An entrance door mat can either be of the indoor or outdoor variety. Indoor mats are also known as absorbent floor mats while outdoor mats are non-absorbent. Although closely related, the two types are quite distinct from one another in terms of function and material. While each could, in theory, pass for the other, it would not be in the best interest of a clean house. That being said, given the fact that the outdoor entrance mat is first encountered when someone steps up to the threshold of a home, there are some materials that should be avoided. Otherwise you could end up with dirt-covered floors or carpets and be left with a relatively useless outdoor mat. Here, then, are 3 materials you should never use for outdoor entrance mats.
Basically, any absorbent material should be avoided when it comes to outdoor entrance mats. Outdoor mats should be non-absorbent instead. Their job is to take off the vast majority of debris, mud, dirt or snow from the bottom of your shoes. They are non-absorbent, so whatever is wiped from your shoes can be easily hosed or pressure washed off when it is time to clean the mat. Carpet-topped mats are very absorbent. They are designed for indoor use by clearing the bottom of your shoes of moisture that might cause you to slip. To clean them, they are thrown in the laundry. Used outdoors, carpet-topped mats would get saturated by mud and other debris and be virtually useless after a few mucky days. If used to remove excess snow, they would become damp so quickly that they would fail to serve their purpose.
While bamboo is fairly non-absorbent, when used for outdoor mats the material tends to get very dirty quickly. If bamboo is exposed to the rain, it will look terrible after enough dirt piles up on it. Aside from that, bamboo mats, especially thin mats, are quite useless at scraping heavy amounts of gunk off of shoes. Thicker bamboo mats can withstand a lot of water saturation, although they are nonetheless ineffective at keeping mud and other debris from getting inside. Bamboo mats are decorative, but they are best used in a place where their primary function is adornment or light cleaning of shoes.
Woven cloth may be very durable, but like carpet it is extremely absorbent and will get very damp if exposed to rain or snow. Not only that, but it may never fully dry especially if it is thick. Like carpet mats, woven cloth should be used for indoor mats only, there to absorb what moisture remains on the bottom of your shoes. The organic fibers will get clogged with mud and other outdoor debris, and soon you will be left with a dirty, damp mat.
Outdoor entrance mats are distinct from indoor mats in that they provide a place to wipe your feet clear of packed mud or dirt, snow or ice before you come in the house. They are non-absorbent and because of this they can be hosed off. Materials that absorb moisture will become very saturated if used as outdoor mats and will quickly fail to perform even a minimal shoe-cleaning function.