A restaurant could have mouth-watering food, outstanding service, a luxurious dining room and appropriate prices. But if guests walk into a dirty restroom with puddles on the floor and overpowering odors, they won’t be coming back to dine. The same scenario could happen with shoppers in retail stores, gamblers in casinos or movie-goers in theaters. Restrooms set the tone for user impression and a negative perception can derail the entire experience.

Designed for use under wall-mounted urinals, urinal floor mats improve the restroom image by catching drips, splashes and unfortunate misses.

The most common mat shape is the “homeplate” with a wide back (that is placed against the wall) and truncated front to leave room for users’ feet.

It is important for distributors to educate customers on the proper placement under urinals. Mats are often installed backwards with the wider section placed away from the urinal because janitors think that’s where most messes occur.

“But now guys have to straddle a very wide plate,” says Jeff Crevier, president and owner, Sanastar, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Other shapes of urinal floor mats are available and they help alleviate installation errors. One is rectangular and the other is a diamond shape that is truncated on both sides.

Besides different shapes, urinal mats are available in various compositions, including a plastic or rubber frame with a replaceable absorbent pad, a framed mat with an absorbent core, or a carpeted style where fibers absorb urine.

Mats with a built-in core are made of fibers and powders that turn the urine into a gel, similar to when a baby wets a diaper. The gel prevents oxygen from transmitting urine odors into the air, says Charlie Flurry, president, Absorbcore, North Olmsted, Ohio. The water inside the gel will evaporate, leaving dried uric salts and acids left trapped in the mat.

Carpeted mats are treated with an anti-bacterial agent that “eats germs and bacteria like pac-men,” says Deborah Barnes, executive assistant, Hygolet, Deerfield Beach, Fla.

In addition, the fibers don’t remain saturated with urine, but rather air dry, like an entrance mat after a rain, says Crevier.

Just as urinal floor mats vary in shape and composition, they also differ in how they adhere to the floor. Mats either feature Velcro, adhesive tape or a rubber backing that prevents it from sliding across the floor.

Regardless of style, urinal mats all have the same purpose — to create a better restroom experience for building occupants.

“A restroom can be really clean, but smell bad,” says Alberto Martinez, sales and marketing manager, Tolco Corp., Toledo, Ohio. “And depending on the type of business you’re in, that is a horrible perception.”

Click here to learn how urinal floor mats keep restrooms looking and smelling clean.