Liners and mats? What are the differences? Why should we even care? Well, a little goes a long way and what you decide to use will affect the overall appearance of your vehicle. If you have never changed the floor mats of your car before, take a look at it now –– it might be looking a little rundown and dirty! What you were given when you first made a purchase were the standard floor mats that consist of an ultra-thin layer of carpeting, placed on top of an even thinner water-resistant polymer material. It isn’t that great and probably won’t last a very long time either.
Additionally, if your car lining is frequently exposed to sharp objects such as high heels, chances are that the top layer has almost been scraped away completely. Add in some dirty winter slush into the car, and your floor mats are now due for an overtime scrub. If you’re hesitant to splurge another $100 for clean, Rubber Carmats, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the differences between floor liners and mats, so that you’re able to appreciate their values better.
Floor Mats vs Floor Liners
The easiest way to understand this comparison between floor mats and liners is to look at it as household carpeting. Floor mats are similar to a sectional rug and are flat at the bottom. They come with raised grooves on them which creates a perimeter that helps to trap dirt and dust. On the contrary, floor liners are akin to the wall-to-wall carpeting overlay, which are shaped to align with the contours of your vehicle’s floor and model. These liners feature edges that trace up the walls of the cargo space or footwells to protect the precious floor lining, which is similar to how wall-to-wall carpeting covers stairways and other nooks and crannies.
In general, both floor mats and liners have grooves and cups that trap and prevent dirt and dust from escaping. However, do note that some carpeted floor mats and liners do not come with grooves, and feature a flat, smooth surface instead. Some models can come with flexible spikes on their underside which helps tighten their grip on the carpeting better!
Floor mats are usually made of materials such as polymers, carpeting and even rubber. On the other hand, floor liners are always made of polymers. Most manufacturers can also refer to the polymer construction as ‘rubberized plastic’, ‘vinyl’, and ‘synthetic rubber’.
Custom vs Universal Fit
Though floor liners are commonly designed to fit the perimeter of your vehicle, floor mats may not necessarily be the same. When buying a floor mat, take a look for a ‘Product Option’ field that asks for your mat’s desired model, make, and year, before revealing whether it is a custom or semi-custom fit. A universal mat would be written in the product description and not ask for detailed product information. This leads to a mat that has often excess material around the edges, which will require the next user to trim off the excess.
All-Aluminium Floor Mats
For vehicles that have a lot of lightweight body panels, it would be a good idea to use all aluminium floor mats. They are flat-shaped and can be custom-fit to cover select car models. Aluminium is a durable material, known to be dirt and liquid-resistant. It is extremely hardy and won’t tarnish, rust or fade over time. Lastly, aluminium is known to be rigid, which means that it won’t bunch up under the accelerator and brake pedal by accident.
Although ‘synthetic’ floor mats are often made up of polymers instead of rubber, they feel and look a lot like it. The only difference is that synthetic materials are slightly harder and not as flexible to the touch. However, both rubber and synthetic are able to offer full resistance to any water leakage and is likely to be with the car until it degrades. If you’re looking for a family car, I’d recommend this option. It’s pet-friendly too!
Just to recap, floor liners cover more surface area as compared to floor mats and are usually always made with polymer construction.
Grooves And Ridges
Did you know that the X-Act Contour Floor Liners by Husky Liners come with an extra-thick, built-in cushion area that lies underneath the driver’s heel? This is done to provide additional comfort to the driver when driving. Additionally, there are also sturdy spikes added onto the underside of these floor liners. These help to ensure that the floor liner is not able to move while the driver is driving.
Plus, you can check out the Catch-It Carpet Liner if you’re driving in areas prone to wet weather or spillage. It has a wider lip around its perimeter which helps to shield more splashes up on all sides. It also has a unique groove pattern that redirects the liquid to the back of the mat, where it can be collected and disposed of. This floor mat is the only available carpeted liner that can be rinsed, dried, and re-used!
There are also floor liners that come with patterns that are similar to that of off-road tires. These stumpy grooves help to trap not only dirt and water but mud as well –– perfect for rough and muddy terrains!
If your vehicle requires even more coverage, check out the Weatherbeater Floor Liners by Husky Liners –– they come fitted with a centre hump coverage! Do note that when you choose this kind of floor liner, it might be difficult to find one that fits your car floor exactly. If it does not, it can shift easily which might make driving a little difficult. At the same time, it will not be able to serve its purpose of trapping water and dust if it moves around so much.
So, before we end, what do you feel is better –– a floor mat or floor liner? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Depending on your needs and wants as well as the design of your car, you make the decision. If you feel like you are willing to spend that extra cash to get more coverage and heel support, go ahead and get yourself a floor liner. If not, a mat would do just fine whilst serving its purpose of keeping your car floor clean and away from water. Do make sure to do some research on your car before you make your purchase!