Matter Surfaces Article - What are Entrance Mats & Why are They Important?

What are Entrance Mats & Why are They Important?

When a guest steps into your building, how do you want them to feel? In the seven seconds it takes to make a first impression, you’ve made thoughtful design choices to convey brand values with color, light, and material. But first impressions are also made in the first 30 feet, so how can entrance matting complement your design? The signals guests receive from entrance matting – about health, wellness, and style – can elevate your goals for the space. A dry, clean surface builds trust. It is a sign that you care about guests’ well-being, and it doesn’t have to mean covering your flooring design. With Matter Surfaces’ Arrival Collection, we parse the range of textures, applications, and technical specs to curate entrance matting solutions that ground your design in wellness. 

What is an entrance mat?

An entrance mat is a type of floor covering made of fibers designed to dry foot traffic that enters a building. It is not meant to cover an entire room; often, you’ll need entrance matting to extend only 10 feet into the space. Mats may be glued down for wall-to-wall coverage, or laid loose on top of flooring.

Why are floor mats placed in entrances?

During rainy or cold seasons, wiping feet on an entrance mat is an everyday habit for health and wellness. Mats improve safety, indoor air quality, and flooring protection.

Super Nop® 52 is high performance matting with high a high density rubber backing or vinly back, available at Matter Surfaces.Super Nop® 52 is high performance matting with high a high density rubber backing or vinly back, available at Matter Surfaces.
Super Nop® 52 Grijis/Charcoal
  • Safety: Nothing ruins a design (or an ankle) like a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign. By drying foot traffic, entrance mats prevent slips, trips, and falls.
  • Indoor air quality: It may seem counterintuitive, but what goes down must come up. Dirt and water don’t stay on the floor – wind, shoes, and other disturbances lift them into the air for us to breathe. Entrance mats trap dirt and moisture so they stay put. Plus, many entrance mats are Green Label Plus certified, which means that they have very low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). We love Berber for its high performance and Green Label Plus certification.
  • Flooring protection: Dirt is a universal abrasive, scratching floors in all climates and seasons. But in wintry climates, the harsh chemicals of rock salt and ice melt are particularly destructive. Entrance mats capture grit and chemicals that scratch floors, leave oily residues, and corrode the adhesive that keeps flooring in place.
Matter Surfaces' CleanZone™ Entrance Strategy is 30-foot entry system of both scraping and drying products is recommended to remove 100% of moisture and debris from footwear.Matter Surfaces' CleanZone™ Entrance Strategy is 30-foot entry system of both scraping and drying products is recommended to remove 100% of moisture and debris from footwear.
Matter Surfaces' CleanZone™ Entrance Strategy | 30-foot entry system

How do I stop dirt from coming inside?

An uninvited guest, dirt quickly overstays its welcome. According to the ISSA, a global association for the cleaning industry, buildings that host 1,000 people per day will have 24 pounds of soil tracked into the space after 20 days.

You can solve for dirt by thinking of your entrance in three zones. In Matter Surfaces' CleanZone™ Entrance Strategy, these three zones remove 100% of dirt and moisture in 30 feet. 

  • Zone 1 | Exterior: The first zone scrapes coarse dirt and debris. This outdoor zone uses weather-resistant architectural grilles to remove and trap dirt.
  • Zone 2 | Vestibule: The middle zone removes medium-size particles and begins to dry. This zone incorporates foot grilles with mat inserts to perform both functions.
  • Zone 3 | Lobby: The final – and largest – zone scrapes fine grit and completes the drying process. As the “welcome” zone, it also promotes a brand through color, shape, and logo. This is the main zone for entrance matting.

Which doormat material is best?

Entrance matting is laid in Zones 2 and 3, and its primary function is to dry. Yet, if your space can’t accommodate three zones, Zone 3 may need to provide more aggressive scraping. The best material for entrance mats and runners, then, is the one that helps you achieve your goal of zero dirt and moisture.

  • Nylon: best for lobby areas, nylon is absorbent and quick to dry.
  • Polypropylene: best for areas that need both drying and scraping. If your space has no Zone 1 and a short Zone 2, heavy-duty entrance matting with polypropylene fibers is a great option for Zone 3. An example is shown at right: after an outdoor cross-bolt grille, 30 feet of polypropylene matting is installed across Zones 2 and 3.

Whether you choose nylon or polypropylene, both fibers offer plenty of design options. Play with textures ranging from nop to super nop to carpet-like plush. Cover a large area with roll goods, or lay walk-off mats for smaller walkways. Welcome guests with a logo mat, or create a design with tiles. 


Trilogy Tile

It’s also important to consider the backing material of your entrance mat. Backing ensures that dirt and debris don’t penetrate through the mat to the floor below.

  • Vinyl: an affordable option that won’t stain the floor.
  • Rubber: a high-density option that complements entrance mats with plush textures.
Ultra Entry™ is available in standard gray and alternate colorways from  and options of matting inserts from Matter Surfaces.Ultra Entry™ is available in standard gray and alternate colorways from  and options of matting inserts from Matter Surfaces.
Ultra Entry™ in standard gray with carpet inserts | Foot Grilles

What is a recessed mat?


We typically think of mats as covers, hiding and protecting the floor below. But recessed mats can be installed to be flush with floors, making for a striking and seamless entrance. 

In Zone 2, recessed mats are inserted into Foot Grilles to combine scraping and drying. Many of the entrance mats in Matter Surfaces' Arrival Collection can be used as inserts, creating a rhythm between Zone 2 and Zone 3 in color and texture.  

In Zone 3, a recessed mat can be installed as a wall-to-wall roll or as tiles. Your guests will enjoy a smooth transition between the recessed mat and the main floor, and they’ll appreciate the integrated design that reflects your level of care for their experience. 

How do I protect my carpet entrance matting?

Even when no dirt is present, telltale dents in your plush carpet entrance matting lend a sense of age to the lobby. The first step to protect your entrance matting is to install dirt removal grilles in Zones 1 and/or 2. The second step is to fit furniture, dollies, and wheeled appliances with the proper glides, casters, and floor protectors. Finally, we recommend covering the floor with plywood or hardwood panels when moving very heavy objects. 

How do you clean the dirt of trapper mats?

Whether you need an entrance mat to trap fine grit or scrape larger debris, the options in our Arrival Collection require simple vacuuming on a regular basis. Mats will retain their luster and high performance with daily or weekly vacuuming, depending on the season and volume of foot traffic. Once or twice a year, deep clean your entrance matting using dry or hot water extraction methods, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Every building has an entrance—let your guests know they’ve arrived. 

You get 30 feet to make an impression. With entrance matting, you’ll promote health and wellness, lengthen the lifetime of your interior floors, lighten custodial responsibilities, brand the space, and set the tone for a positive guest experience. Give your guests a not-so-common ground design with Matter Surfaces ' Arrival Collection.