How to Preserve Your Welcome Mat
As a business owner, you know the importance of first impressions. Whether it’s meeting with a client or customer for the first time, or simply receiving them into your establishment, their first impression of your business will likely play into how they interact with you professionally, and will determine whether they will be repeat customers. As such, you’ve invested in a quality welcome mat that is both attractive and functional. Whether it’s a customized logo mat that bears your company name, logo, and/or slogan, or a simple, decorative mat that effectively traps dirt and creates visual appeal, your welcome mat is one of the first things your patrons see when they enter your establishment, and as such, it’s important it is always in perfect condition. If aesthetics are an afterthought for you, they shouldn’t be.
Research shows that the way a consumer feels about the aesthetic quality of an establishment is directly connected to how they ascribe value to the product or service being sold. Business aesthetics plays a huge part of product identity. When we appeal to a consumer’s senses, we establish brand familiarity with them and cause them to attach sensory items to our products. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what kind of visual stimulation we allow our customers to see. An extremely easy way to elicit a patron’s senses immediately upon their entrance to your business is by ensuring your welcome mat is in proper order. For a welcome mat to be in proper order it should: Be the correct size to efficiently cover the entryway space Not interfere with the opening and closing of your establishment’s doors Have visual appeal that matches the interior decor of your business (your mat should be eye-catching but not overpowering) Be clean and free from dirt piles, stains, standing water, and crushed fibers Not emit a smell of mold, mildew, or otherwise unpleasant odor. If your welcome mat cannot meet these basic functions, it’s time to reconsider your matting system, and you can start right here with us.
Ultimate Mats has been in the commercial matting industry for 15 years. In that time, we’ve worked with the top matting manufacturers to ensure that the welcome mats we offer to our customers are the best available on the market. We specialize in delivering premium welcome mats to the consumer at non-premium prices. In helping you discover which welcome mat is the best fit for your business, we can also help you determine how to properly preserve your welcome mat, so it retains its visual appeal and performs perfectly for years to come, thus preserving the integrity of your business’s interior aesthetics. There are two parts to preserving your welcome mat: finding a high-quality welcome mat that is durable, and a perfect match for your business, as well as caring for that mat to ensure it stays in good repair. The first step is selecting your mat. This step should not be taken lightly, as the amount of care you will eventually need to invest in your mat will depend on the quality of the mat you select in the first place.
Selecting a Quality Welcome Mat
As a business owner, you should make yourself familiar with the National Floor Safety Institute’s (NFSI) standards for interior floor safety and matting requirements. Or, you could simply let a matting expert like one of the trained professionals at Ultimate Mats help you decipher what’s contained in the NFSI’s $50.00 Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting in Reducing Slips, Trips, and Falls. Many of our mats are certified non-slip by the NFSI, which means you won’t have to worry about your guests or employees taking a tumble due to a non-certified mat. Aside from approaching your welcome mat from a safety standpoint and ensuring it fits your space properly and does not hinder the opening and closing of your door, there are some other things to consider:
1. Visual appeal. We’ve already established that a great welcome mat makes a great first impression. As such, you’ll want to invest in a mat that is safe and functional, but also eye-catching. Mats that have a patterned design woven into the fibers create texture and also help to wipe and scrape foot traffic as it passes over the design. Additionally, it’s a great idea to look for mats that feature anti-crush fibers. Anti-crush mats are constructed with fibers that do not break down, crush, or flatten under normal wear. Especially important for customized logo mats, anti-crush mats are essential in making sure your brand name and/or logo isn’t distorted from the flattening out of mat fibers in certain areas.
2. Durable construction. You can buy a welcome mat at any big box store for less than ten dollars. We wonder, however, if that mat is really worth the ten dollars you paid for it, when it will likely need replacing in just a few months, if it even survives that long. The same is true for commercial matting--you can go budget and purchase a low-end mat that might save you a little cash up-front, but the lifetime investment you’ll have to make for additional mats makes it a non-money saving purchase in the long-run. It is entirely possible to purchase a commercial welcome back that is highly durable and doesn’t break your budget. Look for matting that has a rubber backing that has been tested by the NFSI to meet anti-slip standards. You should also ensure that the proper backing is selected for your floor type, understanding that there is a different type of backing better suited for carpeted floors. The upper portion of your mat should be made from some type of polypropylene or durable nylon. These fabrics are great for removing dirt and debris and also known for keeping their shape and pattern.
3. Available customization. Whether you plan to purchase a customized welcome mat or not, we think you should give it some consideration. Marketing is a crucial part of your business, and most business owners clamor for the chance to market their products and services anywhere and everywhere they can. Using something you already have to have as a means of marketing your business is effectively killing two birds with one stone. Customizing your welcome mats is a great idea, as you are using a portion of your interior space to advertise your business. A custom logo mat also shows you care about your business and brand.
How to Preserve Your Welcome Mat
Once you’ve selected the perfect welcome mat for your business, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of how to preserve it. If you’ve purchased a premium welcome mat, you’ll likely find you rarely need to clean it, as premium mats are experts at now showing dirt and grime. However, welcome mats do need some maintenance and care. Here are three ways to clean, protect, and preserve your welcome mat.
1. Check it regularly. You should check your welcome mat at least once a week to make sure it is free from damage and safe for use. When checking your mat, look for rips, tears, holes, and moisture damage (such as mold or mildew). Higher quality mats will see very little of any of these issues, but it is possible that a mat, even a higher-end mat, can be damaged due to misuse or an accident. If the mat has been damaged, contact the manufacturer to see if it can be repaired. If not, it is best to replace it. A damaged mat can present a potential hazard that you do not want in your store.
2. Spot treatment for stains. Nothing says “gross” like a welcome mat with a huge, questionable stain on it. Obviously, your welcome mat serves the purpose of trapping dirt, moisture, and debris before it enters your store, but if something has stained it, be sure to treat and remove the stain as quickly as possible. You can treat the stain with mild dish soap and a soft-bristle brush or microfiber rag. If that does not remove the stain, contact the manufacturer to see if another cleaning solution can be applied for stain removal.
3. Occasional deep cleaning. As mentioned, you will likely not need to thoroughly clean your premium welcome mat unless it has become heavily soiled. When it is time to clean it, start by taking it outside and shaking it out. If your mat is too large to shake, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the loose dirt. Most mats will not need deeper cleaning, but if you find your mat particularly dirty, you can use a solution of mild soap and water on it to clean heavily soiled spots. Alternatively, if you have a larger mat, you can simply take it outside and spray it down with a hose. It’s important to let it dry completely before replacing it inside your business, as any remaining moisture on the underside of the welcome mat can create a barrier that prevents your mat from gripping to the floor correctly. Purchasing and maintaining a welcome met is an integral part of the aesthetic appeal of your business.
Beyond the safety issues a welcome mat addresses, it also helps establish interior décor and can even be used as a marketing tool if you so desire. Quality welcome mats are virtually self-preserving and require very little maintenance and cleaning, so make sure to start with a high-quality mat to get the most bang for your buck!