When equipping our homes, we have to think about many things. From kitchenware to bedding to all sorts of accents, it’s very easy to overlook something important. However, just as you will put plenty of thought into designing your indoor space, you also have to dedicate some time to making your outdoor space pleasant. From making it more functional to boosting the comfort levels, there are many elements to consider.
While getting carpets for your interior is something that you will probably not forget, outdoor mats might slip your mind. As these have various purposes, you need to make sure you get the right ones for your home. Here is what you should know when choosing outdoor mats.
Decide on the purpose
As outdoor mats serve all sorts of purposes, you need to decide what you need a mat for before you start your search. For example, you want a mat in front of every entrance as that will help properly dry people’s shoes before they enter your home. Quality mats trap and retain all moisture until you wash them. This way, your guests will not be leaving wet marks on your floors and the risk of them slipping and falling is also lowered. What is more, mats also prevent dirt and other debris from being tracked into your home, keeping it much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing. Consider adding two mats in front of your home – a scraper one that will get rid of dirt and an absorbent one that will soak up the moisture from shoes. Additionally, you also want your doormat to leave a great first impression on visitors.
On the other hand, you can also have decorative mats outside. If you’ve added a roof over your patio, why not cozy it up further by adding a soft mat below your feet? That way, you will make your concrete or porcelain tiles a bit less cold.
Lastly, you might also be very busy in your yard. Whether you’re doing carpentry or repotting plants, you should think about getting a mat on which you can stand for a long time. Plus, you want to be able to clean it easily.
Consider all available materials
With the purpose in mind, you can move onto finding the best material for your outdoor mats. This is a very important aspect as the material determines how durable, comfortable and stain-resistant your mat is.
For starters, there are coir mats that are one of the most popular types. These are made of coconut fibre and are a very eco-friendly choice. Coir mats can be PVC-backed and unbacked; the latter models allow water to drain through. As their abrasive nature helps scrape off dirt from shoes, placing them in front of the entrance is a great move. Additionally, they are really easy to customize to fit your aesthetics needs.
Then, you have rubber mats. While these are typically used in commercial settings, they can still have a purpose in residential properties. For example, if your home is connected to the garage, placing them at that entryway is a great way to remove dirt from your shoes before going in. Water should have no issue draining through as these mats usually have holes. Furthermore, you can also use them as comfort mats when standing in one place for a long time.
Synthetic or polypropylene mats typically have a rubber edge that acts as a barrier and stops dirt and moisture from coming off the mat. The abrasive fibres of this type are very effective at scraping dirt from your shoes. These are also quite a popular choice for larger outdoor rugs. A big plus is that polypropylene is easy to clean, doesn’t fade or stain and handles high moisture excellently.
An option you can go with as well if you need a durable, low-maintenance mat is PVC. They are quite easy to clean and can handle plenty of traffic.
While your home probably doesn’t see heavy traffic, you can also consider aluminium mats. These are durable, highly effective at removing dirt particles and very chic.
As there are various other alternatives, when choosing the right outdoor mats, keep in mind that the material is up to your preference but knowing each option’s pros and cons is always recommended.
Check the thickness
Something else you want to learn more about is the thickness of the mats you are looking into. Bear in mind that a long, thick pile is not necessarily better. Piles that are shorter usually have firmer brushes and remove dirt more effectively. Moreover, make sure you’ll still be able to open your door once the mat is in place.
Pick the right size
The size also matters. When putting it in front of the entrance, avoid getting a mat that is too small as then guests will not notice it and wipe their feet on it. On the other hand, you also don’t want it to be too big so that it hangs off your porch or is squashed up against the wall. It needs to lay flat and be big enough so that people realize that they are supposed to use it to clean their shoes. In other places, it’s important to consider what the appropriate size is as well.
Find the best shape
Outdoor mats come in all sorts of shapes, so you can find oval, round, square and rectangle ones. You can even have custom-made ones, in the shape of your pet, home, or anything else. However, home décor experts mostly agree that a rectangular shape is the best. It covers the entire space in front of the door and complements the entrance in the most pleasing way. If you plan to use it somewhere else, like under a dining table or in front of a sofa, you need to take the layout of the space into account.
Choose a design
A big part of your decision will also be the design. While you can keep it simple and monochrome, you can opt for a customized approach too. Whether you want a welcome message, your family name, or something else, it’s up to you. It’s recommended to go with a darker shade as light ones will appear dirty in no time. Moreover, as you can get a few mats, you can bring out some unique ones for special occasions like Christmas, parties, and so on.
Think about special features
Not all mats have the same features so you want to consider what you expect from a mat before you purchase it. For instance, there are mats that are weather-resistant, such as coir, vinyl, rubber, and polypropylene. In addition, you want UV-resistant mats that you can use in bright places. Then, you can also look into mats that have been specially designed for colder climates. Their exteriors are usually sealed and insulated, with the ability to melt up to two inches of snow. Check the label to make sure the mats you get can be used outdoor in various weather conditions.
Another aspect that you might want to check is if the mats you plan on getting are eco-friendly. There are many natural materials that can be used for mats, such as teak, bamboo, and coir. Besides helping preserve the planet, these mats can also keep you warm in winter and cool you down in summer.
Don’t overlook the price
Finally, you don’t want to overlook the price. There is no guarantee that the most expensive outdoor mats are the most durable and best looking. On the other hand, no one can say that a cheap one won’t last you a long time. With that in mind, you want to do some research, read reviews and comments, and only then make your decision. Going for a mid-range option might be best.
When purchasing a mat for your home, price and appearance are not the only things to look at. You also want to take into account the material, thickness, shape, size, purpose and special features.