Chair Mat Materials: 11 Answers You Should Know

Chair Mat is an essential for any office environment. It provides the ultimate protection to your floor.

There are various types of Chair Mat Materials available, and each type of flooring might require different types of materials. 

In this article, you will get to know various queries regarding Office Chair Mat Materials. So, Let’s begin!

1. What Are Office Chair Mats Made Of?

Office Chair Mats are made of various materials, such as Vinyl (or PVC), Glass, Wood, Rubber, Plastic (or Polycarbonate), and many more. However, different types of flooring will need different floor covering, so you need to choose accordingly. 

Chair Mats are mandatory for any office environment, which is why you cannot but install Chair Mats. The most effective and cheap among these are Polycarbonate and Vinyl Chair Mats. However, you can never go wrong with Polycarbonate Chair Mats.

What is a Polycarbonate Chair Mat?

Polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic used to manufacture different types of products. Polycarbonate Chair Mats are strong and durable but can easily be transformed using heat. They mostly go with carpeted floors.

However, when compared to other types of plastic materials, they are more eco-friendly. Polycarbonate is recyclable plastic. Polycarbonate Chair Mats provides a smooth surface and clear & rigid area so that you can effortlessly move around with your office chair.  

2. Is Polycarbonate The Same As PVC?

To be honest, Polycarbonate and PVC both fall under thermoplastics. However, they are not the same. As its name suggests, Polycarbonate is composed of a carbonate group, but PVC needs vinyl chloride monomer. 

The full form of PVC is Polyvinyl Chloride, as it is composed of a polymer of vinyl chloride monomer. Polycarbonate is a synthetic plastic just like PVC; it is formed after the reaction of Bisphenol A & phosgene.   

Check out the list to know the basic difference between Polycarbonate and PVC:

Molar Mass 254.3 g/mol62.49 g/mol
Melting Point225-Degree Celsius212-Degree Celsius
Presence of Aromatic Rings PresentNot Present
Functional GroupCarbonate GroupsChloride Group
Material TypePlasticVinyl

3. What Is The Difference Between PVC And Polycarbonate Chair Mats?

Polycarbonate Chair Mats are more transparent and damage-resistant. Although they both are suitable for hard floors, PVC mats don’t suit soft flooring and can get curled up easily. When it comes to durability Polycarbonate Chair Mats surely outweighs PVC Chair Mats. 

Polycarbonate Chair Mats are durable and can last for years. Moreover, Polycarbonate Chair Mats are damage-resistant; that is, they hardly get flexed when you put pressure on them. They are tougher compared to PVC Chair Mats. PVC Chair Mats can get blended or cracked very easily.

Thus, Polycarbonate Chair Mats are more reliable than PVC Chair Mats.

4. What Is The Difference Between Polycarbonate And Vinyl?

The main difference between Polycarbonate and Vinyl is that Polycarbonate is more durable and tear-resistant than the other. Polycarbonate is also scratch-resistant and can be used for versatile purposes.

Both polycarbonate and vinyl are synthetic materials. But chair mats made of polycarbonate are more transparent.

On the other hand, vinyl chair mats usually look dull. PVC chair mats are actually made from a type of processed vinyl material.

5. Are Vinyl Floor Mats Recyclable?

The direct answer to this question is Yes, Vinyl Floor Mats are recyclable. The main reason behind it is that the Vinyl Floor Mats are manufactured using light-weighted plastic, and they can be recycled to use for other purposes.  

Mostly Vinyl Floor Mats are made using PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride, which is surely recyclable. The main problem that stands between the recycling of Vinyl Floor Mats is it requires a detailed process and huge investment.

Moreover, the recycling process is not so profitable. As a result, many avoid manufacturing Vinyl Floor Mats. 

6. What Is Stronger Vinyl Or Polycarbonate?

When comparing Vinyl and Polycarbonate, Polycarbonate is stronger and more durable than the other one. Polycarbonate is scratch-resistant and lasts way more years than Vinyl, which is why Polycarbonate is used for manufacturing different types of products.  

Polycarbonate is a tough plastic that absorbs moisture and also resists chemicals. They are less harmful than Vinyl. Although both are made of light-weighted plastic, Polycarbonate is much more reliable. 

Being flame retardant and less dangerous, numerous safety products like safety glasses, bullet-resistant sheets are made using Polycarbonate.

Then again, different automotive parts like radiator grills, headlight bezels, or even door handles are made using Polycarbonate sheets. 

7. Is Vinyl Or Polycarbonate Better For A Chair Mat?

Polycarbonate Chair Mats are more transparent, rigid and also provide a smoother surface than Vinyl ones. The quality of being odorless, Phthalate & BPA-free makes the Polycarbonate Chair Mats to stand out. Moreover, Vinyl Chair Mats are not as eco-friendly as Polycarbonate Chair Mats. So, definitely polycarbonate chair mats are better.

Additionally, Polycarbonate Chair Mats last way more years than Vinyl Chair Mats. Being transparent, Polycarbonate Chair Mats also help showcase the carpet’s design that is placed underneath it. 

Chair Mats should be installed after proper consideration of the flooring. It is recommended to use Vinyl Chair Mats only on the carpeted floor whereas Polycarbonate Chair Mats are recommended for hard and carpeted flooring.

8. Glass Vs. Polycarbonate Chair Mat

Polycarbonate Chair Mats are budget-friendly, light-weighted, and are better than any other Chair Mats. On the other hand, when it comes to Glass Chair Mats, nothing can beat them. They are expensive but more eco-friendly, durable, and tougher than Polycarbonate Chair Mats.

Although Polycarbonate Chair Mats seem affordable, they do not give long-term promises like Glass Chair Mats. They are claimed to be eco-friendly, but not as much as Glass Chair Mats. 

After a long time of use, the Polycarbonate Chair Mats starts to get fuzzy, and the chairs’ wheels can damage the surface. It can be cumbersome to clean Polycarbonate Chair Mats. 

On the other hand, Glass Chair Mats are completely odorless and provide a sophisticated look to the Office room. Nothing beats the robust finish of Tempered Glass Chair Mats. 

Tempered Glasses are comparatively strong and resistant to scratching. It works great when it comes to protecting your floors, or maybe the carpet underneath them. Tempered Glass Chair Mats are five times stronger than any other regular glasses

Many people worry if the Glass Chair Mats break. Well, no, they don’t. For more information, I highly recommend you to read the article on, Do Glass Chair Mats Break?

I have written a few helpful articles on glass chair mat. Glass chair mats are by far the prettiest looking chair mats, I have seen. Learn more about glass chair mats by reading these articles:

9. Are Bamboo Chair Mats Good?

In comparison to other Chair Mats, Bamboo Chair Mats are not long-lasting. Although they provide a smoother chair wheel rolling experience and are less prone to dents, they are unsuitable for long-term investments. 

Bamboo Chair Mats are usually preferred for hardwood floors; nonetheless, they are also good for low-pile carpets. Moreover, they will definitely give your Office room an aesthetic look. 

10. What Is Good Thickness For A Chair Mat?

The thickness of the Chair Mat depends mostly on the flooring type and the usage of the Office Chair. Well, let me make it clearer by providing a table;

Level of useUsage TimeThe thickness of the Chair Mat
Occasional Use0 – 4 Hours/DayUp To 1/4 Inch Thick
Moderate Use4 – 6 Hours/DayUp To 3/8 Inch Thick
Frequent Use6 – 8 Hours/DayUp To 1/2 Inch Thick
Extensive UseWhole DayOver 1/2 Inch Thick

Choose the usage period of the Office Chair, and select the appropriate thickness from the table. 

Then again, when it comes to the flooring type, buy a chair mat as mentioned below; 

Type of Your SurfaceRecommended material of Chair Mat
Carpeted flooringPlastic, Laminated, Rubber, Glass
Hardwood or any hard flooringWood Tile, Laminate, Marble, Linoleum.

11. Are Plastic Office Chair Mats Recyclable?

Most of the Plastic Chair Mats are recyclable. Many people use this used plastic for different purposes. Since the recycling process requires huge investments, many just use the Plastic from the Chair Mat to use for other facilities or just use them as raw materials for other plastic products.

I have written a complete article on how you can recycle a chair mat. You can check it out here.

Also, if you want to know how to flatten a plastic chair mat, this article might help.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, you need to use Chair Mats for the ultimate protection of the flooring. What is more important is that you need to choose the Chair Mat after considering the type of flooring and the usage of the Chair Mat.

Choose a good quality Chair Mat that will last longer and provide better protection not only to your Chair’s legs but also to the flooring.

Thanks for reading! If you have a minute check out our recommended chair mats by clicking here.

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.