To buy or not to buy: What you need to know about rental mats

Commercial businesses strive to be presentable to the customers they serve. And the key to leaving a positive impression could lie in the entryway, often where a customer's first impression will be formed. Here, entrance mats can make a statement or simply serve their intended purpose — to prevent slips and keep the floor clean. Some businesses opt to rent entrance and other mats, a practice that mat vendors frown upon, but why exactly? We spoke to our resident mat expert about the pros and cons of rental mats to determine who should rent and who's better off buying.
rental mats
Entrance mats, like those in this casino entryway, can be purchased or rented. From El Caganer

Which businesses should rent mats and which should buy?

While it won't make sense for most businesses, there are some scenarios in which renting mats is the better choice. If, for instance, a business has no means available to clean a mat, they should rent and let the rental company do the cleaning for them. Additionally, if a business knows that their entrance mats will experience an abnormal amount of wear and tear, renting might be the way to go. Everyone else would be better off buying.

Why should most businesses buy mats?

For most businesses, buying mats is obviously the smarter option — at least when you look at the pros and cons:
  • Businesses can select mats that match their needs and decor. While rental companies offer a pretty limited number of styles, sizes, and colors, businesses who buy mats can find the perfect mat for their specific needs, even adding logos to mats that also effectively pull dirt and moisture from the bottom of customers' shoes.
  • Newly-purchased mats are more effective. Rental mats may be as many as ten years old. This can make them both unattractive and less able to stop dirt and water at entrances.
  • New mats are less expensive. A customer can purchase a mat for $100, while renting that same mat, including weekly service, will run about $150 per year. Rental companies may argue that having employees clean a mat takes up time they could spend doing something else, but cleaning mats is not very time consuming or difficult. If a business has a cleaning service already, this issue becomes moot.

    The perceived inconvenience of mat maintenance.

It should be noted, though, that cleaning mats isn't difficult. All they need is routine vacuuming and periodic deep cleaning with soap and water. Plus, some rental companies don't even keep up with mat maintenance, making the reasonable choice abundantly clear.
As mentioned before, the mats you can buy are more advanced and more effectively carry out the purpose of an entrance mat, especially if you invest in a three-mat system, including a scraper, scraper/wiper, and wiper mat. For more on why a three-mat system is better than generic, all-purpose rental mats, check out this video from mat manufacturers, The Andersen Company.