Did you know that the humble doormat (aka welcome mat, floor mat or mud rug) can be the first line of defense for protecting the beautiful new floors you’ve purchased for your Oregon home?
You’ve probably noticed them in public facilities such as stores, hotels, schools, libraries… Why? because they work. Whether wood, tile, cork, laminate, luxury vinyl tile (aka LVT), Coretec or even carpet, a doormat plays a vital role in keeping your floors looking good.
How Do Doormats Protect Your New Floors?
The biggest culprits to protect your new floors from include dirt, grit, mud, dust, water and related stuff that can scratch, stain, warp and otherwise hurt your floors. Since that stuff comes into your home primarily on feet, shoes or paws, you’re looking to capture it, contain it, absorb it and generally prevent it from wreaking havoc throughout the rest of your home as soon as possible.
That’s when and where doormats come in. They are the ideal protection when you use them at the entrances to your home. They capture grit and dirt and absorb wetness off your shoes.
How Should You Use Welcome Mats?
Welcome mats work best when they work in tandem: one outside an entrance and the other inside. The one outside captures larger debris while the one inside fine tunes the cleanup work.
Add doormats to every entrance to your home, including sliding door entrances, side doors and also garage entrances. (Tires are major grit culprits, so don’t forget garage door welcome mats to keep the grit out of your home.) If you have a messy or dusty basement or workshop, consider adding doormats there, too.
Consider adding a boot scraper next to your outside welcome mat, if you enjoy long walks in muddy areas.
What Should You Look For in a Doormat?
Depending on whether your welcome mat is outdoors or indoors, you’ll look for different characteristics.
The outside welcome mat captures grit
For an outdoor mat, you’ll want one that can handle the elements. The main function of this mat is to get as much grit off of your shoes as possible. Abrasive textures work well.
The indoors mat also absorbs moisture
Once indoors, you’ll want a mat that not only captures remaining dust and grit, but also absorbs moisture. Make sure it has a non-slip backing, too. Beware of rubber, foam back or plastic pads as they may discolor the floor. Avoid excessive exposure to water from tracking during periods of inclement weather.
From a practical perspective, you’ll want to select colors and patterns that don’t show dirt. Good doormats collect a lot of stuff.
Consider the size of your doormat
In an ideal situation, your doormat is long enough so that a person can step both feet on it at least once. You’ll notice that many mats in public spaces and lobbies are much bigger than the average home doormat; they often compensate for no outside doormat.
A solution – particularly for wet and muddy days – is to switch your inside mat around so it offers more length to walk across from the door.
As we mentioned above, good doormats capture a lot of dirt and grit. So, the cleaner your doormat, the more effective it can be at capturing more stuff and preventing it all from traveling into the rest of your home.
Clean your mats regularly and as often as possible. Most of the time, it’s simply a matter of shaking the mats out outside and/or vacuuming them. For some mats, you may be able to machine-wash them periodically.
The Next Line of Defense: Regular Cleaning
Doormats will go a long way toward protecting your new floors. You do, though, need to take seriously the next line of defense: regular cleaning of your floors.
For your hardwood floors, linoleum floors, laminate floors, and cork floors regularly sweep and vacuum (no beater bar).
For carpeted floors, also vacuum. Dirt and grit embedded in the pile will affect your carpet’s color and cause matting, so vacuum heavy-traffic areas every day and lower-traffic areas once a week. For best results, use a high suction vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or rotating brush according to directions. Adjust the attachment to the proper height for your carpet. For loop pile carpet, avoid attachments with teeth or ridges.
Cork floors are easy to maintain. Regularly vacuum with the beater-bar off and/or damp mop to keep dirt and grit from abrading the surface of your cork floors.
What Else Can You do to Protect Your New Floors?
In addition to making sure your welcome mats are clean and that you regularly sweep/vacuum your new floors, you can also consider the following to protect your new floors.
Earlier, we mentioned ‘paws.’ If you have dogs with muddy paws, you might find a clean rag handy for wiping those paws off with. Keep the rag close by the front entrance for easy access.
Claws can scratch floors. If you have a dog, we recommend that you keep its nails trimmed.
Sharp, spikey shoes can also scratch floors. We recommend keeping those type shoes off your floors. You might even make all outdoor shoes off-limits inside your home.
And, you can’t go wrong adding felt protectors or coasters under your furniture.
Are You Ready to Explore New Flooring Options for Your Oregon Home?
Whether you’re looking for carpet, wood, Coretec, laminate, Marmoleum, tile or any other flooring surface, don’t let grit and dirt detract you from purchasing the perfect floor for your home. With welcome mats, you can easily protect your new floors.
You’ll find a multitude of beautiful options at Classique. When you visit our Portland, Oregon showroom, one of our Classique Floors + Tile project consultants will be happy to guide you through everything from initial estimate to product selection to final installation.
You’ll be delighted, we promise!
Thanks for reading,