Posted on 3/5/2014 10:29 AM by Renee Hite

Office entry flooringWithin the first 60 seconds and 60 steps of entering a building, first impressions are made, and a choice on entrance flooring could make all the difference.

There’s no doubt about it: appearance matters. Both facility managers and architects have a stake in their building’s integrity both inside and out. With a limited source of revenue and manpower, how do they preserve cleanliness and aesthetic appeal?

Employing a permanent entrance flooring system is the most effective way to help coordinate this effort. By controlling the amount of dirt and water entering the building, the need for additional staff and/or time to maintain interior flooring can be minimized. Available in both recessed and surface mounted applications, permanent entrance flooring systems are designed to allow dirt, water, and other particulates to fall between the rails to collect and retain debris underneath the mat. This is a better alternative to throw-down mats, which allow dirt and water to build within the nap of the carpet, causing the mat to become saturated. Once a carpet mat becomes saturated and/or soiled, the water and particulates are easily transferred to other flooring further inside the building, requiring more maintenance and quicker deterioration of floor surfaces.

Installing an entrance flooring system at least 10 feet long traps more than one half of all dirt and water entering a building. An entrance flooring system 15 to 18 feet long will collect over 98% of dirt and water, and these distances will allow enough footfalls to naturally pull the particulates from patron’s shoes. After all, it’s not home and no one entering a business stops to wipe their feet!

In addition to their high degree of effectiveness, permanent entrance flooring systems also add to the aesthetics of any interior. They can be custom made to fit any size or shape vestibule and are generally recessed within a multitude of surrounding materials, such as stone, ceramic tile, or carpet. Entrance flooring systems work well with all interior finishes due to the wide variety of aluminum finishes, insert materials and frame options for various conditions. Throw-down matting offers very limited aesthetic features and often appear to be an afterthought once the building is built or renovated, detracting from an interiors’ appearance.

Another positive feature of permanent entrance flooring is its ability to limit the amount of slips, trips, and falls. Throw-down matting, because of its lightweight composition, allows matting to slide, shift, and wrinkle with every footstep. To correct this issue, duct tape is often used to hold the carpet mat in place.  As a comparison, a permanent recessed entrance flooring system allows for a smooth transition from the top surface of the entrance system to another flooring surface, making the slipping and tripping hazards non-existent.

Forget the day of one-size fits all. Each building is special and deserves products that are effective and add to the aesthetics that give a positive first impression. Why purchase less effective throw-down mats and create more work with potential added liability? A better solution is to install a permanent entrance flooring system that is more effective for dirt and water trapping; offers less slip, trip, and fall hazards; and is aesthetically pleasing for that first 60 seconds and 60 steps needed for a positive first impression.

By Renee Hite is a LEED Green Associate and facilities sales target account manager at Construction Specialties.