Anti-slip mats are the perfect way to safeguard any surface whether they are located in commercial or residential settings. The addition of an anti-slip floor can provide added benefits with the natural qualities of rubber and its variations. Some non-slip mats are made with a specific function in mind while others are more generic and can be placed anywhere you need an anti-slip floor. Rubber non slip flooring is extremely durable and impervious to varying weather conditions allowing them to be used both indoors and outdoors. They are available in different forms ranging from interlocking non slip tiles for easy-to-customize sizing to rubber non slip runners for customizable longer lengths.
1. What Are Anti-Slip Mats Made Of?
The secret behind the “anti-slip” quality of anti-slip mats lies within the material of the mats themselves. Non slip mats are made of rubber and other rubber variations which gives it outstanding traction producing qualities. Naturally, rubber possesses a high coefficient of friction giving it excellent traction abilities which prevails even when exposed to moisture; this is true with any form or variation of rubber – natural or synthetic. Additionally, different variations of synthetic rubbers can actually add extra qualities natural rubber does not possess. Most synthetic forms of rubber offer added chemical and grease/oil resistance that is not a characteristic of natural rubber variations.
1(a). Reclaimed and Recycled Rubber
Reclaimed and recycled rubber are made out of unused or discarded vehicle tires making them both eco-friendly and durable variations of rubber. Since rubber is not a biodegradable material, creating reclaimed and recycled rubber products from discarded vehicle tires will free up space in the landfills for more biodegradable waste making them both eco-friendly. Vehicle tires are also extremely tough and durable allowing anti-slip mats to be used both indoors and outdoors in commercial and residential settings where levels of foot traffic may vary. Rubber is also impervious to the damaging effects of nature including harsh UV rays of the sun, ozone and moisture. Recycled rubber is made up of crumb rubber that is then mixed in with a binder to form a larger sheet of rubber that is slightly porous. Reclaimed rubber, on the other hand, is created through a more complex process called “vulcanization.” Vulcanization is the process of heating scrap rubber together with sulfur to meld them together to form a larger sheet of rubber that has a more solid finish than recycled rubber. Despite their different production processes, both recycled and reclaimed rubber are ideal materials for anti-slip mats due to their versatility and durability.
1(b). Synthetic Rubbers
Synthetic rubbers used in making anti-slip mats include thermoplastic rubber, SBR, EPDM, and Nitrile. These synthetic rubbers are generally used in areas that may experience heavier foot traffic or in industrial settings since they are able to withstand harsher environments and heavier objects. Research shows that, “in general, synthetic rubber offers better resistance to abrasions than natural rubber, as well as superior resistance to heat and the effects of aging…Synthetics may also be more useful in certain applications because of their resistance to extreme temperatures and corrosive environments'' (sciencing.com). Most often, synthetic rubbers are generally used in adding extra beneficial qualities to the already existing natural qualities of rubber including added strength, abrasion resistance, grease/oil resistance and resistance to mild chemicals. Rubber non slip matting made of synthetic rubbers are likely to excel in garages and cellars, industrial workplaces (where heavy objects are being moved around) and in areas where chemicals are present and may spill onto the floor. Sometimes, synthetic rubbers are mixed with natural rubber compounds to help strengthen them and provide the added benefits of synthetics.
2. What Types of Anti-Slip Mats Are Available?
Whether you are looking for a simple entrance mat or larger rolls of flooring, there are a variety of non-slip mats available for you to choose from. Some anti-slip mats, such as rubber runners, are used for larger areas while others, such as non-slip rubber stair treads, entrance mats and drainage mats, are made with a specific purpose and application in mind. Despite their respective purposes, anti-slip mats can be used in both commercial and residential areas since the rubber material allows these mats to withstand heavy foot traffic and harsh conditions. Others come with added surface textures/patterns or drainage holes to better assist with traction and anti-slip qualities.
2(a). Stair Treads
Staircases are one of the most common places fall accidents occur whether it be from slipping or tripping on the steps. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “An estimated 24,760,843 patients were treated in emergency departments for a stair-related injury during the 23-year study period, averaging 1,076,558 patients annually, or 37.8 injuries per 10,000 United States residents” (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Without the use of rubber non slip stair treads, the possibility of these accidents becoming a reality is substantially increased. The majority of falls on staircases are caused by uneven or broken steps or from slipping on excess moisture pooled on the surface of the step. Non slip rubber stair treads offers a solution to both these problems with one product by providing a barrier between your feet and an uneven or broken step or by using with the natural non slip qualities of rubber. Each non slip rubber stair tread is meant to be installed on each individual step. Some stair treads are available with nosing to provide extra slip resistance along the edge of the step; however, while some stair treads do not offer this feature, they still provide the same functionality.
2(b). Entrance Mats
Anti-slip mats for entrances and exits are a little more versatile than stair treads. Non slip rubber mats create safer entrance and exit areas for both residential and commercial areas. Entrance mats can be used in both commercial and residential settings since larger mats are available for larger commercial entrances. These anti-slip mats can be used both indoors and outdoors; however, rubber anti-slip mats are generally placed outdoors where they will help prevent slips and falls as people walk through the door. Because of this, they are generally used in tandem with a carpeted non slip mats on the interior entrance floor to absorb any excess moisture that may have trailed in on your shoes.
2(c). Drainage Mats
These anti-slip mats were designed specifically for wet areas. Since these mats are already made out of rubber, they will exhibit rubber’s high coefficient of friction; however, the added drainage holes will help further prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring. Anti-slip drainage mats are generally used in kitchens and restaurants to help keep employees safe but, they can also be used in other areas where moisture in abundant including swimming pools, laundry rooms and cellars or basements. The presence of these drainage holes cuts down the rick of any liquid related slip and fall accidents and the rubber material of these mats is durable enough to be used in commercial areas, including food service and marine applications. These anti-slip mats also feature various surface patterns that are strategically placed around the numerous drainage holes to provide added non slip qualities.
2(d). Customizable Anti-Slip Mats (Runners)
For those looking for customizable anti-slip mats, there are two types available for you to choose from: interlocking non slip tiles and custom cut rubber runners. Non slip tiles allow you to easily customize the size of your mat simply by adding or removing some tiles. Alongside this easily customizable feature, interlocking tiles are just as easy to install. To install non slip tiles, simply piece them together by their puzzle-like edges and you’re done! Rubber runners on the other hand are generally used for larger, wall-to-wall spaces with specific measurements. These anti-slip mats are available in custom lengths up to 50 consecutive feet and are easy to install. To install custom cut rubber runners, you may use double-sided tape or glue. Double-sided tape is generally the best method of installation since it gives you the option of easy removal in case of any damage. Glue is used for more permanent installations and for outdoor areas that may come into contact with precipitation.
An anti-slip floor is the ideal choice for those wanting to safeguard their floors against slip and fall accidents. Rubber and its variations allow non slip mats to be used both indoors and outdoors and in commercial and residential settings by adding extra qualities, such as added strength, grease/oil resistance and chemical resistance, to the natural non slip qualities of rubber. Varying sizes of non-slip mats and customizable interlocking non slip tiles offer a customizable approach to protecting your floors. The durability and versatility of non-slip rubber flooring makes them the perfect flooring option to safeguard any surface.