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Rubber vs. Vinyl Backing

Posted by The Mad Matter, Inc.TM on

When buying a floor mat, it is important to understand and acknowledge the overall purpose and specific features desired, besides just a place to wipe your feet. Every floor mat is designed to solve a particular need. Whether it be “a right now” mat, or a mat that you want to last as long as possible before having to replace it again. Another component to think about is if the mat will be used for wiping, retaining moisture, scraping dirt and other debris from shoes, or both! You also want to consider the type of traffic; low-high, wheel/cart, rainy/snowy, muddy, gravel, etc. With that said, the type of backing you choose will also play a crucial role, along with all the different dynamics listed above.

Vinyl Backed Mats – are designed for low to moderate traffic use. They are the mat of choice when looking for a quick and low-cost mat.

  • Inexpensive
  • Protects floors
  • Light weight
  • Good indoor/outdoor mat (depending on the surface material)
  • Lasts 1-2 years
  • Edges curl/crack over time
  • Not recommended on top of carpet because of the smooth backing, tends to slide.
  • Can have a chemical reaction with floor cleaning products if placed on top wet floors without ventilation.

SBR Rubber Backed Mats- SBR (Styrene-butadiene Rubber), is the standard rubber you find on both tires and the backs of mats. SBR rubber backed mats can be used for low to high traffic areas. More commonly recommended for medium to high traffic, but can be utilized for a wider variety of common applications.

  • Lasts 5+ years (depending on entire mat make up)
  • Dense Rubber helps mat lay flat
  • Heavier so mat does not move/walk as easily
  • Edges will not curl or crack
  • Great indoor/outdoor mat (depending on the surface material)
  • Some rubber backed mats come cleated for placement on top of carpets
  • Repels water
  • More expensive
  • Can have a chemical reaction with floor cleaning products if placed on top wet floors without ventilation.

Nitrile Rubber Backed Mats – Nitrile (acrylonitrile butadiene) rubber is designed for areas that deal with a lot of oil, grease, and common household chemicals. Nitrile rubber backed mats are also great for any type of traffic area, but more commonly recommended for medium to high traffic. It is considered a more “high end” rubber.

  • Longevity of 5+ years
  • Can withstand heavy outdoor/indoor traffic use (depending on the surface material)
  • Can withstand harsh environments with oil, grease, and chemicals.
  • Great walk off mat for oil change, car repair shops, and food lines.
  • Edges will not crack or curl
  • Have cleated backing options for placement on top of carpet
  • Resistant to water
  • Rubber makes mat heavier/denser to prevent mat from moving/walking,
  • Most expensive

These are just some of the standard qualities found in mats made with one of the three commonly found backing options for floor mats. As mentioned before, every mat is designed to solve a particular need, so it is important to really narrow down what exactly you want your floor mat to do. Then, decide if buying a mat with vinyl backing compared to a rubber backing suites your needs (and your budget), and performs to your desired expectations. If you have any further questions regarding this topic please feel free to contact us via email, help@madmatter.biz or give us a call at 800-739-6171. Thanks for your time and we hope you find this information helpful.