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Anti-Fatigue & Runner Mats Buying Guide

Anti-fatigue mats and runner mats may all look the same, but small differences can make a big change in performance and feel. Here are some points to consider that will help you figure out what's most important:

Uses

Anti-fatigue Mats are used in areas where people stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time. These cushy mats help contract and expand a person's muscles to increase blood flow and reduce tiredness.

Runner Mats absorb shock to your body caused by walking back and forth across entries, aisles or hallways. They also reduce slipping and make it easy to roll AV carts, dollies or trucks across rough flooring. Plus, you can use them to protect your floors. Place them in front of bleachers or under team benches to shield gym floors from scratches and scuffs.

Coefficient of Friction

Coefficient of friction measures how much traction a mat provides. It tells you how much force a person must exert before the mat slips. So, the higher the COF, the less likely the mat is to slip and the better the traction. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommends a measure of .5 in dry areas and .25 in wet, and ADA recommends .6 on flat surfaces and .8 on ramps. This measurement is almost always clearly listed in product descriptions.

Thickness

Anti-fatigue and runner mats are seemingly thin – usually from 1/4 inch to 15/16 inch. That may not sound like much, but even a fraction of an inch can make a difference. The thicker the mat, the more comfortable for the user.

Face Style

Perforated mats allow chemicals or liquid to run off.

Beveled edges make it easy to wheel carts off and on and reduce tripping.

Textured – A textured face prevents slipping and won't trap in dirt.

Smooth – A smooth face is usually intended for dry work areas and provides a more attractive, finished look.

Material

Base

PVC Sponge (also called "blown vinyl sponge") is a PVC compound that's expanded into a sponge with a blowing agent. PVC sponge mats offer a reasonable amount of comfort and durability at a lower price.

Sponge – A sponge base is the most comfortable underfoot.

Natural Rubber is the most flexible mat base.

Rubber Compound - This provides better resistance to chemicals than natural rubber and holds up well to most greases and oils.

Urethane Sponge mats are your most durable choice. They resist chemicals better than rubber or vinyl but are more expensive.

Surface - Most anti-fatigue and runner mats have either a rubber, vinyl or fabric surface. Rubber provides more traction and vinyl is more resistant to chemicals, while fabric surfaces are soft and attractive.

Life expectancy

Sometimes outside factors can affect the life expectancy (and warranty) of your mats, and every situation is different. Foot traffic, exposure to oils, chemicals or fluids, and excessive temperatures can reduce the life of your mat. However, in general, urethane mats last at least five years, sponge mats from three to five, rubber or vinyl from one to three, and PVC sponge from six to 12 months.

To begin your order online, check out our selection of anti-fatigue mats. Still have questions or want to place a phone order? Feel free to call 1-800-260-2776. Our friendly sales team is happy to help.

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