Why You Need A Doormat
When you look at the bottom of your shoes before entering your house, they may not appear to be all that dirty. If you've been walking on cement sidewalks and asphalt, then there shouldn't be many visual particles on your shoes. Looks, however, can be deceiving. In fact, a recent study found the age-old "five second rule" (the one that suggests it's okay to eat food that's fallen on the floor so long as you pick it up within five seconds and your floor looks clean) is false. An item that hits a floor for even a fraction of a second is usually contaminated with something, so whether it looks like it or not, if you eat something that has been on the floor, no matter how briefly, you are ingesting some unwanted germs and bacteria. In the same right, even if your shoes look clean because you have been walking on concrete or pavement, there is undoubtedly some bacteria on them that you would probably rather not have in your home.
Research done at the University of Arizona found that, if a person wearing shoes carrying a bacteria walked onto clean floors, that bacteria would contaminate said floors at least 90 percent of the time. So even if you only walk through your home with dirty shoes ten times a month, nine of those times, you will effectively transfer some bacteria to your floors. Placing a doormat at your entryway and requiring people to thoroughly wipe their shoes off before coming in could limit some of the bacteria that enters your home.
The germs you bring in on your feet don't only stay on the floor. They usually contain tiny particles capable of traveling upwards, contaminating the air you breathe. Depending on the material of your doormat, it could trap those particles and prevent them from rising and contaminating the air quality in your home. After considering these factors, one can see how having a doormat isn't just a style choice, but also a health-related one.
Which Doormat Is Right For Your Property And Needs
Doormats come in all shapes, materials, and sizes, and not every one is right for your needs. You need to ask yourself where you'll be placing this doormat. That doesn't only refer to the location around your home but also whether or not the mat will sit inside or outside. One mat that is quite popular to keep at the entrance of a home is the scraper mat. This style is made from a rough, straw-like material and is almost like a giant brush for your feet. Its bristles can reach into the crevices of the bottoms of one's shoes and scrape out stubborn dirt. If the first impression visitors get of your home is important to you, then you should add a scraper mat. Since this style sucks bacteria down to its base and traps it there, it looks clean for a very long time. It's also a good choice for anyone in the process of trying to sell their home, since small exterior details affect curb appeal.
If you're serious about keeping your floors clean, you could put a scraper mat outside of your door and an interior mat immediately on the other side. Interior mats are usually flatter than scraper models, and they often resemble small area rugs. They can catch any last dirt the scraper mat might have missed. Interior mats should be made from a highly absorbent material so that they can remove moisture from the bottoms of shoes, but they should also be able to dry quickly, so they don't remain damp on rainy days. If you own a business where clients and employees walk on your floors regularly, positioning interior doormats at all of your entryways could prevent a lawsuit. After all, a tremendous amount of workplace injuries are due to slipping and falling, and many of these are the result of wet floors.
Some mats are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. For example, some scraper mats feature a lower profile so they can sit inside of a door, and won't interfere with its ability to open. Meanwhile, some more absorbent mats are well-weighted, so they don't blow away in a storm if placed outside.
Special Features To Look For In A Doormat
Since your doormat may be the first thing that guests see, especially if it sits outside, you want it to be representative of your household. Many doormats have fun messages on them, ranging from quirky statements like "I hope you brought beer," to the more standard "Welcome." If your home tends toward the former message, at least your guests will know what they're getting themselves into before coming inside. If you are concerned with the environment, you can show that in two ways through your door mat, with a message that reminds people to be kind to the earth, and a mat that isn't made from harmful PVC, a common material in housing accessories and a dangerous toxin. Doormats made from coconut fiber are a good choice for the eco-minded buyer.
Make sure your doormat is wide enough to span at least 80 percent of your entryway and to allow two people to stand side by side on it. That second point is important since, if you have two guests arrive at once, but your doormat is too small for them both, one person is bound to step right over it and drag dirt into your home. It's also important that your doormat isn't so tall that it makes opening the door difficult. If that is the case, you will probably end up removing the doormat entirely, and just letting people bring bacteria inside. Measure the distance between your floor and the bottom of your door, along with the height of any doormat you're considering, before making a purchase.
If you have a business where aesthetics matter, like a clothing shop or art gallery, you might consider getting a doormat that is circular or at least a half circle. Research has found that humans are drawn to curves in a room, and are more likely to consider a space attractive if there are more round shapes than there are straight lines. Of course, if the message you are trying to send with your doormat is a strict, "Do not dirty my floors," then the utilitarian rectangular model is right for you.