What do I need to look for in a set of Aluminum Diamond Plate Floor Mats?

2 09 2008

There are a number of important factors to look at when choosing a set of mats, and price should not necessarily be one of them. Here’s what to look for, and why:

1. CNC Plasma Machine Cut Mats – Any company that manufactures aluminum diamond plate mats using a router or aluminum saw will produce mats very rough and sharp edges. Cut aluminum is a significant safety hazard and can easily slice your hands open during installation, adjusting, or even if picked up the wrong way. Unfortunately a CNC Plasma Machine is a significant investment, so don’t expect to get a quality set of mats for less than $80-$100 per set. The cost of the aluminum is not the issue, but rather the quality of manufacturing.

2. Powder Coated or Siliconed Edges – If at all possible find a manufacturer that powder coats the mat edges. This provides a smooth edge that can easily be installed without danger of injury and can be moved and adjusted in the future with ease. Some manufacturers also offer a silicone or rubber type clearcoated edge (often referred to as a 3D edge) but this usually costs extra.

3. Precut to fit your specific car application – DO NOT buy diamond plate mats that are not cut to fit your exact make, model and year vehicle. There is no such thing as a “universal” fit floor mat and if you can somehow make it fit your car it will just look tacky. This is especially true of the rear mats. Be very careful when purchasing to ensure that the rear mats are not just generic squares. Even though many manufacturers provide OEM sized mats for the front almost none take the same trouble to size the rear mats.

4. High Quality Diamond Plate material – Beware of mats made from used diamond plate material. This is more common than you might think. Often manufacturers purchase cheap scrap grade or used diamond plate, clean or acid-wash it, cut it, and sell it as “new”. You may not know until you compare it side-by-side to brand new diamond plate. The difference is a factor of three times the shine. A new diamond plate floor mat should have a mirror chrome finish.

5. Lightweight Diamond Plate material – Look for lightweight mats, preferably 60 millimeter or less in thickness. This makes the mat durable enough to bend fully into all crevasses of your car’s floor area. Aluminum floor mats are almost never shipped pre-bent (for obvious reasons), so upon receipt you would normally place them into your car and press them down to mold into the floor cavity. If your purchased mats are too thick it makes this process close to impossible to get right.

While not every last detail the above are the basics that you should know when deciding to purchase a set of Aluminum Diamond Plate Floor Mats for your car.

The best sets I have found are these:
Diamond Plate Floor Mats


Check out Biker Attic Blog

29 08 2008

A good friend of mine, Phil Jones, for many years has an awesome blog about motorcycles that you might want to check out…if you’re into that sort of thing. Most of us who hang around here, me especially, don’t respect the two wheeler crowd all that much. But if you do “lean” that way then scope out Biker Attic Blog for cool motorcycle gear product reviews and some fascinating tales of cross-country bike trips.

– Grant
Thrust Motor Sports

Why buy Aluminum Floor Mats?

27 08 2008

While diamond plate floor mats are traditionally used for race cars on the racing circuit, the trend has become popular for many performance enthusiasts. Diamond plate floor mats obviously have the distinction of being super tough as opposed to carpet mats.

In rally racing we standardly install these in all our vehicles for a number of key reasons:

(1) They provide an easy to clean floor area and reduce the chance of pedal-foot obstructions (due to a mat lifting)
(2) They provide strength for the floor structure – one more layer of protection if hitting a tree stump
(3) The reduction of any potentially flammable items, such as carpet.
(4) They just flat out look cool and “racy”.

In our track (road racing) cars we also standardly install diamond plate mats for similar reasons.

For your tricked out daily-driver reasons 1 to 3 above may be irrelevant, but reason #4 seems to be the overriding factor for people interested in “tricking out” their rides.

The bottom line is that there is not a ton of practical value to aluminum diamond plate mats but they do look pretty darn cool! However, for people who drive jeeps or other 4×4 type vehicles which may venture off road from time to time the convenience of cleaning is hard to beat.

– Grant
Thrust Motor Sports

10.7.06 – RX-7 Runs at Daytona

30 07 2008

Our new Mazda RX-7 gets her first run at Daytona International Speedway during the SCCA Drivers School weekend. She runs well, and brakes like a dream! However, Sunday we blow a side-seal and limp back to the pits to conclude the weekend.

Car Stuff

22 07 2008

More car stuff at Thrust Motor Sports!

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