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What is an Industrial Floor Mat?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 17, 2024
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An industrial floor mat has many hefty responsibilities. It eases fatigue in employee's legs and feet, protects the underlying concrete floor from spills and dirt, absorbs harmful chemicals and oil, and prevents slips. Manufacturing plants might use an industrial floor mat at entrances, beneath worker stations, along high-traffic hallways, or install wall-to-wall flooring to cover the entire space.

An industrial floor mat is usually made from rubber or vinyl PVC, but possibly includes other layers of carpeting or cushioning. There are many varieties that depend on the specifics of the industry, so that a floor mat for a welder's space would be very different from one for a high-volume storeroom. Specialty mats are designed for practically every atmosphere to increase worker productivity, protect people from health risks, and provide a low-maintenance and durable floor covering.

For example, one kind of industrial floor mat is especially comfortable to walk and stand on. It has been fitted with cushions called "anti-fatigue" components that absorb the impact that would be transferred to ankle and knee joints. Other kinds are electrostatic dissipative, which means that they resist a build up of static electricity that we all know occurs with ordinary carpet. Certain materials are best at absorbing noise and vibrations from large, loud machines. This kind of industrial floor mat will prevent employees from needing to wear headphones or earplugs as a result of loud machinery sounds echoing off of concrete.

Of course, whatever your selected industrial floor mat, it is likely a wise decision because it will increase the lifetime of the flooring underneath it. The mat's frictional backing means it sticks and molds to uneven surfaces without permanently adhering. The top surface is usually textured for high traction, like a "coin" or "rib" design, which means that debris falls into depressions and doesn't pose a slippery hazard. Yet it is also nonporous, so that oil, grease, or corrosive chemicals do not penetrate to the concrete.

A special industrial floor mat has been designed for colder buildings with little insulation. It has built in heater coils that warm feet and surrounding air in frigid conditions. For a welding business, another type of industrial floor mat is fire retardant without using asbestos, so any falling sparks will not melt or burn the floor. Some businesses prefer to put an industrial floor mat at the entrance to their building so it catches salt minerals, sand, and other dirt to keep it out of a work area.

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Discussion Comments
By shell4life — On Feb 09, 2012

It amazes me how the industrial floor matting in the factory where I work does not hinder things with wheels from rolling over them. All day long, people are pushing carts and driving forklifts right over the top of them without even having to slow down.

I know that they are designed this way on purpose. The manufacturers of industrial floor mats knew that factory workers of all kinds would need something that didn't offer resistance to wheeled carts and things of that nature.

I once had to push a dolly loaded with over a hundred pounds over one of these mats. I expected that it would be hard to do, but it turned out to be no different than pushing it over the concrete.

By wavy58 — On Feb 08, 2012

My best friend owns a hair salon and employs seven hair stylists. They have to be on their feet all day, and she knows the toil this can take on the knees and feet.

So, she bought anti-fatigue mats for every station. These help the hair stylists stand all day long without becoming too tired. They also keep their joints from becoming overstressed.

I stood on one of these mats just to see how it felt. It reminded me of a thick exercise mat. The cushiony material is very comfortable to stand upon, and I imagine that it would greatly extend the amount of time a person could spend on their feet before needing to sit down.

By Perdido — On Feb 08, 2012

@StarJo – I think that when it comes to food spills, I would be tempted to clean the mat, too, even though it would be unnecessary with an anti-microbial one. However, I work in a mechanic's shop, and the types of spills we have usually are left to fester.

I work in the front office, but the men in the back are always spilling oil and other liquids onto the floor. They have rubber floor mats that remain coated with brown goo, but it seeps into the cracks, so the surfaces of the mats aren't slippery.

It's good that these industrial mats are slip-resistant, because the floor underneath is concrete. The mats help keep the bottoms of the mechanics' shoes clean, so they don't slip on the hard surface. They may not look pretty, but they are a great safety measure.

By StarJo — On Feb 07, 2012

I have heard that some restaurants use anti-microbial floor mats. This seems like a good idea, because when liquids spill down into the mats, often no one thinks to clean them up later.

My friend works in the kitchen of a local restaurant, and she said that the boss invested in these industrial mats after an outbreak of bacteria there. They had been forced to close down until the place could be sanitized thoroughly. The manager thought the mat would be a good way to prevent a future outbreak.

I think it would be hard for me to spill something and just let it be, though. Even if I was in a rush, I would have to stop and clean up the mat.

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