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- A customizable doormat from Tile Mat adds some creativity to your front hall, kitchen, or bathroom.
- You swap hexagonal tiles in and out to create designs or words and phrases.
- The mats come in several sizes, and there are over a dozen color tiles to play with.
Doormats haven’t always been top of mind when I’m furnishing an apartment. But it’s the first thing visitors see when they come by, so I wanted to try the customizable Tile Mat to bring some creativity to my doorstep.
You may have seen Letterfolk posting its Tile Mats all over social media with fun, creative patterns and simple, minimalist phrases. The mats look stylish and expertly designed, even though anyone can make their own patterns. I decided to test the mat out to see if it is as durable; cleanable; and, most importantly, easy to design as it appears.
The rectangular mats come in standard (18 by 30 inches) and large (24 by 36 inches) sizes, with the option of a white, black, or tan background. You can also get a half-moon style, designed to fit smaller spaces.
The creativity starts even before the mat arrives, with the online inspiration page and design tool. On the inspiration page, you can look at mosaic, seasonal, classic, and other designs, noting the number of tiles used. On the design page, you can virtually draw your own mat design.
The design tool offers great ideas and allows you to order the specific number of tiles in the colors you used to design, something I wish the inspiration page had. The only drawback of the design page is that it didn’t have great erase options, which made it a little harder to use.
Tile Mat review
When my Tile Mat arrived, I found the tiles were easier to snap into place than I’d expected and just involved lining up the hexagon of the tile with the one on the mat and pushing the tile down. To get a tile off, you stick your nail between the mat and tile and lift.
I started off making up my own design without doing any planning in advance. Although some of the spacing between letters is inconsistent, the final product still came out looking as I’d hoped. I’d referenced the inspiration page for the alphabet but was surprised at how intuitive it could be to write words in a simple font on the mat.
I’d made the design in the living room and carried the mat across the apartment to the front door, letting it drag. None of the tiles became dislodged when I had the mat hanging and when I kicked at it.
The process of designing and moving tiles is so straightforward that you can swap designs as often as you want. After my initial design, I found a Halloween design from the inspiration page and recruited a roommate to help build it on the mat. This process involved counting the hexagons on my computer screen and then on the mat to confirm the tiles were going in the right place. It also took a bit of creative freedom since I only had 75 tiles in the color I was using for the pumpkin, while the reference image used 134.
I was excited to have some festive seasonal decor without buying something I could only use for a couple of weeks a year. I put my new mat outside my apartment in a medium-trafficked area, as the care instructions suggested. After about a week, I started to see some dirt accumulating on the white parts of the mat not covered by tiles. After three weeks, the colors of the tiles themselves were starting to get a little muted, so I decided it was time to clean.
The instructions say that you can clean the mat and tiles with dish soap and an abrasive brush or take the tiles off and throw them in the bags they came in and wash them in a dishwasher. I used the brush approach and washed my mat with the tiles still on to get some of the NYC grime off before I touched it.
Because of the rubbery texture, the dirt came off immediately with soapy water. It ended up cleaner than other doormats I’ve just shaken out to clean. But the process took a little longer and was messier than I’d anticipated, and I ended up removing the tiles for a more thorough clean.
Even though I’d quickly cleaned them with a brush, I didn’t want to wash them with my dishes, so I put them in their bag and hand-washed them with soapy water.
Cons to consider
If you’re someone who likes to set out your doormat and forget about it, the Tile Mat may not be for you, especially if you opt for the white background. It shows dirt easily and requires frequent cleaning if you want your designs to look their best.
While there are a couple dozen tile colors, they’re mostly muted tones. There could be brighter hues in the future, but the selection is a bit limited right now.
The bottom line
Despite the speed at which the mat got dirty and the cleaning challenges I had, I am still incredibly impressed with my Tile Mat. The creativity, style, and ease that comes with having a tile mat make it more than worth its price and something I’m planning on using for a long time to come. I’m even ordering more colored tiles to change up my welcome for repeat guests.
While Tile Mats’ colors and customizability are a big draw over the typical scratchy and unchangeable doormats, anyone looking for something simple doesn’t have to change their design after finding a favorite colorful and fun pattern.
Pros: Stylish; easy to customize with lots of color, size, and shape options; tiles are durable and stay in place; the flexible vinyl material is hard to permanently stain
Cons: The white background shows dirt quickly, the cleaning process is involved; more expensive than visually similar doormats without customizability