A carpet is a soft, thick, and heavy floor covering used to cover a large portion of the floor of a room, whereas a mat is a piece of course material placed on the floor at the entrance of a building for people to wipe their shoes on.
We also have other types of mats such as chair mats, bedside mats, and table mats.
Carpet Vs Mat – What’s the difference?
Since we have defined what a carpet and mat are, let us now look at the attributes of both.
Size of a carpet and mat
Carpets are usually big enough to cover the entire floor of a room. Mats on the other hand are much smaller compared to carpets and only cover sections of the floor of a room.
Mats are movable. You can move them from an entrance to another unlike carpets which are difficult to move from one place to another because in most cases, they are fixed onto the floor of a room.
Uses of both mat and carpet
Mats are of different sizes and uses. We have floor mats, vehicle mats, chair mats, decorative wall mats that also act as soundproof, table mats and many more. Carpets on the other hand have only one use, and that is on the floor of a room or building.
Comfort offered by carpet and mat
A carpet provides a cushion-like feel for the feet and is also warm, while a mat is course, rough and not smooth for the feet.
Carpets are made of natural or synthetic fibres while mats are made of course materials such as sisal, reeds, and bamboo. We also have plastic mats. In addition, carpets consist of upper layers of pile that is usually attached to a backing, while mats consist of different materials depending on the intended purpose of the mat. Some have backing but some do not.
Carpets are the most popular floor covering solution in the market unlike mats. Mats are not as popular and are hardly used as floor coverings.
Functionality of both mat and carpet
Carpets are versatile. They also offer insulation, are energy saving and are excellent in dampening noise. Mats on the other hand thou versatile, are not energy saving and do not help in noise reduction.
Carpets gradually change in appearance over time due to normal use, and exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun when hung outside to dry after cleaning. Use of household chemicals also cause fading of carpets.
Mats on the other hand tend to maintain color for a very long time and rarely fade. Usually, they tend to experience wear and tear while still maintaining their original color.
This is a common characteristic feature of carpets with smooth pile such as velvets. It is caused by light reflecting differently away from tufts that bend differently. However, when it comes to mats, shading does not occur.
The pile of a carpet flattens over time due to ordinary use, but this can be reduced by regular vacuuming and periodic professional cleaning. Mats on the other hand have no pile and the case of flattening does not therefore arise.
Carpets experience shedding. Shedding is the release of very small fibres from the carpet yarn. These fibres collect on the surface of the carpet. The shedding is caused by foot traffic and vacuuming of new carpets. Floor mats on the other hand are not known to experience shedding.
Fuzzing is common with carpets. These are fibre particles that arise on the surface of the carpet as a result of loose fibres in the construction of the carpet. It is very common in areas of heavy foot traffic or under furniture such as dining tables.
Fuzzing can be removed by vacuuming, but where this fails, then it can be removed by a professional carpet cleaner by cutting it off the carpet.
A carpet will occasionally stain from spills especially in a home, but this is unlikely to happen in the case of a floor mat. Besides, even if it happened, cleaning would not be as demanding as in the case of a carpet.
Types of carpets and mats
Carpets are of two main types: the woven type and the tufted type. The woven ones are more expensive than the tufted due to the amount of labour that goes into producing them. Mats on the other hand are of many different types because they tend to be made from many different materials such as rubber and vinyl among others.
The backing of a carpet is made of polypropylene or synthetic jute woven together in tight patterns that are grid-like while the backing of a mat, in particular a floor mat, is made of rubber or latex.
The purpose of a carpet backing is to keep water-based spills from penetrating through the carpet as this would adversely affect both the carpet and the surface under the carpet.
The grid pattern of a carpet is called a “pic”. The closer the grid pattern of the backing, the higher the pic number. This guarantees better dimensional stability and lessens the probability of your carpet delaminating.
Delamination occurs when a carpet’s secondary backing is separated from the primary backing. Signs of delamination include seeing waves or ripples in your carpet or noticing seams becoming frayed and peaking. In the case of mats, delamination hardly occurs.
Carpets add color and elegance to a room unlike doormats which hardly have any decorative value to add in terms of beauty.
Protection – mat vs carpet
Unlike carpets which do not really offer any kind of protection or safety to feet, mats generally protect that which is placed above or below them.
For instance, a place-mat protects the surface of a dining table from damage by extreme heat coming from hot foods and liquids placed on the table.
A wrestling or gymnastics mat protects wrestlers and people engaging in gymnastics from injuries that can result from falls.
Anti-vibration mats also provide protection by isolating noise and vibrations when operating machines, vehicles, and other industrial products.
We have anti-slip mats which are a requirement in many areas to ensure maximum protection for both employees and customers. We also have anti-slip mats that provide extra resistance to chemicals and grease found in industrial premises and food areas.