How does a manager determine the best matting shape for an area?

It’s whatever is required to provide a safe floor. The manager needs to see where moisture and dirt typically reach their floors. And, they need to watch foot traffic flow and look for wear patterns. Wherever moisture and dirt intersect with anticipated foot traffic, that’s where you need matting. Almost all mats are made in rectangular shapes and are not shape-customizable, so managers need to be a little creative to angle or overlap mats to turn corners and fit in tight spots. That’s one of the cool things about the disposable adhesive-backed Grippy mats. They can be cut to fit any shape or size without overlaps (which cause trips) or gaps (which leave slippery spots between mats).  
  — Daniel Silver, Vice President of Product Development, New Pig, Corp.

Traffic patterns play the largest role in determining the “shape” of a facility’s entrance matting system. Many times, managers and interior designers will choose a matting system that provides the best appearance. However, it’s also important to weigh aesthetics with traffic patterns to design a matting system that simultaneously enhances the appearance of a facility while capturing as much dirt and debris as possible.
  — Aaron Mills, Marketing Manager, 3M Commercial Solutions Division

Traffic flow, traffic levels, and 15ft rule. The 15 ft rule suggests that at least 15 feet of matting is required to remove the majority of dirt and debris from foot traffic. 15 feet of matting ensures that each foot will make contact with the matting at least 3 times providing adequate scraping and drying to stop most dirt and moisture at the entrance. After these things are taken into consideration, work with your factory rep to find out the most cost effective way to purchase your solution!
  — Brian Evans, National Sales Manager, Superior Manufacturing

The shape should completely cover the path of foot traffic and complement the design aesthetics of the environment.  Facilities managers don’t have to be matting experts.  Their janitorial supplier representative can help them measure and provide the perfect solution.  If they can’t then they should be fired.
  — JoAnn Durette, Vice President of Marketing, Mats, Inc.

The vast majority of matting is rectangle sized, such as 3x5, 4x6, 3x10, 4x10, 6x8, 6x12, etc. The overall shape (size) is determined by the location and the amount foot traffic.  For example an entry way that is a single door is typically 3’ wide and a double door is 6’ wide.  The length should be at least 10’ long to ensure the maximum amount of dirt is captured before walking off the mat. This may not be possible in all areas and outdoor matting should be used in conjunction with the entry mat.  Entry ways with large amounts of foot traffic may require longer matting solutions.  For custom matting, the shape is determined by the size of the doors, any columns, reception desks, etc. in the entry way.
  — John Miller, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Americo Manufacturing

The most important question to ask when deciding the size or shape of a mat should be, “What will provide me with the correct amount of matting I need to stop water and dirt while providing a safe floor for our employees and visitors?” Water and soil migration will harm floors but more importantly, it can cause slip, trip and fall hazards. According to Rule ANSI/NFSI B101.6 of the Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting, the flooring immediately following the mat shall be examined to confirm that the soil and moisture has been removed. The exact amount of matting needed will be based on the product and the environment where it is being placed.
  — Mark Roberts, National Accounts Specialist, The Andersen Company

It’s all about walk pattern.  People walk the shortest distance between where they start and where they are going.  The mats need to be in that position, cut to fit perfectly, and in a way that can be transported, stored, & re-assembled by staff.
  — Mitchell Saltzman, President, Proform

For more information on how mats can help reduce slips, trips and falls, click here.