There are times when aesthetics can get in the way of function. Providing flooring for hall, stairs and landings, we can get asked to include a doormat that perfectly matches a hall carpet, paintwork or wallpaper. One that has a colour, texture and size that almost makes it disappear. But doormats have a very important function and it shouldn’t be compromised by its looks.
You’ll know from bitter experience, that the vast majority of the moisture, dirt and other contaminants that enter your home do so on the soles of people’s shoes. And the UK’s often-rainy climate only makes the problem worse. So yes, the primary purpose of a doormat then is to remove the moisture, the dirt and other contaminants from shoes, as efficiently as is possible.
At the same time though, as well as helping to reduce the amount of sweeping, mopping and vacuuming that’s needed in the home, a doormat will also help to improve the air quality within it – there’s less dust, moisture, bacteria and pollen for example. And if you’ve got any hard flooring, then it’ll reduce the risk of slipping as well. So the humble doormat is in fact a multi-functional investment.
Size is important
Rather than being somehow blended into the background then, your doormat ought to be shouting, ‘I’m a doormat!’. And to be effective, we always recommend that it be a couple of steps deep or as deep as the front door is wide to enable a good shuffle of the feet. It needs to provide a natural pause and a visual cue to ‘wipe your feet!’.
If you’re lucky enough to have a vestibule or a porch outside your hallway, then it’s a great place for a doormat. If not, then inside the hallway, we’d recommend insetting a doormat by creating a ‘mat well’ such that it’s the very first thing people stand on when they enter your home.
Putting a doormat on top of hallway flooring is another option, although we tend not to recommend this ‘loose lay’ approach due to its tendency to move, obstruct the door and create a trip hazard.
The classic coir doormat remains a great choice, which still complements most interior decors. It’s a hardwearing natural material, it scrapes shoes well and is absorbent. We’d recommend though avoiding coloured coir as they’re rarely colour-fast, and guess what happens when they get wet…
Natural coconut fibre doormats are a further similar option, although our experience is that they can have a tendency to be over-absorbent and to feel almost waterlogged in the most inclement of our UK weathers.
There’s also a wide variety of rubber-backed nylon or polypropylene barrier matting to choose from. In a wide range of colours, these offer either ribbed, hob-nailed or chevroned bristly textures which are purpose designed to scrape the soles of shoes and remove moisture.
Rest assured that when we fit the flooring in your hall, stairs and landing we’ll give it the protection it deserves, with a doormat that does the job it was designed to do, and looks good as well.