Carpets, Entrance Mats, Flooring, Matting

Carpeting vs Matting – What’s the Difference?

It’s a common terminology mistake that we see all the time.  Clients use the words “carpet” and “mat” interchangeably when talking about their front entrance…but the actual meaning of those terms couldn’t be more different!  Equating a commercial carpet with a proper commercial entrance mat is like equating a high heel shoe and a gumboot – although they’re both footwear, they obviously serve very different functions in very different ways, and they’re definitely not interchangeable!

Carpet’s top priority is appearance.  People choose a carpet for their office based on its colour or texture, pattern or style; how carpet looks is more important than how it works because for most commercial applications, one brand of carpet (of a certain grade or quality, or course!) is more or less as good as the next.  It’s like shopping for fancy high heels or dress shoes – whether or not the shoe’s appearance is right and it goes with your whole outfit is more important than how well it might perform on a hiking trail or stepping through puddles in the park.

Entrance matting’s top priority is function.  The entire point of entrance matting is to protect your gorgeous new carpet from being ruined by dirt and grit, mud and water; how an entrance mat works to protect your floors from wear and tear should be your most important factor when choosing a mat.  Buying an entrance mat is like shopping for gumboots – whether or not the boots will keep your feet warm and dry, fit you well, and protect you from bad weather is much more important than their exact shade of colour!

It’s important to keep this appearance vs function relationship in mind when choosing an entrance mat for your commercial space.  Time and time again, clients make the mistake of prioritizing appearance over function and choose the completely wrong product because they focused on appearance (like matching a specific logo colour, etc.)  Before they know it, they’re replacing that wrong mat within a few months’ time because it wore out too fast, or just couldn’t actually perform the necessary work of the correct entrance mat.  That wrong product let nasty wet weather and outside dirt to ruin the carpet and flooring underneath, and now they have to replace both the mat and the flooring!

Nylon, polypropylene, PVC, rubber – entrance matting comes in a dizzying array of materials, and it can be tough to figure out which type of matting is right for your specific application and your building’s needs.  If you need a hand figuring out which mat is right for your business, reach out and get in touch with us today!