Elevator mats: are they still necessary in 2022?
Elevator floor mats lift your lifts.
If you are responsible for the safety and style of an elevator system, you probably already know about elevator mats. But, with all the expenses associated with buildings, it is sometimes one of those things that gets forgotten about.
We sometimes meet customers that have decided to go without elevator mats, and they almost always regret their decision. If your lift floor is already comfortable, non slip, fire retardant and in line with the style of your building, pat yourself on the back because you do not need elevator mats.
But if, like most people, you are missing any of those things, you should probably keep reading.
What are elevator mats?
Elevator mats – or lift mats – are custom or standard sized mats that are fitted into the floor of your lift cars. They are usually carpeted for residential buildings and rubber or PVC for buildings that see high traffic levels.
The main job of an elevator mat is to keep dirt, water and debris off your floors, but they also have the important job of protecting people. Limiting fire spread and reducing slips, trips and falls make mats
Depending on your needs, elevator mats can be made from most materials that an entrance mat comes in. The only doormat material we don’t recommend for an elevator is coir, as it tends to shed and is less stable underfoot.
What does the building code say about commercial elevator mats?
If you work in the building industry, you know the Building Code of Australia. For anyone else, though, it is a set of regulations that public and commercial buildings must follow from a safety perspective.
All regulations and legislations around building standards, such as accessibility and safety measurements, are set out in one place. Anyone can access the building code online, but it is not required in private residences buildings.
Firstly, we should clarify that the building code does not require elevators to have floor mats. What they do specify is requirements for floor coverings in lift cars – so if you do have elevator mats, you need to make sure they comply.
Section 6 of the building code (C1.10, see below) requires lift car mats to be able to withstand certain temperatures without the chance of spreading fire. They use critical radiant flux for this – and specify that anything lower than 2.2kW/m² spreads fire too easily.
So, why do I need elevator floor mats if they aren’t a regulation?
Although the building code doesn’t require you to install elevator mats, there are numerous reasons why you should. Whether you want to install wall-to-wall matting or place individual mats inside lift cars, you need some sort of adequate flooring in your elevator.
We usually recommend 3 main reasons why you need elevator mats: to keep your elevators smart, safe and clean.
If nothing else, you want your elevators to maintain the style of the rest of your building. There is no point putting money and effort into an entranceway if your clients and customers then walk straight into a shabby old lift.
Elevator mats elevate (sorry) the design of your lift cars and extend the great first impression that your entranceway provides. A dark coloured mat also hides dirt from shoes and keeps your floors looking cleaner. We’ll say more on that later!
To enhance the look of your lifts even more, you can always add your logo to your mats. Logo mats, picture mats and other personalised mats look great in lifts and increase brand recall. Use logo mats in your workplace to increase employee loyalty and productivity.
Elevator protection mats don’t just look pretty. They offer two main safety features too. Slip resistance is the most obvious safety precaution that you need to take in high traffic areas such as lifts and entrances.
Elevator mats are fitted into lifts or backed onto rubber, so they prevent fast-moving feet from losing their grip on the ground. This is important in every elevator but is absolutely necessary in high-risk buildings such as hospitals and care homes.
As well as slip resistance, fire protection is essential. Obviously, commercial buildings need to ensure their mats are fire retardant, but all buildings should make sure their mats are not likely to spread a fire.
Most people invest in mats because they want to keep their floors clean. That’s why all commercial buildings have large entrance mats (at least 6 steps), that remove dirt from shoes before it is walked into a building.
As well as trapping dirt, elevator mats absorb water and prevent your floors from getting wet. If people are taking the elevator down from a swimming pool, kitchen or bathroom, they won’t have a chance to walk over the entrance mat until they leave the building.
Just like doormats protect your floors from the outside, elevator floor mats protect your floors from the inside. Working together, the perfect combination of mats will keep your building as clean as it ever will be.
What should I do to make sure my elevator mats work well for me?
If you already have elevator mats, you should make sure they are doing their job properly. Get in touch with your supplier to find out if they have a fire test certificate. If they don’t, you need to think about replacing them.
If you are a commercial building manager, and you don’t have a fire test certificate or it shows lower than 2.2kW/m², call us immediately and we can organise replacing your mats as a matter of urgency.
If you manage a private building but want to make your lift mats safer, our team are happy to help. Likewise, if you have no elevator mats yet, and would like to find out more or arrange a site visit, our friendly matxperts are just a phone call away.
As always, you can reach out to the team using the chat function below. Alternatively, give us a call on 1300 628 746.