curl, warp or even crack.
Whereas rubber can be produced with the gripper backing, vinyl mats are only available with a smooth backing and thus should only be used on hard surfaces such as wood, tile and marble.
Vinyl door mats should be vacuumed or hosed off only, they cannot withstand the more aggressive cleaning methods of rubber and can definitely not be laundered.
Although vinyl backed entrance mats are slightly less expensive and offer greater chemical resistance, rubber backed mats are more durable, safer and less likely to be problematic.