Rubber Office Mats: The Disadvantages
When not to invest in rubber office mats
Many of our customers come to us asking for our most durable solution, which is almost always a rubber mat. Sometimes, on investigating their needs in more detail, we realise they don’t need a rubber mat at all, because the most heavy duty solution is not always the best.
Offices are one example of customers that can benefit more from alternative solutions because they don’t need something made to withstand hundreds of people per hour.
Rubber office mats are great for wet areas, or environments that see a high level of footfall. As most offices don’t need heavy duty floor mats, they can benefit from the other features that lighter mats have to offer.
To help you decide if heavy duty floor mats are right for you, here are some of the disadvantages of rubber floor mats for offices.
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #1: The smell
Anyone that works around rubber knows what we’re talking about. Rubber smells pretty strong. In warehouses and industrial areas, the smell is barely noticeable among everything else, but in offices
With proper ventilation and cleaning, the smell will fade over time, but offices that see only low to medium traffic don’t need to put up with the smell at all.
The scented solution
Heavy duty floor mats for offices don’t need to be made of rubber. PVC or nitrile are easier to maintain because they don’t need to be treated with anything to remove the smell. They are naturally scent-free and have loads of other benefits too.
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #2: The streaks
Just as you don’t want off-brand mats creating an eyesore in your office, you don’t want anything that will mark your floor. That’s another reason why rubber isn’t always the perfect mat(ch).
Natural rubber tends to leave scuff marks on hard floors, which require regular cleaning to avoid build-up. The marks can be cleaned with a little WD-40, but there are other options that leave no marks at all.
The stain-free solution
Synthetic rubber (nitrile) is a common ingredient in floor mats, and it is a great option for offices because it doesn’t mark the floor. It has almost all the same qualities as rubber, but it is made synthetically.
A non-scuffing, environmentally friendly alternative to natural rubber is polyurethane. Polyurethane is flexible, doesn’t discolour and doesn’t leave marks on floors. Because it is easier to make, polyurethane has a much lower carbon footprint than other materials.
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #3: The slipperiness
Many of our customers are looking for non slip solutions for their entrances and walkways. Rubber is often the first material that comes to mind when you think of a non slip mat, but it is not necessarily the best option.
The slip-free solution
Nitrile and PVC are common materials in non slip mats, and they have the added benefit of a lower profile. Low profile mats sit closer to the floor, making them less of a trip hazard than taller mats.
Add a non slip backing or suction cups to hold the mat in place and your non slip mat for an office is perfected!
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #4: The sore backs
With heavy duty rubber office mats, you have no option to adjust the comfort level. Standing all day on mats that are too soft or too hard is uncomfortable, and the level of support needed will vary between scenarios.
Workers standing behind cash registers need something supportive but flexible, while mats in the entrance should be sturdier with a low profile.
The sore backs solution
Plush surface anti fatigue mats are comfortable and customisable, and often use a plastic or synthetic rubber backing. Additional materials in anti fatigue mats that are perfect for offices are polyurethane, PVC and nitrile (synthetic rubber).
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #5: The sight
Rubber mats are not the most attractive mats in the world. While looks aren’t everything, most offices want to look smart – especially if they are client-facing.
Rubber mats are mostly black, with the only customisation available being a yellow safety border. Letting go of the idea that you need something super-hardwearing opens up your options to something attractive and effective.
The sightly solution
Instead of opting for a black rubber mat, go for a mat you can personalise. Adding your branding to a floor mat is one of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategies out there.
Add your logo to any logo mat and have it working hard to promote your business while keeping the style of your office alive.
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #6: The stains
Many rubber mats are made with holes in. The holes are there to provide drainage for water and other liquids, to avoid them pooling on the floor and causing a slip hazard. The disadvantage of these is that particles of dirt and debris also fall through the holes.
This dirt makes the floor dirty and is particularly disgusting if it mixes with water. There is usually no reason for offices to need holes in their mats, so alternatives to rubber can keep the floors much cleaner.
The spotless solution
Entrance mats for offices should be scraper style, which scrape shoes as they walk through your entrance. These remove and trap dirt, stopping it from spreading across your floor. Entrance mats are rarely rubber surfaced and are the most popular mats for branding.
Many entrance mats have a non slip backing, and some are also anti fatigue. Whatever you need your mat to do in your office, it is unlikely that rubber is the best option for your entrance.
Office Rubber Floor Mats Disadvantage #7: The sustainability
It’s not new knowledge that rubber is bad for the environment. As well as causing deforestation and using resources such as crude oil, rubber poisons the earth as it breaks down.
In large industrial settings, it is sometimes impossible to avoid using rubber, but small to medium businesses usually don’t need something as heavy.
The sustainable solution
Polyurethane isn’t the only eco-conscious option for office floor mats.
For anyone wanting mats that are better for the world, opt for a coir mat. Coir is made from coconut husk, so it is completely biodegradable. Also, coir is very effective as a scraper mat, so is the perfect heavy duty entrance mat for offices that don’t want to use rubber.