Floor mats are necessary for your vehicle for two reasonsthey keep it clean and make it look good at the same time.
Contrary to what you thought, a carpet isn't really enough to protect the sheet metal flooring of your car. During winter for example, especially if you live in areas where heavy snow and frequent rainfall is a norm, liquid may soak your carpet, seep to the vehicle floor, and cause it to corrode. And even if you live in an area with a dry climate, dust and dirt could push you to have your carpet cleaned and replaced every so often. Floor mats are indispensable for your vehicle whether it's dust or rain you see in your place. There are several types of floor liners to suit your needs. There's a carpeted floor mat for those who have dry climates, and an all-vinyl or heavy-duty floor mat for those who live in the snowy parts of the country.
There are also several designs and colors of floor mats available. In fact, you can have them customized to complement the feel and look of your vehicle. You should always choose well, however, by balancing aesthetics and practicality.
Floor Mat Buyer's Guide
- A floor mat is a protective covering that shields your vehicle’s flooring from dirt, mud, liquids, and other debris. It catches moisture and other spills and prevents rust and irreversible stains from forming on the vehicle floor.
- Visible tears and tough stains indicate that you need to replace your floor mat. You could also consider getting a floor mat replacement for aesthetic and safety reasons.
- Here on CarParts.com, replacement floor mats can cost you anywhere from $40 to a little bit over a thousand dollars. You can choose from a wide variety of types, colors, and materials from our catalog.
- Before buying a replacement floor mat, you have to consider a few other factors: how often you use your car, the current season, and the road conditions you regularly drive through. These things will help you decide on the appropriate material, type, and extra features that you would need on your floor mat.
There are a lot of accidents and mishaps that can happen inside the vehicle. Liquid spills and slip-ups can happen anytime and catch you off-guard. A floor mat prevents most of these accidents as it also protects the vehicle’s carpet or flooring. Considering the price of carpets these days, such is very impractical. But a floor mat or floor liner can keep that from happening. Instead of having your carpet cleaned all the time, you can just remove the mat from the vehicle and then scrub the dirt off with water and soap.
Why should you replace your floor mat and what features should you look for in a replacement? This simple guide will give you important information on buying a good replacement floor mat.
What is a floor mat?
A floor mat is a protective covering that shields your vehicle’s flooring from dirt, mud, liquids, and other debris. It catches moisture and liquid spills and prevents rust and irreversible stains from forming on the vehicle floor or carpet.
A floor mat can be made specifically to fit your vehicle’s floor and its features. On the other hand, there’s a type of floor mat that you can cut up to fit specific areas on your vehicle’s flooring. In any case, a floor mat needs to be properly positioned and fastened so you can avoid accidents within your vehicle.
Why should you replace your floor mat?
Visible tears and tough stains indicate that you need to replace your floor mat. However, there are other reasons why you should get a floor mat replacement. Below are a few other reasons why you need to consider getting a new floor mat:
Protect your commercial or passenger vehicle
If you’re driving for a ride-hailing service or any commercial vehicle, you need to make a good impression on your clients or passengers. Swapping your old floor mats for a set of new ones gives a fresh look to your vehicle that everyone can appreciate. New floor mats will also make sure that your vehicle’s floors are guarded against spills and food droppings that your passengers may accidentally leave behind.
Improve your vehicle’s resale value
If you’re planning to sell your vehicle, investing in newer car accessories is always a good idea to increase its sale value. New floor mats make your vehicle look clean and sharp for a potential buyer.
Molds and small holes are present
Holes in the floor mat, no matter how big or small they are, make the vehicle floors vulnerable to spills and rust. Not only that, but mold can also form in damp spots on the floor and pose a health risk to passengers. People with allergies or asthma can suffer attacks while inside the vehicle. If you notice that there is an unusual damp smell inside your vehicle, inspect your vehicle for molds and replace the floor mats immediately.
Obvious gaps and holes in the floor mat
If your floor mat leaves considerable gaps on the floor or if it already has obvious holes in it, it’s time to replace it. Gaps and holes expose the flooring to more wear, dirt, and liquids that can leave permanent stains. These also pose a safety risk to the passengers as they can trip and get themselves hurt while inside the vehicle.
Impedes the brake, clutch, and acceleration pedals
This is a very serious problem that you can encounter with faulty floor mats. The heel pads of your floor mat can lift and catch your heel as you push down on the pedals and cause injury. Unstable floor mats can also slip around and impede the clutch, acceleration, and brake pedals and cause unintentional acceleration that will keep you from controlling your car.
How to choose the right floor mat
Floor mats are made from a wide variety of materials and other built-in features that serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. Some custom car floor mats are made to match the interior trim of the vehicle, while others are made to withstand different weather conditions and heavy use.
Before buying a replacement floor mat, you have to consider a few other factors: how often you use your car, the current season, and the road conditions you regularly drive through. These things will help you decide on the appropriate material, type, and extra features that you would want on your floor mat.
There are three main materials used for floor mats for cars and other vehicles: carpet, rubber, and vinyl. Carpet floor mats are great if you don’t use your car enough for it to get dirty easily. They’re also the perfect choice if you want to enhance your vehicle’s aesthetics. The downside is these floor mats wear faster than rubber or vinyl.
On the other hand, rubber floor mats are easier to clean, more durable, and are great if you regularly take your vehicle for off-road trips. Lastly, vinyl floor mats are the most affordable among the three and come in a wider variety of styles and designs. Both vinyl and rubber floor mats are susceptible to cracking and damage due to heat, so be careful in handling or cleaning them.
Fit and Location
Make sure that the floor mat you’re going to buy is compatible with your vehicle’s year, make, and model. You can avoid gaps by choosing something that’s tailored-fit to your vehicle’s floors. However, universal and trim-to-fit liners are also great because you can cut them into any shape that you want. These are especially helpful if you have gaps in your existing floor mat.
Because floor mats are sold individually or in sets, you can easily replace the floor mat for a specific location without having to buy an entire set for the whole vehicle. Just make sure to get the location correctly. Take note of the side (passenger or driver) and the row where you need the replacement floor mat.
There are floor mats with specialized features that contribute to the safety and insulation of the passenger cabin. Some have contoured edges, raised lips, and channels that increase traction, hold spills, and filter liquids, dirt, and mud. Some are mold and mildew-resistant while others are designed to minimize heat and noise within the cabin.
The Dos and Don'ts When Buying an Industrial Mat
Here are some recommendations you should keep in mind when buying a new set of industrial mats.
- Find matching floor mats to improve the appearance of your car interior and protect it from damage that might happen. They're available in many different sets on ecommerce sites and online automotive shops.
- Buy mats that are bigger than your original mats if you're purchasing nonspecific mats for your car. Fitment isn't as much of an issue with industrial mat shopping compared to other car parts because many universal-fit, non-vehicle-specific mats are ready to be cut down to size as needed.
- Purchase all-weather, all-season floor mats because they embody and epitomize what true industrial-grade mats are all about. These mats are perfect for climates that have dramatic seasonal changes that could pose a threat to the interior of your car.
- Search for an online aftermarket set that matches your set of industrial mats. The typical floor mat set includes passenger side, rear driver side, and front driver side floor mats. The sizes and variety of the mat changes from car to van to SUV to RV and to truck.
- Look for easy to clean and rinse mats with engineered ridges and nibs for maximum dirt, dust, mud, and debris trapping. This way, all you need to do to clean them is to take them out of your car, put soapy water on them, rinse them with your garden hose, hang them up to dry, and put them back in the car.
- Order mats with extra-thick, industrial-grade construction for durability. They should also be extensively tested for flexibility to ensure that they don't permanently bend or crack even when faced with extreme temperatures.
- DON'T get an industrial mat that reeks of a rubbery scent. Instead, opt for 100% odorless mats with no rubber smell that could cause you headaches and nausea. No, not all mats are supposed to have a stench like that and you do have a choice in buying an odorless mat.
- DON'T purchase a mat with toxic material. Instead, purchase one that's approved by some sort of automotive quality standard (like the SGS European Standard or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety and Regulations in the U.S.).
- DON'T acquire an industrial carpet floor mat if your vehicle is a heavy-duty kind of automobile that gets a lot of dirt and debris inside it. If you're a trucker, industrial-grade rubber offers the best protection compared to high-maintenance carpets that require shampooing, vacuuming, and drying.
- DON'T leave your recently bought rubber floor mats out in the sun for too long when drying them out. If you're replacing your existing mats with new mats because they've dried out altogether, then it's possible that the originals got damaged due to excessive solar exposure. Dry your new mats out with a fan or limit their sun drying time.
How much is a floor mat replacement?
Replacement car floor mats can cost you anywhere from $40 to a little bit over a thousand dollars. If you’re looking for a replacement floor mat that’s a direct fit, you can enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model into the vehicle selector tool here at CarParts.com so you can only view replacement floor mats that are compatible with your vehicle. There are universal and trim-to-fit floor mats available as here well.
You can further narrow down your floor mat choices according to your color, style, type, brand, and material preferences using our specialized search filter. You can also indicate your price range so you can be sure that you’ll get a high-quality replacement floor mat for a price that won’t break the bank.
How to Keep the Floor Liner Clean and In Good Condition
The floor liner of the vehicle can be beat up easily, not just when you step on it but when your footwear leaves behind some dirt that can get stuck on the cover. Stains from your food or spills from your drinks can also mess up the liner. Good thing is, liners can be cleaned quite easily. Do this regularly to make sure that it stays in best shape. Here’s how you should clean the liner of your vehicle:
Difficulty level: Easy
Things you’ll need:
- Scrub brush or car vacuum
- Detergent or special cleaner
Step 1: Check the floor liner for areas that are heavily stained with dirt or have hard-to-remove grime. These need to be scrubbed or cleaned more thoroughly.
Step 2: Use a scrub brush to scrape dirt from the liner. Another option is to use a specialized car vacuum.
Step 3: Wash the liner using detergent or a special cleaner for carpet or rubber. Use a brush to scrub away dirt. Carpet and all-weather floor liners may even be soaked overnight to remove deep-seated dirt and stains.
Step 4: Rinse the liner thoroughly. Make sure that there’s no more cleaner or detergent left on it. You may hose it off or use a pressure washer to effectively wash away dirt and any soap or cleaner residue. Check if the liner is rinsed thoroughly before you hang it to dry.
Step 5: Leave the liner to dry completely. Once dry, you can place it back on the car flooring where it’s used.
- Some floor liners can’t be machine washed. This may result in tears and holes. Read the labels to know the safe way of cleaning or washing them.
- Soaking is best for carpet and all-weather floor liners and covers with similar materials but may not be the best solution for rubber or vinyl liners.
- A scrub brush with hard bristles and a convenient handle should be used to scrape away dirt on the liner easily.
- A special type of cleaner may be used for carpet-type liners. Foam cleaner is a great choice for deep cleaning.
- Detergent can be used on almost any type of floor liner for soaking and spot cleaning. Choose a non-chlorine based detergent for best results.