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Matting to enhance thoughtfully designed entrances

by Madelein
Matting to enhance thoughtfully designed entrances

A thoughtfully designed entrance creates a lasting impression on a visitor. Correctly specified entrance matting not only enhances this experience, it provides three critical additional benefits: keeping floors safer by reducing the risk of slipping; supporting hygiene by controlling contaminants being tracked into the building; and helping to protect and preserve the lifespan of interior floor coverings.

Common problems with entrance matting
A common problem is that the walk-off length of matting is insufficient to fully clean passing footwear. If the walk-off area is too short, it means that the matting is only likely to trap around 30-40% of dirt, whereas a correctly specified system can virtually prevent all dirt from being walked-in. Inevitably, this has a huge impact on reducing cleaning costs and hygiene control.

The higher the pedestrian footfall, the longer the walk off length should be. COBA Africa recommends a minimum of six footsteps in length, which translates to approximately three to four metres for buildings with less than 80 people an hour, with some nine to twelve metres being the recommendation for high footfall areas. The latter is categorised as being in the region of 2000 people per day, for example a busy shopping mall or a public building such as an airport.

Creating functional entrance zones
To thoroughly clean footwear, an effective entrance matting system needs to scrape, remove and contain dirt and wipe away moisture, thus drying the soles of shoes before the individual has walked off the mat. The creation of zones, incorporating the use of a series of different mats in a specific sequence according to their functionality, can be an effective solution.

Different matting materials have different properties and wear characteristics. Resistance to fading, UV and fire retardancy may be other factors to bear in mind. The environmental credentials of buildings are coming under increasing scrutiny, so COBA Africa has introduced options manufactured from 95%-100% recycled materials.

For example, Zone One should form the outdoor area, where a “weather-proof” scraper mat is ideally used. A “covered” external area which is sheltered from the elements will be Zone Two. Zone Three – for internal areas – should generally be carpet surface mats as these will wipe any remaining grit and moisture from footwear.

Allowing for disabled access
The design of any entrance area should allow for disabled access, so matting should either be installed in a recessed mat well and be level with the floor surface, or if surface mounted, have bevelled edging so as not to impede wheelchairs or any other form of wheeled equipment that needs to enter.

COBA Africa’s Entrance Architect mobile app offers this expert advice right at your fingertips, featuring three easy steps, with simple questions to walk you in the right direction. Entrance Architect can be downloaded from both iTunes and the Google Play store.

For more information, contact COBA Africa on Tel: +27 (11) 452 7961or via www.cobaafrica.com.

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