Why matting? Soil and moisture removal

Documented evidence shows that 80% of the dirt entering a building is taken in on the soles of shoes and on the tyres of wheeled traffic. Because this involves people passing from outside to inside a building bringing a mixture of dirt, grit and moisture, unprotected entrances can be slippery and hazardous underfoot.

Dirt can also quickly work its way into interior floorcoverings with as much as 1kg building up in an area of less than a square metre of carpet within 14 days, even in good weather conditions. Considering the high cost of dirt removal, this is an unnecessary burden on cleaning requirements and maintenance budgets. Moreover, the ingression of dirt into textile and resilient floorcoverings can erode the floor finish, damage the surface and significantly reduce the life expectancy of a floorcovering.

It is therefore essential to use an effective entrance flooring system for the protection of internal floors, to reduce the requirement of floor cleaning and minimize the risk of slipping.

Plastex high performance entrance flooring systems range will prevent dirt from entering buildings, keep shoes clean and effectively reduce cleaning and maintenance costs.

Plastex entrance matting range

Plastex Frontrunner entrance matting system responds to several objectives:

To achieve all this, a primary exterior and a secondary interior matting are needed, perhaps even a tertiary one. In extreme cases, you will need to vary the materials by starting with a brush system underfoot for aggressive cleaning and gravitate through an open grid onto a carpet-like surface.

Primary matting and soil removal


The first mat stepped on will scrape and remove most dirt; it must be stepped on at least once with each foot – at least a 2m run.

Secondary matting and moisture removal


The secondary matting largely removes moisture and dries the shoes. In theory, this means a longer run of matting – 5-6m in the direction of traffic is optimum.

Standards and regulations

The Frontrunner Entrance Flooring System has been designed to comply to the standards of BS 7953: 1999 - Entrance Flooring Systems – selection, installation and maintenance. Part 4 states:

The majority of soil entering a building originates from the soles of people entering a building. Other sources are the wheels of vehicles, for example wheelchairs and wind-borne soil. The amount of soil brought into a building varies according to the weather and external conditions, such as building work.

The function of the entrance flooring system is to:
- Reduce the incidence of slipping accidents by reducing the amount of soil and moisture tracked onto hard and resilient floors;
- Prolong the life of interior floors by reducing the ingress of soil into the interior floors/floorcoverings;
- Reduce cleaning requirements of internal floors by reducing the ingress of soil into the interior floors/floorcoverings.

To fulfil these functions an entrance flooring system should have the following qualities:
- Removal and retention of soil;
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance;
- Retention of physical characteristics.

Part 5 of this standard continues:

- The entrance flooring system should scrape, wipe and retain, whilst making contact with both feet of people entering the building and, in the case of wheeled traffic, with the circumference of the wheels.

The Disability Act 1995 (c.50)

The above act also has a major impact on how entrance matting is to be specified. This is set out in:

BS8300: 2001 Building design and approach to meet the needs of disabled people – code of practice. Clause 9.1.3 states:
- Floor surfaces should be slip resistant to give a firm foothold and good wheel grip under all wet and dry conditions.


matting for soil and moisture removal
recommended products

Primary matting for aggressive cleaning:

Frontrunner Brush, Frontrunner Brush Wide

Primary matting:

Frontrunner Entry, Frontrunner XT

Secondary matting for maximum moisture removal:

Frontrunner Plus

Secondary matting for surface mounted applications:

Frontrunner SB, Frontrunner SB+

Plastex's involvement

Plastex is at the forefront of the matting industry and is committed to the manufacture of quality entrance flooring systems of an exceptionally high standard. A founder member of the (UK’s) Entrance Flooring Systems Association (EFSA), Plastex is also actively involved in research to establish methods that accurately measure the amounts of soil removal and liquid absorption achieved by an entrance flooring system