7 simple steps to install your car mats perfectly

Updated May 23, 2023 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Check out the article from Philkotse.com to find out the step-by-step guide on how to fit car mats properly.

Car mats are essential to every car owner who wants to keep their vehicle neat and tidy. However, car mats that don’t fit your vehicle’s floor space properly are sometimes as good as not having car mats at all.

To get the most out of what you spend on car mats, you need to get them in a size that fits your car securely. Here are tips from Philkotse.com on how to get the right floor mat measurement for your car.

>>> Also check out: 10 tips to self-wash your car properly

Step #1: Determine which fit style you would like to get

There are different fit styles of car mats available that’s bound to pique your interest. Take a look at the different fit styles below:

Standard fit mats

These are the least expensive and usually fit well with any standard car. They are also usually available at almost all automobile accessories and supply store at very affordable prices.

You can buy them depending on your vehicle type (e.g. SUV, compact car, subcompact car, pickup trucks, minivan etc.,) and they have a perfect fit ninety percent of the time. Sometimes they can also be universal depending on the manufacturers or the car type.

Improvised fit mats

These are like standard fit mats, however, they have general sizes for each vehicle type. Compared to standard fit mats, their materials are also more fitted to each type of vehicle due to the general sizing.

Vehicle-specific mats

These costs a bit higher than the last two mentioned and are slowly becoming a popular trend among picky vehicle owners. The price is due to its high-quality and durability that makes it last longer than standard fit mats.

Mats under this variety are designed for a specific make and model. If you find one that matches your car then you best believe that the mat’s measurements are accurate. These are usually available at dealerships and select automotive stores.

Fully customized mats

This is the most expensive style among the four. It isn’t easy to find a business or service provider that can provide satisfying quality. People who patronize fully customized mats are usually those who have already had the rest of their car customized and want a matching customized floor mat.

cars with designed car mats

There are different types of car mats for your car.

Step #2: Consider which type you like best

Type mainly refers to the quality of the floor mat you choose. We listed down the different types below for your reference:

Standard mats

This is the basic floor mat that protects your floor from usual substances like liquids. Some may be absorbent while some may repel water but that’s what they are mostly good for.

standard car mats

Standard mats are the basic floor mat that protects your floor from usual substances like liquids.

All-weather mats

This type is more durable than standard car mats but can also cost more. These are more secured to the floor and stays in place even if the liquid is spilled on it. It is also a good choice if you often get mud on your shoes since all-weather mats are thick enough to keep mud and water from reaching the floor.

Cargo-liner car mats

These resemble all-weather mats and work effectively against liquids as well. However, cargo liners are made from materials that are sturdier than all-weather mats hence, the increased durability.

Carpeted car mats

Carpeted mats stay on the floor securely but they are not effective against liquid spills. They also tend to develop odor a few days after the liquid is spilled on them and left unattended.

Rubber car mats

This type of car mat is effective against liquid spills, mud and even stays securely in place. It is also more affordable compared to most types. The only downside is that rubber eventually breaks, cracks and even tears when exposed to extreme heat.

Heavy-duty mats

Heave duty mats are purely liquid proof. They are also made with special material underneath to help them stay in one place unless lifted. These types of mats are thicker, heavier and more expensive than others but it is also more durable.

Heavy duty car mats

Heavy duty mats are thicker, heavier and more expensive than others but it is also more durable.

Metal car mats

This type is made to be both liquid-proof and durable. One negative side to metal mats though is that they do not stay securely in one place. This will most likely slide around every time you make a turn or a hit the brakes.

Step #3: Get your car’s measurements

Measure the distance from the door to the center divider. The center divider is the bulky plastic part that lies between the driver and the right-hand passenger’s seat. Remember to measure the floor space only and not the actual distance of the door to the divider.

man measuring the car floor

Measure the distance from the door to the center divider.

Step #4. Adjust your measurements

Your measurement should only cover the flat areas of the floor. If there are obstructions, pools and slanting zones, you have to adjust your measurement around them. If measuring the area is challenging for you, then it might help if you watch videos on how to do it properly.

You can also window shop for car mats to get an idea on how they are fitted around obstacles. There are also flat floor mat diagrams online that can help you.

>>> Check out more helpful tips on car interior cleaning: 

Step #5: Make a paper pattern out of the measurement you took

Use your final measurements and cut into a sturdy piece of paper. It’s ok if it’s not neatly cut as long as the measurements are exactly as you took them. Then fit the paper pattern in your car by spreading it on to the floor space.

Cut away the parts of the pattern that climb up to slants and obstacles. If you need more paper to cover the floor then tape some on the part of the paper where you need it. Make sure to write down any adjustments and cuts that need to be made.

Once you are happy with what you’ve got, you can then hand out your final measurements to the custom mat makers of your choice.

Step #6: Putting in your new car mat

 Before you put in your brand new car mat, make sure that your car is clean first. Take out the old car mats and vacuum the area it covers. Don’t forget to vacuum under the seats and also make sure that the floor is dry.

Putting the car mats

Before you put in your brand new car mat, make sure that your car is clean first.

Step #7: Installing your new car mats

Most new car mats are already clean. However, you should still consider washing custom-made floor mats before putting them in your car, especially if it’s second hand car mats. Once they’re dry, you can now determine which mat goes where. Make sure that you put the car mats with the non-skid side facing the floor.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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