In the first of a series of guest blogs, COBA Flooring talks to Phil Taylor of Mat Solutions, a business with specialist expertise in the installation of aluminium entrance matting systems. We ask Phil to give us his views on the latest trends in demand for aluminium systems. Here we share with you our 6 favourite Q and A’s.
1 What sort of building generally opts for aluminium entrance systems?
A wide variety of buildings choose aluminium matting systems. They are usually the ones with attractive frontages where image is important to the business. A touch of stylish ‘reception bling’ in the form of aluminium can really make a striking first impression! We frequently install aluminium entrance systems in smart London offices for this very reason, who want the ‘Rolls Royce’ of entrance matting. And then there is practicality, for buildings that endure high volumes of footfall, so cinemas, shopping centres, airports etc. are other popular users of aluminium systems.
2 There is a lot of choice in the entrance matting market, why are aluminium systems still so popular?
Probably for the reasons mentioned above, and the fact that aluminium entrance matting systems that have been professionally installed can usually be relied on to offer the best value for money. You get what you pay for. On average, an aluminium system will last 10 years if maintained correctly. Mats are like cars; maintain them and they will work for you and they should last for many years. After all, would you expect your car to survive for 10 years without some form of maintenance? Let’s not forget that aluminium systems play a vital role in the presentation and upkeep of a building long after the builders have packed up, and many savvy customers look at the bigger picture.
3 Is there any sector that has veered away from using aluminium entrance systems?
Yes, schools and the education sector in general used to be high users but through cost, have reverted to cheaper options.
4 Do you see demand for aluminium systems increasing in the future?
To be truthful, I think it is fairly static as there are so many different entrance matting options available now, which of course may be cheaper but not necessarily better! As long as aluminium pricing is competitive, I believe there will always be a steady demand for this type of system. It’s the fact that it is the crème de la crème of entrance matting that makes aluminium stand out from other types of product. Like clothing, it’s the difference between ‘off-the-shelf’ and ‘made to measure’.
5 Would aluminium be the choice of most architects?
It would be true to say that many architects still desire aluminium entrance matting systems. But this is only practical if the budget is realistic, and of course needs to cover specialist installation costs. They of course know what they want, and specify accordingly but even those who prefer to copy and paste specs, are nearly always capable of having their heads turned by a smart entrance system they have seen on their way to the office. On the whole, they want the best that budgets can buy, and very often that means an aluminium entrance system.
6 Do you think that colour options and styles of aluminium systems have changed over the last 10 years?
Unlike contract carpet, there isn’t too much choice when it comes to colour and pattern, and it tends to be charcoal, black, grey or brown. There are other colours available but I don’t perceive demand to be that high. Up until now logos in aluminium systems haven’t been that popular but I notice that COBA Flooring has quite a clever system for the integration of customised logos, which I can see catching on in the market.
About Mat Solutions
Mat Solutions was formed in September 2014 by Phil Taylor and Simon Smith. Phil has been involved with the flooring and matting industry in various roles for the past 18 years and decided to concentrate on aluminium systems five years ago. Simon also has a wealth of industry experience and Mat Solutions is rapidly growing as a result of the knowledge and expertise that both directors bring to the business. www.matsolutions.co.uk