car mats uk

The different choices of car mats

car mats

History of Car Mats

To many it would be considered as a given that car mats have existed since the time that cars and such vehicles were offered as a form of transportation. However, history indicates that wooden flooring areas were the norm in the early days and that these were a removable fitment within the 19th Century automotive vehicles.

Further, such early offerings to makeshift as a floor mat were initially focused on covering the central foot well areas to offer protection against mud, water, stones and similar forms of debris - with the intention to prevent such matter from flying upwards and causing harm to the driver. This later then spanned to cover up to the pedals and wider in dimensions also.

In 1919 the formation and basic concept of car mats took a leap forward as they moved under the vehicle - on the form of a cardboard mat that was protective against moisture. This was later improved upon another 60 years later, again with a moisture protective form of mat that was mainly offering protection when vehicles went in for service or inspection.

By 1955 the next great innovation in car mats became exposed with rubber car mats that were moulded. Such developments were essentially inspired by the USA in terms of concepts and production. By 1956 some of these rubber car mats even had an internal drainage section within for added protection. Further, by 1957 materials such as jute were also tested for general offering.

However through the 1960s and the 1970s the concept of one-piece rubber floor mats became an option, once again inspired by American manufacturers. Different options for manufacturing that were tested through these times included offering trimmable or cut and fit formed car floor mats. Manufacturers even then began to take branding into consideration whilst testing the concept of embroidery and logos to textile floor mats, with many new viable concepts of floor mats then becoming possible.1980 then saw the deep dish floor mat introduced, which had varying levels of success depending upon the target markets. By 1985 such concepts were introduced for boot liners.


rubber mats

Rubber Car Mats

Moulded rubber mats have been an area of continual innovation and design, often led by the leaders in terms of OEM engineering and manufacturing together with the OEM development teams themselves.

They offer significant protective advantages over conventional carpet or textile floor mats, especially in terms of wear and durability. They are often designed and developed with integral foot well fixing clip systems - which has become even more prevalent following the recent car mat recalls that have been publicised significantly.

However the development and engineering cost for such forms of OEM Grade rubber car mats is quite considerable - especially since they have generally only been developed as original OEM accessories with little in terms of options in the aftermarket spectrum.

There have also been some makeshift products rolled out into the marketplace, most commonly taking the form of PVC alternatives that are trimmed and edged. But the difference in terms of quality and overall performance is dramatically different between the two versions. Moulded fully tailored and specifically developed rubber car mats are still considered to be the safest option due to their uniformity of manufacture.

As well as having fixing clips or driver side mat safety systems being commonplace for moulded rubber mats, they often have an anti-slip bottom side for added safety and in many cases an integral heel pad for added wear through varied weather conditions.

OEM development teams are very stringent in terms of materials used and must pass rigorous tests to ensure their suitability for automotive usage. This would take into consideration factors such as odour release, durability and performance under considerable heat levels. 

carpet car mats



Textile Car Mats

Although rubberised car mats have specific advantages in some conditions compared to that of textile mats, it is still often the case that they are fitted as standard for many new vehicles that are supplied by the different car manufacturers. Their high propensity for fitment basically revolve around their every day use and lower development cost than rubber mats.

It has always been common for rubber car mats to be offered as an added value product through the dealers due to manufacturing cost differences. That said, with an increased uptake in terms of car leasing, especially throughout the UK and Europe. Often such vehicles that are delivered through leasing companies are often supplied without car mats fitted as standard completely.

Carpet mats are generally developed with some key features in mind. Firstly OEM carpet car mats would usually have fixing systems within the front drivers side floor mat, and in some cases the passenger front side also. The driver side would also often have an integral heel pad area for protection and added wear caused by shoe or heel damage to this region in particular. Unlike other areas within the car mats, this specific area is likely to deteriorate faster than others should a heel pad not be incorporated.

Textile style car mats also generally either have a whipped ribbed outer edge or a bound outer edging. They can also have some form of emblem or branding embroidered within the mats also, and in some cases even personalised.