If you’re into matting (and we take it that you are, since you’re checking out a website dedicated to mats), then you are probably already aware that dust mats and roll matting can come with either rubber or PVC backing. What you may not know, is how these backings really compare and what the vital differences between them are. Let us enlighten you on the main product contrasts in the great rubber versus PVC debate:

Mat Properties  Rubber PVC
  • More expensive upfront
  • Last for years over PVC
  • Better return on investment
  • Less expensive upfront than rubber
  • Does not last as well
  • Will have to be replaced long before a rubber mat
  • Preferred choice of industry
  • Reliable and tough
  • Extremely durable even in high/low temperatures
  • Tear-resistant
  • Impact-resistant
  • Resistant to most oils and chemicals
  • Prone to cracking, warping
  • Can dry out over time
  • Can be used across every business/ industry
  • Works with underfloor heat systems
  • Option of 3mm heavy-duty backing
  • More suited to low-traffic, light-duty use
  • Does not react well to drastic temperature changes

Safety, Comfort and Performance

  • Anti-slip, even when wet
  • Anti-static
  • Anti-microbial
  • Resistant to oils/ chemicals
  • Anti-fatigue comfort
  • Sound absorption
  • Non-toxic
  • Recyclable
  • Smooth and light – can migrate easily
  • No anti-fatigue comfort
  • Does not absorb sound in the same way as rubber
  • Can affect air-quality
  • Can emit toxic by-products

And the winner is....

Rubber is definitely the more expensive option up front, but – if you can afford it - will reward you with better performance and value from the very beginning to the very end of its lifetime (which will be longer than its PVC counterpart).  

Rubber also comes with a host of benefits that PVC can only dream of giving. Our recommendation every time will be for rubber over PVC, but it’s good to have the PVC option there if budget is tight and you only need a mat for light use.