Did you know the flooring structure or even the chairs you are using can be damaged if you avoid using mats? Again, did you know many manufacturing companies void their warranties if you skip using chair mats? Now, you might be wondering if chair mats are really necessary!
Are Chair Mats Necessary? Chair mats are essential for your office. Chair Mats can protect the flooring from the stiff legs or casters of your office chair. Using a simple chair mat can increase the longevity of the floor or carpet underneath. Therefore, to protect your office flooring, using Chair Mats is a must.
I, myself, have faced such problems and regret not using chair mats.
By now, you might realize how important it is to put a chair mat underneath your chair. Nothing to worry; I am here to provide you with a complete guide on why chair mats are necessary and how to choose the perfect chair mat for your office.
Introducing Chair Mats and Its Features
Chair mats are an ergonomic tool that protects your flooring or carpet underneath your chair from being damaged from repetitive strokes. It is one of the essential items for your office.
Let’s check out different features of chair mats:
Chair mats come in a variety of materials, such as glass, PVC, plastic, and rubber.
Straightening plastic chair mats can be challenging; you can read this article to learn How to Flatten Plastic Chair mats?
Chair mats made of polycarbonate plastic are thermoplastic which comes with various beneficial features.
Size & Shape
Different sizes and shapes of Chair Mats are available in the market. You can buy in any size according to your preferences.
Few high-quality chair mats come with an extended lip that sits underneath the desk to protect your carpet and office desk from being damaged.
Nowadays, chair mats offer many advanced features. For instance, some chair mats have a non-slip texture that offers a firm grip for pushing an office chair out from under a desk.
Then again, antimicrobial chair mats are available, which reduce the chance of mold or mildew growing underneath.
Why Is Chair Mat Important For Your Office?
1. Chair Mats Protects Your Floor From Damage
When you skip putting a chair mat under your chair, it will continuously rub the floor; hence will create tension and scratch the floor. It reduces the effectiveness, longevity, and overall texture of the floor.
I have written an article on why hardwood floors require chair mats. You can read it here.
2. Chair Mats Increase Productivity Of Your Work
While working in an office, you might have to move a lot. But, even with casters, it might be hard to move, and it can damage the floor.
The chair mat will enhance movement and increase your productivity by improving the mobility and smoothness of the casters of your chair.
3. Chair Mats Effectively Reduce Injury And Fatigue
Chair mats reduce lower back and joint strain, as it enhances the caster’s movement more efficiently across a hard surface.
There are several studies that show that unsmooth casters can lead to discomfort and cause leg muscle strains.
If the casters do not move smoothly, you will have to push harder using your legs. It can easily cause muscle strains in the lower limbs if the problem is not solved quickly.
4. Many Manufacturing Companies Void Warranty, If Using Of Chair Mat Is Avoided.
Carpet and flooring material manufacturing companies put conditions like mandatory to use chair mat for the ultimate protection of your floor or carpet if you use an office chair on them.
They will not take responsibility if the floor is damaged due to a missing chair mat.
So, if you don’t use a mat, this might lead to the void of warranty, and you will not get free service or replacement of the product if it’s damaged.
What Things To Consider Before Buying A Perfect Chair Mat?
- Flooring Type – Hardware, Carpet, etc.
- Material – Glass, Plastic, PVC, or Rubber.
- Color – That goes perfectly with your office setting
- Size and Shape – Measure The Area
- Price – Know Your Budget
Choose The Ultimate Chair Mat For Your Office in Five Simple Steps:
Step 1 – Identify The Surface
|Type of Your Surface||My Recommended type of Chair Mat|
|Carpet, Hardwood (Vinyl, Laminated)||Plastic or polyurethane, Laminated, Rubber.|
|Hard Floor (Natural Stone or Tiles made floors)||Wood Tile, Laminate, Marble, Linoleum.|
It is seen that plastic or rubber mats do well on carpeted and hardwood floors. It’s not like you can’t use them on other types of flooring. You can, but you will not get the optimal results.
Similarly, wood tile, marble, laminate marble, and Linoleum mats are the best choices for hard floors.
Step 2 – Focus on details.
Understand the chair usage time, i.e., how long you will be sitting on the chair:
- Occasional Use – 0 – 4 Hours/Day
- Moderate Use – 4 – 6 Hours/Day
- Frequent Use – 6 – 8 Hours/Day
- Extensive Use – Whole Day
Know the weight the chair will be handling:
- Under 150 lbs. – Light Weight
- 150 – 250 lbs. – Average Weight
- Over 250 lbs. – Heavy Weight
TIPS – The heavier the load, the thicker the chair mat. Thick Carpet leaves space between the mat and the solid foundation of the subfloor. Therefore, Chair Mat needs to be thick enough to resist potential dishing from chair wheels.
Step 3 – Choose The Type of Chair Mat
Now that you know that usage let me tell you which one to choose when.
- Occasional Use – Up To 1/4 Inch Thick
- Moderate Use – Up To 3/8 Inch Thick
- Frequent Use – Up To 1/2 Inch Thick
- Extensive Use – Over 1/2 Inch Thick
Step 4 – Measure The Area
Accurately measure the area of the workplace where you need to put a chair mat. Mostly there are four shaped chair mats; they are- Lipped, Rectangle, L-workstation, Contour.
Decide the edge treatment you want:
- Beveled Edge – Useful for smooth transition from carpet to mat.
- Straight Edge – Useful for placing multiple mats next to each other.
Step 5 – Buy The Perfect Chair Mat
It is hard for me to decide which one is the perfect Chair Mat for you, as you need to be clear about your requirements and then choose the best one for you.
However, I am providing a list that I think will work best for each requirement.
|Type of Usage||Recommended Chair Mat|
|Occasional Use||Deflecto EconoMat|
|Moderate Use||Aunnitery Office Chair Mat|
|Frequent Use||Amazon Basics Polycarbonate Office Chair Mat|
|Extensive Use||SHAREWIN Chair Mat|
If you use your chair less frequently or moderately, then go for the Defecto EconoMat. It is a perfect mat for low to medium pile carpeted floors and hardwood floors.
It is a fine chair mat for general uses. It will cost around 50-60 bucks, depending on the size you choose. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.
But if you are a real heavy user and want a heavy-duty floor protector mat, I think the Sharewin Chair Mat can be a better choice for most people. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.
It comes in 6 different sizes. You can choose the appropriate size you need, and it costs around 30-50 bucks, depending on the size you choose.
Affordable Office Chair Mat Alternatives
Sometimes office chair mats may not be available, and some will not give you the best results you desire.
Here, I will provide you with an idea about different alternatives that you can choose to avoid Chair mats.
1. Buy a chair with Good plastic chair wheels
Good quality plastic office chair wheels are great to lessen the fictional effect caused by the wheel and the floor.
Its smooth finish can help to move the chair faster without damaging your floor.
However, if a bad quality plastic wheel is used, it can damage the surface as it will increase the friction and rub off the smooth texture by leaving scratch.
Sometimes plastic wheels pick up various small particles, which also can damage the floor as well.
2. Using Rollerblade-Style Wheel
Compared to traditional office chair wheels Rollerblade-Style Wheel covers less surface area and uses more durable polyurethane material.
It provides complete protection by eliminating frictional effects on vinyl, hardwood, and other types of hard floor surfaces.
If you don’t like the concept of using a mat, then the best option for you is to get a chair that has rollerblade wheels or just upgrade your office chair’s existing wheels with rollerblade wheels. You can check out my recommended rollerblade wheels by clicking here.
But if you are going to buy an office chair that has good quality wheels go for the Nouhaus Ergo3D. It has the best quality rollerblade wheels I have seen and its also one of my favorite ergonomic office chair.
You can check the review of this Nouhaus Ergo3D ergonomic office chair with rollerblade wheels on our site here.
3. Using Standing Office Desks
Studies show that long-hour sitting jobs have a bad effect on our body whereas standing desks come with various health benefits. As a result, many offices are now installing standing desk models. They come in various sizes and are small.
However, standing desks can be expensive and can cost you hundreds of dollars. So, if your budget is limited, you should avoid buying a standing desk.
If you are interested to know about the cost of standing desks, check out this article of mine: How much does a Standing Desk Cost? (With 18 Real Examples)
So, Is Office Chair Mat The Ultimate Solution To Protect Your Office Floor?
Office chair protects your office floor to a great extent; however, sometimes it can result in more damage. For instance, rock, dirt, or other debris can get stuck underneath a floor mat and cause severe damage to your floor. This is why you should regularly clean underneath your chair mat.
Chair Mat can cause severe damage to your carpet. While using a chair mat on the carpet, pressure can create huge holes in the carpet. Then again, through this hole, dirt can enter, and the chair wheel/leg can stretch the floor.
Finally, chair mats mostly come in specific sizes and shapes, resulting in limited buying options for your office.