Frequently Asked Questions

Entrance Floor Mat FAQs

You probably have walked over an aluminum entrance mat hundreds of times and didn't even notice. With so many types of entrance flooring systems, it can be hard to choose the right one for your business. We've compiled an expansive list of frequently asked questions to help you decide which aluminum entrance mat is the right choice for the people coming and going in your facility. No matter what your needs may be, Base Specialties has the right product for you.

Do I need entrance mats?

dirt
An efficient entrance matting system can remove up to 24 POUNDS of dirt from 1,000 people in one month. That amount of traffic will remove half of your floor's finish within the first six feet of your entryway after only 1,500 people enter your building.

Dangerous Walking Conditions

Did you know that wet floors can cost your business thousands of dollars? The CDC states that over one million people slip, fall, or trip every year.

The president of Ronick, Inc., Kurt Berendt, said to avoid the financial loss and stress of a personal injury lawsuit, businesses should instead implement a well-placed aluminum mat. For example, the case of Doe v. LaSalle Partners, Doe sued a building owner and the maintenance company after she slipped and fell in the lobby. She had to undergo surgery for a herniated disk and eventually received almost half a million-dollar settlement.

Using the correct entrance mats in your building is the key way to prevent lawsuits such as Doe v. LaSalle Partners. The key is to place an effecting mat system where your customers first enter your building to remove moisture and debris from shoes or other footwear. If you have a hard floor surface such as marble, wood, or tile and there is no entrance mat, your odds of facing a lawsuit are increased.

Depending upon your insurance company, there may be standards and regulations in place for your business before you can be approved. Some of the qualifications include:

  • Absorbent mats at all entrances and doorways that lead to and from the outside.
  • If mats are in place, do they stretch all the way across the doorway?
  • During poor weather, the entrance mats must be frequently cleaned.
  • Ensure all mats are in good working condition.
  • Are there any folds, rolls, or flipped-up corners on your mats? In other words, are they completely flat?
  • Ensure mats have a tapered edge or are flush to the ground to reduce tripping hazards.

If your business ever has rain or snow, you will probably deal with slip and fall accidents. If you choose a proper entrance flooring system, you're choosing to reduce your chances of dealing with a costly personal injury lawsuit.

Where should I place my entrance floor mats?

You need to place quality entrance floor mats wherever people will walk into or out of your building. If you have a high amount of foot traffic (such as an office building or airport), you should choose aluminum floor mats. Base Specialties creates custom-designed entrance systems that look good and are strong enough to handle even your busiest entrances.

What benefits can I expect from aluminum entrance mats?

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Enjoy beautiful, low-maintenance aluminum mats while lowering your average cleaning costs. When your mats are correctly installed, they will increase the longevity of your existing interior flooring. Base Specialties' recessed flooring products and carpet inserts are durable, easy to clean, and are fast-drying.

Top three benefits of installing aluminum entrance mats:

1.
Increases the lifespan of your floor coverings.

2. Our entrance mats, if they extend at least 6 to 15 feet from your doorway, can reduce dirt and moisture throughout your building by 80%!

3. Reduces building cleaning costs by trapping excess dust, dirt, and germs.

Can I order just the mats without having them custom fit?

Your mats are made to custom fit your building at no extra charge. We tailor your mats to look great in your building, match your existing interior design, and fit your specifications like a glove.

What are LEED Requirements?

green energy
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Requirements are standards in which to measure the eco-friendliness of a space. They use a point-based system to measure your impact on the environment. Buildings with higher LEED ratings can qualify for tax breaks and lead to higher property values. Our highest-rated system is the IEQ Credit 5, which is a permanent entrance system that extends 10 feet into the facility.

Base Specialties has four types of entrance materials that earn LEED Credit.

Materials and Resources

MR Credit 4.1, Recycled Content
The recycled content credit has a specific formula of recycled materials to qualify. You must have a total post-consumer recycled content of one-half post-industrial content and at least 4% of post-industrial content. The aluminum that Base Specialties mats consist of 30% post-consumer materials and 46% post-industrial. If you want to add even more post-consumer content, try adding our recycled rubber inserts.

MR Credit 6, Rapidly Renewable Material
To qualify for the MR 6 Credit, 2.5% of the supplies used to build must be made with quickly replaced building materials. Plants with a 10-year life cycle or shorter, such as bamboo and cork tread offered by Base Specialties, qualify for this credit

Indoor Environmental Quality

IEQ Credit 4.3, Low-Emitting Materials
Low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are naturally occurring chemical compounds that have a lot of vapor pressure. VOCs, whether organic or man-made, have a direct effect on our health and environment. Base Specialties products qualify for these standards.

IEQ Credit 5, Pollutant Source Control
The IEQ Credit 5 can only be met when you are in line with a set of rules meant to keep harmful substances out of your indoor air. If you install a permanent entrance system that extends 10 feet into your building at all doorways, you will have met the most basic requirement.

How do I choose the right color entrance mat?

Look outside your business and what do you see? Sidewalks, pavement, grass, and dirt. When choosing the right color flooring system, think about what your employees and patrons will track in from the outdoors. Since a lot of the outdoors is covered in brown dirt, brown would be the most obvious color to choose.

Brown might not seem like the most aesthetically pleasing color at first, but it is actually filled with possibilities. Base Specialties mixes a wide variety of brown hues together to form attractive entrance flooring systems Use a deep brown to give your business a cozy atmosphere. Tans and light browns hide unsightly dirt while maintaining an open and airy look.

Still not into brown? Choose a black, dark blue, or deep green to hide dirt yet stay in line with your existing theme and decor.

They'll bring the outdoors in, like it or not.

Look outside your business and what do you see? Sidewalks, pavement, grass, and dirt. When choosing the right color flooring system, think about what your employees and patrons will track in from the outdoors. Since a lot of the outdoors is covered in brown dirt, brown would be the most obvious color to choose.

Brown might not seem like the most aesthetically pleasing color at first, but it is actually filled with possibilities. Base Specialties mixes a wide variety of brown hues together to form attractive entrance flooring systems Use a deep brown to give your business a cozy atmosphere. Tans and light browns hide unsightly dirt while maintaining an open and airy look.

Still not into brown? Choose a black, dark blue, or deep green to hide dirt yet stay in line with your existing theme and decor.

Instead of choosing a solid color, we recommend using a blend of colors to hide dirt, stains, wear, and tear. Not all dirt is created equal, so a single color may not hide all the different shades of dirt. For northern climates with ice and snow, we recommend a mixture of grays and black to hide white ice, snow, and the melting residues. We don't just recommend mixing grays with black, any of our five colors can be combined to create a mat that looks great in your space and hides the most dirt.

So how do you pick the best color for your space? Explore our variety of color options for aluminum or carpet mats to find a system that meets your specific needs.

If you choose to use aluminum mats, you won't have a problem integrating them into your current interior design. We have a wide variety of colors and looks to choose from. Take into consideration your geographical needs, such as dirt, sand, and ice melter, when choosing the color and style for your business. Take one last look outside: whatever outdoor debris you see will eventually be the debris tracking into your facility.

Dirt

dirt
The most commonly found indoor intruder is soil. Choosing a dark brown aluminum mat should hide any dirt build-up. This should reduce the appearance of "traffic flow" from your interior floors. Places of high traffic, such as airports and commercial buildings, should use this type of interior flooring system.

Sand

sand
If your business resides in the sandier, southern part of America, then a lighter color carpet may be your best choice. It catches sand from foot traffic before it can be spread throughout your facility.

Ice Melter

salt
During the winter months, an ice-melting substance is often used to prevent hazardous slip and fall injuries by creating traction underfoot. This ice melter is then carried indoors to reside on your entrance matting system. Choosing black combined with a lighter color will mask the appearance of those white and gray crystals. This mat also looks good and works well during the summer months.

What is the difference between nylon and polypropylene entrance floor mats?

material
Nylon is a highly absorbent material and works great at removing excess moisture from foot traffic. Polypropylene is a stiffer, more plastic material that effectively scrapes large debris from footwear, such as snow and dirt. The best mat to purchase is a combination of nylon and polypropylene, so you can enjoy both of their beneficial aspects.

Will stainless steel ever rust?

Although stainless steel got its name due to its ability to resist rust and other discoloration, its surface can sometimes have other pesky elements, such as free iron, cling to it causing the appearance of rust.

“Contamination of Stainless steel surfaces with free iron is common. It can be avoided only with very careful handling. The presence of free iron on the surfaces of interest can be detected by a variety of tests, including the copper sulfate and ferroxyl tests. Iron contamination can be removed by certain chemical or electrolchemical methods; abrasive blasting alone is not effective.” (Stainless Foundry & Engineering, Inc. © 2005)

Entrance floor mat split locations

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If your entrance mat rail direction is longer than 12' there will be multiple sections. This will ease installation and maintenance in the future. We recommend not having two sections next to each that's in the middle of a traffic pattern. Below you can see correct and incorrect examples.

Double Door Incorrect and Correct Factory Cuts

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specs

Single Door Incorrect and Correct Factory Cuts

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specs

Commercial Entrance Mat ADA Guidelines

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The Americans with Disabilities Act sets specific codes regulations for public and commercial buildings so that people with a wide range of disabilities can freely and easily access all areas of these buildings. The ADA even has very specific guidelines on entrance mats. The best mats for wheelchairs are our recessed metal mats and our surface-mount mats. Ensure easy access to all who enter your facility.

The ADA has a simple set of guidelines:

Carpet must be securely affixed to the ground, have a stiff or no backing at all, and be no more than 1/2" thick. If the carpet is more than 1/2 thick, there must be a beveled edge for wheels to effortlessly glide over.

Recessed entrance grates/mats need to have less than 1/2" between pieces to prevent wheels or any other movement facilitating equipment to get caught.

How do I choose the right size entrance floor system?

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Deciding on the right size entrance floor system can be tricky, but we've developed some easy-to-follow steps to ensure you have your building needs covered.

An average person's stride is about 2'-6". If you have a building with heavy traffic, such as a grocery store, the average 10-foot mat won't be enough. If you have a medical office, on the other hand, 10 feet is plenty. But if your office is small, how can you get 10 whole feet of matting systems in place? First, start with an outside scraper or mat. Then put a solid wiper or scraping mat inside of your vestibule, or right after your entrance. Finally, carefully place interior finishing mats in places people commonly walk.

Take a look at your existing entrance. Where does wear and tear from your traffic lines end? If it extends more than 10 feet into your building, you likely need to create a larger entrance area to protect your interior flooring.

Did you know that the majority of people entering your facility won't wipe their feet? And that a mat that's only 6 to 15 feet can trap 80% of the debris tracked in by their shoes? Additionally, grime, dust, and dirt brought indoors by foot traffic can permanently damage your floors and carpets. A 30-foot entrance system will collect all of the dirt that traffic brings into your facility.

The size of your mat does matter. Your budget, as well as your amount of traffic, will play a role in the size you choose to install.

Do I need a mat under my revolving door, and if so which kind do I pick?

roundabout
We recommend only placing a hard surface such as tile or stone under a revolving door, due to the way it is designed. Surround your revolving door with an aluminum matting system to collect dirt after your patrons and employees enter the building.

How long will my entrance mat last?

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The life span of your mat will vary depending upon how many people come and go. Regular maintenance on your mat will also extend its duration. Weekly cleaning, such as vacuuming, will help your mats perform better and last longer. We suggest replacing your mats only when they begin to show wear and tear.

What do I need to request a quote?

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Since our aluminum entrance flooring systems are custom-fitted to your facility, we have no standard-size mats in stock. We've created detailed instructions for measuring your space for exact quotes and fitting.

First, measure the opening of your recessed entrance area. On the illustration, the green arrows are the direction people will be entering and exiting your building. That will be the length of your mat. The red arrows show the width of the bars that run perpendicular to the walking path. Measure twice, cut once applies to not only your home improvement projects but also your metal flooring systems. Not all buildings are designed the same, so if your entrance is not a rectangle, we recommend asking for a template kit.

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Photo credit: http://www.ronick.com/entrance-floor-mat-faqs

Next, you'll need to measure the depth of your entrance area. Standard depth sizes are 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1-1/2", and 1-13/16". Don't worry if you're entrance isn't recessed, we have products for every need. We will add tapered edges to prevent tripping hazards, meet ADA requirements, catch debris, and look great in your space.

Second,
choose a type of entrance grid or entrance mat to meet your specifications or align with your architect's design.

TYPE:
(a)  Base Mat MB-300  -Interior and exterior use aluminum construction can be combined with many different inserts or used on its own.
(b)  Base Mat MB-400 - Noise-dampening rubber hinges make this aluminum rail mat look and function beautifully in your interior spaces. Can be combined with any tread.
(c)  Base Tread GB-200   - Our durable and 1/2" deep entrance grid holds up to 750 pounds. Created for replacement or remodeling to reuse current recess walls. Can be combined with any tread.
(d)  Base Tread GB-500 - Our strongest grid system holds up to 1,000 pounds per wheel load. The best choice for areas with significant levels of traffic. Can be combined with any tread.
(e)   Base Grid GB-700  - With 1-11/16” - 1-3/4” deep grids, you can collect an extreme amount of dirt and water. A "deep-pit" system will support a depth of up to 5-1/2". Can be combined with any tread.
(f)  Base Grille SS-800 - #304 or #316 are stainless grille systems with hidden locks mounted to the surface. They are extremely durable due to the electronically resistance wires welded inside of them. They come in depths of 3/8”, 5/8”, or 1-1/8”.
(g)  Base Grille SS-900 - If you're in need of a curved configuration (although it works for straight too) this system has wider profile bars that fit intermittent inserts such as vinyl, carpet, or poly brush. This system can handle up to 1000 pounds.
(h)  Base Mat Tray 1000 - Quickly and easily clean up dust and dirt from foot traffic with the Base Mat 300 or 400 easy remove dumping tray. This rubber and vinyl edge tray collects 95% of debris from pedestrian traffic.

SIZE: Take a look at your blueprints or the original architectural drawings to help choose the right size. Remember, a square might look like a square, but it's actually not. Getting the right measurements will ensure an exact fit.

DEPTH: All of our flooring systems are made in different depth sizes. In new construction, your architect will have already selected the correct mat for your facility. For existing buildings, a careful depth measurement is needed to select the right product.

TYPE OF ALUMINUM RAIL AND FRAME FINISH: MILL FINISH is our base finish of aluminum roll-up mats. It is the lowest price finish we offer. If you want to select different finishes and colors, that cost is added up separately. ANODIZED FINISHES and POWER COAT FINISHES are available in clear and colored aluminum.

ROLL-UP MAT & GRILLE INSERTS:  
Choose the type of insert needed for your project. Although the color choice will not alter your cost, the insert type will.
(a)  Heavy Duty Carpet – Choose from over 20 colors of our heavy-duty carpet inserts. They effectively remove mud, dirt, and water from the soles of feet.
(b)  Exterior Brush Tread – Choose from 3 different colors. This mat is great at retaining color in direct sunlight. They effectively remove mud, dirt, and water from the soles of feet.
(c)  Poured Abrasive – Choose from 5 color selections. Best choice for areas with slip and fall hazards.
(d)  Abrasive Tape – Choose from 5 color selections. Cost-effective solution for your traction needs.
(e)  Vinyl Tread – Pick one of our 5 color choices.
(f)   Ask about our architectural designed metal mats and grid inserts, including inserts crafted from wood and recycled rubber.

Framing: If you have a recessed area, you'll need a type with depth. If you do not, you'll have to have a tapered frame. Each type of frame will have a different pricing structure.

Options for surface mounted matting systems:
(a)  All sides of the frame have a tapered vinyl edge.
(b) All sides of the frame have a taper aluminum edge.
(c)  Pipe Stem Frame -- where the edge of the frame meets the carpet, a special tapered edge is inserted beneath the carpet to make a tapered carpeted edge.
(d)  Surface Threshold Frame – If the door edge is raised, this frame will level out the edge of the door and the top of the entrance system.

Recessed Installation options include:
(a)  A Recessed Level Base frame – During construction, the concrete slab is poured around this frame creating a permanent entrance recess.
(b) Recess Tapered Angle Frame – After construction, this frame is secured to the existing concrete and the interior flooring is installed around it, creating a small recess.

Information Checklist for getting a quote:

  • Type of rolled-up metal mat, aluminum metal grid, or stainless steel grid
  • Size
  • Depth (if existing recess)
  • Type AND color of aluminum rails and frames
  • Type of rail inserts

What is Anodization?

Anodization is the process of coating a metal with an oxide coat. Aluminum roll-up entrance mats come standard in a mill finish (natural shiny aluminum). Aluminum entrance mats can be customized with an anodized (clear, light bronze, medium bronze, dark bronze, black or gold) finish to match your interior décor.

What is Anodization?

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, although other nonferrous metals, such as magnesium and titanium, also can be anodized.

The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and is composed entirely of aluminum oxide. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. It has a highly ordered, porous structure that allows for secondary processes such as coloring and sealing.

Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium.  A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released from the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized.  Anodizing is, therefore, a matter of highly controlled oxidation – the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon. . .

The aesthetically pleasing results of anodizing combined with the functional benefits of increased durability offer numerous design opportunities for architects, builders, product designers and specifiers, as well as artists.

©2013 Aluminum Anodizers Council

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Why Use An Anodized Finish on Aluminum Mats?

Anodized Aluminum provides attractive, minimum-maintenance, highly durable exteriors, roofs, curtain walls, ceilings, floors, escalators, lobbies and staircases in skyscrapers and commercial buildings.

Anodized Aluminum is considered environmentally safe, producing few, if any, harmful effects on land, air, or water.

The aesthetically pleasing results of anodizing combined with the FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS OF INCREASED DURABILITY (emphasis added) offer numerous design opportunities for architects, builders, product designers and specifiers, as well as artists.

The unique anodized finish is the only one in the metals industry that satisfies each of the factors that must be considered when selecting a high performance aluminum finish:

  • Durability. Most anodized products have an extremely long life span and offer significant economic advantages through maintenance and operating savings. Anodizing is a reacted finish that is integrated with the underlying aluminum for total bonding and unmatched adhesion.
  • Color Stability. Exterior anodic coatings provide good stability to ultraviolet rays, do not chip or peel, and are easily repeatable.
  • Ease of Maintenance. Scars and wear from fabrication, handling, installation, frequent surface dirt cleaning and usage are virtually non-existent. Rinsing or mild soap and water cleaning usually will restore an anodized surface to its original appearance. Mild abrasive cleaners can be used for more difficult deposits.
  • Aesthetics. Anodizing offers a large increasing number of gloss and color alternatives and minimizes or eliminates color variations. Unlike other finishes, anodizing allows the aluminum to maintain its metallic appearance.
  • Cost. A lower initial finishing cost combines with lower maintenance costs for greater long-term value.
  • Health and Safety. Anodizing is a safe process that is not harmful to human health. An anodized finish is chemically stable, will not decompose; is non-toxic; and is heat-resistant to the melting point of aluminum (1,221 degrees F.)  Since the anodizing process is a reinforcement of a naturally occurring oxide process, it is non-hazardous and produces no harmful or dangerous by-products.

©2013 Aluminum Anodizers Council

Why Use An Anodized Finish on Aluminum Mats?

Q: How do I clean anodized aluminum?
A: Cleaning anodized aluminum is easy with the right technique.  Because anodizing is so hard, you want to use an abrasive cleaning technique with a general soap.  Do not use harsh acidic or alkaline cleaners because they may destroy the finish.  Use solvents with care as they may stain the finish.  Regardless of the technique, be sure to try a test area first.  One recommended technique is to use an abrasive cleaning sponge with mild dish washing liquid.  Always try a test small area first to prevent a widespread problem.  (For more detailed advice, obtain a copy of Care of Aluminum from The Aluminum Association.)

Q: Can anodized aluminum be cleaned with a detergent that has a pH of 10, or would that result in scaling or other surface problems?
A: Factors such as concentration of the detergent solution, duration of exposure, and temperature will influence the results.  If the anodized aluminum is cleaned at room temperature and promptly rinsed with clean water, then there should be no problem.  If cleaned at an elevated temperature or with prolonged exposure without rinsing, then the cleaning solution would start to attack the anodic oxide and etch the metal.  Mild soap is generally preferable to detergent for routine maintenance cleaning.

©2013 Aluminum Anodizers Council

What businesses use entrance mats?

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Any business with pedestrian traffic can benefit from having entrance mats. Who wouldn't want to protect their interior floors from dirt, moisture, wear, and tear?

Apartment Buildings, Condominiums

Art Institutes & Museums

Banks, Financial Institutions & Credit Unions

Bars & Lounges

Churches, Synagogues

Convenience Stores

Convention Centers

Daycare Centers

Dental Offices

Government Office Buildings, including Police and Fire Stations

Grocery Stores

Sports & Health Clubs  --  Spas

Hospitals, Health Centers, Medical Office Buildings

Hotels

Ice Arenas

Industrial Buildings

Public Libraries

Manufacturing Facilities

Nursing Homes

Office Buildings

Park & Recreation Buildings

Restaurants

Resorts

School, University/College, and Educational Buildings

Shopping Malls & Department Store Entrances

Warehouses

What happens when my aluminum entrance mats get old?

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If your entrance floor system begins to show wear and tear, we recommend replacing the carpet or other types of inserts instead of your entire aluminum mat. Usually, the inserts are secured with easy-to-remove rivets or staples, making the process easy and cost-effective. Sometimes the original manufacturer used an adhesive to secure the insert, making the cost of labor more than replacing the entire matting system.

How Can I Save Money when Repairing Aluminum Mats?

You have a budget in your property management plan for replacing your aluminum mats, but what if we told you that you can save half of that money? Instead of spending the bulk of your budget replacing your system, Base Specialties recommends refurbishing your existing mats. No special tools or training is required to repair and update old and worn-down systems.

Over time, all the dirt your entrance flooring systems collect will discolor and wear down, making them unsightly and less effective at trapping unwanted dirt. We recommend that you replace the carpet or other material inserts to improve the look and safety of your entrance area.

In order to properly renovate your existing matting system, you need to know how to order the correct products. Your order will arrive in a 600-foot roll of carpet strips. To choose the right material, you must know the color you need; if it is for interior or exterior use; carpet, vinyl, or abrasive insert material; project width; and the correct quantity to finish the project.

Base Specialties and other manufacturers create their mats with alternating pieces, an aluminum piece followed by an insert of some kind. The carpet inserts will be replaced by removing the screws, pulling out the old insert, cleaning the channel, putting in the new insert, and returning the screws. Anytime you replace your inserts, the metal frame should be meticulously cleaned.

Our roll-up aluminum mats have been specifically built to be the best floor mat system on the market. Our mats, when properly installed, will:

  • Scrape dirt and debris off shoes
  • Trap and absorb moisture from rain or melting snow
  • Increase traction and provide a hazard-free no-slip area
  • Provide color options to enhance surrounding décor

When purchasing our metal entrance mats, please remember that one size does not fit all. Every mat is unique and comes in different sizes and widths. Make sure you request samples from your provider before ordering so that you get the right product.

Visit this link for specific instructions and assistance picking the right insert materials.

Will aluminum and metal entrance mats hold up in the rain and snow?

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Our low-maintenance mats are specifically designed for recesses or trays that trap and hold moisture from rain and snow, preventing water from puddling on the surface of your mat and creating hazardous walking conditions. That's why they're great for high-traffic areas.