Diamond plate matting not only offers an industrial aesthetic to wherever it is installed, but it also provides enhanced slip-resistant properties. Whether you are looking for garage or factory flooring, diamond plate mats are available in two different materials, rubber and vinyl, to best suit the environment they are installed in. Diamond floor mats are ideal for places you need extra slip-resistance security and enhanced grip. Diamond plate rubber flooring in particular will have enhanced traction and slip-resistant qualities due to rubber’s high coefficient of frictions along with the added surface pattern. Overall, both vinyl and rubber diamond plate mats are the most recommended flooring option for making floors non-slip.
History of the Diamond Plate Pattern
A diamond plate floor is a common sight in most industrial workspaces. Diamond plate, also known as checker plate or tread plate, was invented by an Englishman by the name of Colin Meeks in the early twentieth century and was initially made to be manufactured on metals (wikipedia.org). It was originally intended to protect stairs and walkways that often experience heavy foot traffic but, eventually, people began realizing that the raised surface of the diamond plate pattern can increase traction and anti-slip qualities and began manufacturing diamond plate products for such purposes and on various different materials. Diamond plate rubber flooring in particular possesses a high level of slip resistance just from the material itself; however, it is enhanced by the raised surface patterns. This led to the manufacturing of diamond plate mats in various non-slip materials including rubber and vinyl.
Benefits of Diamond Plate Matting
As mentioned previously, the diamond plate surface pattern is generally used for anti-slip and traction enhancing purposes. The raised surface of the pattern provides extra grips for your shoes to latch onto and an industrial aesthetic that is perfect for an industrial workplace. Rubber diamond plate flooring benefits the most with the addition of a diamond plate pattern. Rubber naturally has a high coefficient of friction which gives it outstanding traction abilities even when it is wet making diamond plate rubber flooring the ultimate non-slip flooring option. With the addition of a diamond plate pattern, these abilities are enhanced, in both vinyl and rubber materials, and will allow these floor mats to be used on almost all surfaces.
1. Types of Diamond Plate Matting
Diamond plate matting is available in two different materials: rubber and vinyl. Depending on the purpose it is intended to fulfill and where it will be installed should determine which material of matting is best fit for your needs. Diamond plate rubber flooring offers the most slip-resistant properties due to the fact that it can retain its traction even when coming into contact with moisture. However, vinyl floor mats will also offer non-slip qualities, it just will not be as slip-resistant as rubber is when wet. Matting made of either material offers an industrial aesthetics and slip-resistant qualities to whatever setting these mats are installed. These matting options are ideal for areas that need extra traction.
1(a). Diamond Plate Rubber Flooring
Diamond plate rubber flooring is generally used in areas with heavy foot traffic and can be used as anti-slip flooring for areas exposed to some moisture. Rubber, in general, naturally has a high coefficient of friction which allows it to retain its traction abilities even when wet. Most often, diamond plate rubber flooring is made of natural, thermoplastic or reclaimed rubber which offers slip-resistant qualities as well as added durability and weather resistance. Mats made of reclaimed rubber are made up of old or unused vehicle ties which is then melded together, through a process called vulcanization, to produce larger pieces of rubber. If you look at vehicle tires, you can understand that they experience heavy wear and tear and unforgiving weather conditions. This durability seen on vehicles is mirrored in the performance of reclaimed rubber products making products made from these materials versatile enough to be used interchangeably both indoors and outdoors. Diamond plate rubber flooring made of thermoplastic rubber are generally stronger than those made of reclaimed or natural rubber and are able to withstand harsher environments. Thermoplastic elastomers “are a class of copolymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) that consist of materials with thermoplastic and elastomeric properties” (wikipedia.org). These added properties give thermoplastic rubber the characteristics of both rubber and plastic allowing it to be used for more industrial and floor protective purposes, if needed. However, despite this, diamond plate rubber flooring made of thermoplastic, reclaimed or natural rubber are not chemical resistant.
1(b). Diamond Plate Vinyl Flooring
PVC floor mats are slightly thinner than diamond plate rubber flooring; however, PVC can prove to be just as protective and can provide added benefits rubber cannot. PVC, or vinyl, “is strong and resistant to moisture and abrasion…Vinyl does not corrode like some building materials, does not require frequent painting and can be cleaned with mild cleaning products” (chemicalsafetyfacts.org). This makes vinyl the ideal material for garage and basement flooring where they can come into contact with common household chemicals and chemical fumes from vehicles that can potentially have negative and degrading effects on rubber flooring. They are also available with a metallic finish providing light reflection properties that can be useful in garages. Vinyl is extremely durable and abrasion resistant and the added diamond plate pattern offers extra non-slip properties; however, vinyl diamond floor mats will not retain its traction abilities as well as diamond plate rubber flooring when coming into contact with moisture.
Different Forms of Diamond Plate Matting
Diamond plate rubber flooring is available in two forms: interlocking tiles and custom cut rolls. Contrary to its rubber counterpart, diamond plate vinyl flooring is only available in custom cut rolls; however, this does not make installing and customizing vinyl matting any less convenient than rubber matting. Both interlocking tiles and custom cut rolls make your floors easily customizable and easier to install onto larger spaces. The interlocking mechanism of diamond plate rubber flooring tiles make customizing the size of the mat simple and easy; remove some tiles for smaller areas and add some tiles for larger areas. Custom cut rolls, on the other hand, is a little more complex than interlocking tiles in the sense that they are mainly used for areas with specific measurements. These rolls are available to be cut to whatever length requested up to 50 consecutive feet making for a pain-free customization process.
How to Install Diamond Plate Matting
The installation of diamond plate flooring varies depending on location, form of diamond plate matting and how permanent you would like the application to be. Interlocking tiles do not require any extra tools or adhesives to install. Instead, simply connect the tiles together like a puzzle by their interconnecting grooves and knobs. Some interlocking tiles come with plastic connecter pins which connect the tiles together and keep them in place. Because of these simple installation methods, diamond plate rubber flooring made of interlocking tiles are meant to be a more mobile flooring option which in turn gives it better and longer life. For a more permanent fixture, it is recommended to use double-side tape or glue to install your flooring whether it be a rubber or vinyl material. Double-sided tape is used for a more temporary installation. Unlike glue, which is a more permanent installation method, double-sided tape will allow for easy removal. Because of its difficulty to remove, glue is recommended to be used only in cases of heavy foot traffic or extreme wear and tear. Diamond plate rubber mats often feature a textured backside to help keep them in place without the use of any adhesives; however, vinyl matting must use some sort of adhesive in its installation process because vinyl is slicker than rubber and does not have a textured underside.
How to Maintain Diamond Plate Matting
Diamond plate matting is easy to maintain whether it is made of rubber or vinyl. Dry messes are the easiest of messes to clean off your rubber or vinyl matting. Simply take a dry broom or mop and sweep off any loose debris. For sticky or stuck on messes, since both rubber and vinyl are weather resistant and impervious to moisture, you may take a hose to rinse off excess dirt or debris on the surface of your diamond floor mats. You do need to be a little more cautious about moisture on vinyl since it does not retain its traction as well as rubber does when it is wet; however, vinyl has chemical resistant properties rubber does not have which allows common household cleaners to be used on vinyl diamond floor mats.
Diamond floor mats are among one of the most recommended flooring options in safe guarding your floors against slip and fall accidents. Available in two materials, rubber and vinyl, there is no area that is unsuited for a floor mat. Diamond plate rubber flooring generally provides better slip-resistant properties than vinyl; however, floor mats made of vinyl, unlike rubber, are resistant to chemicals that can otherwise damage rubber. Diamond plate mats are also available in various forms for easy installation and customization. Overall, a diamond plate mat offers excellent slip-resistant qualities and, depending on its material makeup of either rubber or vinyl, can be used in places most other matting options cannot withstand.