Door mats are part form and part function. They add to your home's style story, help protect floors, and provide a comfy cushion for standing. That means you'll want to consider both design and functionality as you shop. Here's what to keep in mind as you choose indoor and outdoor mats for your house.
Your front entryway offers the first impression of your home, and an outdoor doormat plays an important part. Along with providing a place for guests to clean their shoes, your mat is a chance to add a little design and communicate a fun message ("Welcome" or even "Go Away" if that's more your style). When shopping for an outdoor mat, consider:
Material. Door mats are made from a variety of things, including synthetic materials and natural ones, such as coir – a fiber produced from the husk of a coconut. Coir has a coarse surface ideal for wiping feet. Rubber and wood are other popular, durable options.
Size. You'll want an outdoor mat that provides enough room for guests to comfortably clean their feet. 2 x 3 feet is a popular size, and if you have room, a 3- x 5-foot or 4- x 6-foot rug provides extra dirt-gathering area for high-traffic zones.
Design. You can choose from a wide variety of door mat designs. Some have raised patterns or boot scrapers to provide extra scuffing power, while others are woven or feature open areas to let water and debris pass through to the ground. You can find holiday doormats to change out for the season, patterns that please, monogrammed and personalized options, and a wide variety of images.
Location. It's a good idea to place a door mat outside each entrance to your house. Put one outside your back door, garage entry, and any side doors, along with the front door. Since you hope guests will step on your mat, make sure it's on even ground and doesn’t sit too close to a step, ledge, or décor such as outdoor planters.
Consider the seasonal weather conditions in your area when choosing the material. If you live in a windy climate consider ceramic, cast stone, wood, metal, or concrete planters heavy enough to withstand the elements. Plastic, clay, fiberglass, resin, wicker, or vinyl planters are best suited to mild climates.
Indoor mats provide a second opportunity to clean shoes in a mudroom or just inside a well-used entryway. They're also perfect for adding some cushioning anywhere you spend a lot of time standing.
Kitchen mats, for example, can offer cushioned support in front of the sink or any prep area you use regularly. For maximum support, opt for an anti-fatigue mat. Some offer ample foam or gel cushioning. Other anti-fatigue mats use several layers of rubber or synthetic materials to help protect your feet from the hard floor.
No matter which indoor or outdoor doormat you choose, don't forget to clean it properly. A clean mat will better collect dirt and protect floors. Care instructions will vary from item to item. At a minimum, you should regularly shake out loose dirt, and many outdoor mats can be hosed down to loosen extra grime. Wipe down non-porous indoor mats with a damp cloth.
Door mats offer a bit of style and a lot of utility. When you choose the right doormats and care for them properly, they'll help protect your floors and more.