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Kitchen mats are installed in front of the kitchen sink for comfort, safety and durability. Placement is also important as most accidents happen within five feet of the sink. Kitchen mats should be made from an anti-fatigue material that will support weak feet and legs with cushioning to ease standing fatigue. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures to match your décor. Here are some expert tips on how to choose the best mat for your home:
1) What is your budget?
The first thing you’ll need to do before shopping around is determine how much you have allocated toward the purchase of a kitchen mat. The price range can vary dramatically depending upon size, material composition, color, design pattern, durability and anti-skid properties. Basic mats will run between $5 and $20, while top-of-the-line mats can cost upwards of $100.
2) Will the kitchen mat be in a high traffic area?
Kitchen mats that are installed near the kitchen sink or stove top need to be more durable than those placed in quiet areas of the room. High traffic areas typically involve more contact and abuse and require thicker and more durable materials than low footfall locations such as hallways. Kitchen mats can range from 1/4 inch thick to 3/8 inch thick depending on the amount of foot held activity expected on them.
3) Are there any allergies, sensitivities or preferences to consider?
Some people prefer to avoid latex or rubber kitchen mats for health reasons, as either substance can irritate allergies and respiratory conditions. If you have a pet in the house, make sure your mat is made from an anti-slip material that will hold fast to the flooring surface without coming loose when confronted with scratching or pawing.
4) How much do you know about kitchen matting materials?
There are three basic materials used for manufacturing house mats: natural rubber (latex), vinyl (PVC), and polyurethane (PU). Vinyl kitchen mats are light weight, easy to clean and transport, but don’t offer any cushioning due to their inherent thinness. Polyurethane offers good cushioning properties at an affordable price point, and is the most popular material for house mats. Rubber kitchen mats are available in a wide range of colors and designs, as well as several different thicknesses. The heavyweight construction also makes them an excellent anti-fatigue matting choice for high traffic areas such as kitchens.
5) How do you plan to clean your kitchen mat?
Kitchen mats come in three basic types: those that can be washed over and over again (waterproof or standard), those that require dry cleaning (shag style), and those that should not be placed beneath the faucet (foam-backed). Waterproof latex and vinyl kitchen mats can be easily cleaned with a mild dishwashing liquid solution, warm water down treatment, or machine washed on a gentle cycle. Standard rubber kitchen mats should be dry cleaned with a cloth dipped in warm water and a mild detergent, while foam backed mats must never be wet due to the glue used to adhere the matting material to the backside of each piece.
6) How long do you expect your kitchen mat to last?
How often you plan on using your house mat will go a long toward determining which type is for you. Basic latex or vinyl mats typically have a life expectancy of 1-3 years, although some can last up to five years under constant heavy use circumstances. Shag style vinyls have an average lifespan of 2-5 years, while thicker rubber styles range from 1-5 years depending upon wear conditions and frequency of use.