As commercial entrance mat specialists, we’re often asked about the benefits of mat rental vs. mat ownership. In truth, there are no straightforward answers, since much will depend on what your business needs, what you do, your premises and location, footfall and so on.
So, as a business, you face a number of choices, including:
- Whether to have custom-shaped mats
- Whether to incorporate your logo or other branding into your mat
- Finally, and most importantly, whether to buy or rent your mats
Mat rental – The Pros & Cons
Mat rental is an increasingly popular choice for many businesses. Depending on what you need, this option offers numerous benefits alongside several compromises, which we cover in more detail below.
Mat Rental – What Are The Pros?
Here are some of the pros;
#1 Lower upfront costs
Initial upfront expenditure is lower compared with buying mats outright, making it seem less of a major financial commitment and allowing the costs to be lower and spread further apart.
#2 Regular washing
With rental mats, these are usually washed, replaced and returned spotless to your premises at regular intervals. (You typically get to decide how frequently, but that could be, for example, every fortnight.)
This ensures mats look consistently clean and smart, creating a fantastic impression to anyone who crosses your threshold.
What’s more, the service is seamless once it’s in place, with your provider showing up at specific intervals to replace the matting, giving you one less thing to worry about, and the chance to focus on what you do best – running your business.
Additionally, as well as saving time, you save on having to find and pay for a separate mat-cleaning service.
#3 Ideal for high-footfall areas
If you have a premises with a high footfall, including busy offices and shops plus entertainment or hospitality venues like cafes and restaurants, the regular washing and replacing elements of hiring a mat is invaluable.
#4 Fitting and installation
When you hire your mats, the fees include fitting and installation costs, whether you go for a standard or custom shape. This can save more time and money since you won’t need to use another supplier at an additional charge – with some bought mats, you pay extra for fitting and installation.
#5 Better performance for enhanced health and safety
By keeping mats clean and replacing them with freshly cleaned ones regularly, you guarantee they perform optimally so they do what they’re intended to do. Mats that aren’t regularly changed can become clogged with water and dirt, either leading to slips and trips or grime and moisture being trailed across your floors.
#5 Rental mats come in all shapes and sizes
Rental mats don’t have to come in a cookie-cutter standard shape or size. Many providers, including UK Mats, supply rented mats in an array of shapes, sizes and colours, including custom models such as logo mats.
#6 Takes the strain of cleaning the rest of your premises
Hiring a mat can help with reducing the cleaning requirements (and therefore costs) across your premises. That’s because they’re kept clean with cleaning including in the price and mentioned above, grubby mats spread dirt across floors as people trail it over the rest of the building.
What About The Downsides of Renting a Mat?
As we’ve said, there are many superb benefits of renting mats compared with buying them outright. However, you will need to take some potential issues into account:
#1 Potentially fewer materials to choose from
Sometimes with rental entrance mats, you can find the choice of materials narrower than would be ideal; most models are straightforward rubber-backed versions. However, as described earlier, many suppliers offer branded mats for rent, in a variety of shapes and sizes.
#2 A minimum contract is usually required
If you’re renting mats, you will generally need to commit to a contract of a specified minimum period, so that the supplier covers all its costs, and to make it worth its while. So if you only need logo mats and the like say for less than a year, buying outright could prove more cost-effective.
#3 It will involve ongoing costs
As with renting anything, renting mats means you will keep paying for them. However, you should offset this against the costs of laundering and returning mats. A rental contract should still provide excellent value, with consistent costs and quality.
Buying mats – the pros and cons
So how do the pros and cons of mat rental compare with purchasing floor coverings outright?
The pros of Buying a Mat
#1 No monthly costs
Once you’ve bought a mat, you are its proud owner! However, the responsibility of keep it clean and performing optimally is also yours, so consider this when deciding which is likely to be the most cost-effective option.
#2 A greater choice of materials
Buying entrance mats means a greater range of options for different materials, so that you have more choice and flexibility in terms of their appearance. Obex (the modular matting system) and other mat types such as coir matting may not necessarily be available if you’re renting rather than buying.
#3 Great for low-footfall areas
If you run, for example, a small shop or office unit with limited visitors, and mat cleaning isn’t needed that often, it could make sense to buy your entrance mats outright.
Mat Purchasing – The Case Against
As with renting commercial entrance mats, if you’re buying mats outright, there are some potential downsides, including:
#1 You will need to organise mat laundering yourself
You will always need to clean your mats regularly and pay for this on an ongoing basis. With mat rental, the cleaning and returning/installation of new mats is all covered.
#2 Higher upfront costs
Mat purchasing usually requires a much higher upfront investment. When you hire your mats, costs are smaller and spread further apart over time. So it can feel like a less significant investment.
#3 You may need to buy more mats
Buying may mean you need to purchase multiple units, so that you have some spares while dirty mats are cleaned, if you’ve outsourced this job. Equally, you will need to buy new mats when worn ones need replacing.
So unless your business premises has particularly low footfall, bought mats still involve ongoing cleaning and replacement costs, which can add up to greater long-term outlay, not least because bought mats are often cleaned and changed less frequently, and therefore tend to wear out more quickly.
Should I Buy or Rent a Mat?
Clearly, there are pros and cons to both options. But the decision depends very much on the specific requirements of your particular business. However, at UK Mats we tend to think that, for most organisations, mat rental is likely to offer better overall value, for the reasons listed above.
Looking for entrance mats to rent or buy?
With our on-site mat laundry, we’re ideally placed to do everything ourselves in-house, with no outsourcing to others, guaranteeing consistent quality and pricing.
Get in touch today for an informal, no-obligation initial chat about your requirements.