Do you Need a Chair Mat on Hardwood Floors?

I have seen people who use rolling office chairs on Hardwood floors often complain about Office Chair damaging their beautiful Hardwood floors. So I have done some research and found some amazing solutions to that problem. If you want to know that, if you need a Chair mat to protect your Hardwood floor from scratches and damages, then this blog is for you.

Having chair mat is a must on hardwood floors if you have a rolling chair. The wheels of rolling chairs often leave scratches and marks on hardwood floors. If you use a rolling office chair on a hardwood floor, you are damaging your floor.

So, If you want to protect your Hardwood floor from your rolling office Chair, you must use a Chair mat.

Advantages of having Chair Mat on Hardwood Floors:

Many of us are concerned about the appearance of our hardwood floors getting ruined by office chairs. I think it’s a legitimate concern. We enjoy the hardwood floor at our house more than any type of floor. To make this floor last longer, we need to be more cautious about some stuff. Having a rolling chair in the office or at home can easily ruin the hardwood floor over time.

It can leave some permanent marks that would be very costly to repair. A chair mat can easily solve this issue. Let’s find out some benefits of having a chair mat on hardwood floors.

1. Provides Protection from Scratches

Either you use a rolling chair or a fixed chair, it will leave scratches to your pretty hardwood floors over time. Sometimes those scratches could be very hard and expensive to repair. Also, while you will be spending hour upon hour sitting down, working on your projects, you will even leave more scratches on your floor, which will be noticeable after a few years of use.

You have to be cautious about these facts, and a chair mat can easily help you protect your floor.

2. Helps to avoid Floor Damage: 

Obviously, chairs will leave wear patterns and scratches over time, and thus, there is a high chance that your wooden floor will be damaged in no time.

While working on a desk, we all tend to lean down to be relaxed or maybe have some drinks; we can easily spill the drink and leave a mark all over the place, which damages the floor over time. 

3. Provides Protection from rolling chairs Wheels:

Most of the rolling office chairs have hard casters on them, and it can easily leave scuff marks, which is the number one issue. Caster is made of plastic so they can be easily rollable. They are good when there isn’t any weight on them. But when you sit on your chair, rolling back and forth while working makes the friction on the hardwood floor, and it leaves a permanent scratch or damages the floor from time to time.

4. Retain the looks and beauty of your hardwood floor for years: 

We are all aware that hardwood floors started to fade over the course of its life. Usually, you will notice fading after about 25 years. If they are installed properly, they can last a lifetime(100 years). With good care, it would retain its beauty a bit longer. If you are using a rolling chair for your workspace, then a chair mat for the floor is very important.

If you work for 7-8 hours on a regular basis on a desk, then you will notice that your floor is getting damaged because of your chair while you are sitting for long hours and rolling back and forth during work. After a few years, the beauty of your floor will start to fade away, and none of us would want that, so a chair mat can increase can be a good option to retain that beauty for a longer time.

Disadvantages of having a Chair Mat on Hardwood Floors: 

While you are reading this post, you might be thinking that we purchase a chair mat because we want to protect our hardwood floor. Why would there be any cons? Well, there are some cons of having chair mats on hardwood floors as well. We know that the chair mat doesn’t last for a lifetime.

If you are consistently using the same chair mat years after years, it will get damaged, and in the process, it will cause damage to the floor as well. You have to replace the chair mat, maybe every year. Another con of chair mat is, it can leave some marks on the floor around the corner of the chair mat. However, it is easily repairable.

Is a Chair Mat Really Necessary?

Yes, I think a Chair Mat is really necessary. For hardwood office space floors, chair mats help in preventing damages and scratches. Chair Mats also defend carpeted, tile, or linoleum flooring against damages and scratches, and continuous wear-and-tear.

If you are a business owner, you may have to pay a high cost for refinishing existing floor surfaces; your office has to eradicate damage or install new floors.

Alternatives of chair mat on Hardwood Floors:

Chair mats provide great protection for hardwood floors. However, not all of us are a big fan of chair mats, or you can think that chair mat will easily ruin the beauty of your floor. In that case, we have some solutions for you. You won’t need to always think of chair mats to protect your hardwood floors. Check out the following tips that can replace the chair mat and protect your floor.

Replacing the casters of your chair:

Traditional office chair casters are made of plastic. They are easily rollable, but they can be the root cause of the damage of your hardwood floors. There are alternate casters that can help you replace your chair mat. These are the rollerblade-style wheels (link from amazon).

These wheels use durable polyurethane material (a type of rubber) and cover less surface area than traditional office chair casters. These casters damage a lot less on carpet than traditional wheels.

If this task is too daunting for you, then there is an easier solution. Place a layer of duct type around the caster’s circumference, and it will give some protection on hardwood floors.

Standing desks: 

Spending hours of sitting down can cause a lot of health risks. To reduce it, modern offices are now replacing their normal desk with a standing desk that can be easily adjusted with a press of a button. As you are not using any chair on a standing desk; thus, it’s not damaging your carpet.

Using a Carpet: 

Carpet is a good solution to protect hardwood floors. Go with the woven carpet that will make your workplace more stunning. There are some downsides to using a carpet too. A rollable chair can easily damage a carpet.

Recommended chair mats for hardwood floors:

  1. Office Chair Mat with Lip for Carpet. 36″ x 48″ (Link from Amazon)
  2. Rectangular Office Chair Mat for Carpeted Floor, 48”x36”(Link from Amazon)

If I were to buy a chair mat right now, I would choose from these two Chair Mats. These mats are the most popular, fashionable and cost effective ones in the market right now. That’s why I am recommending you these Chair Mats. 

If you have a traditional Desk which has a Drawer on both sides, just getting the first Mat, which has a lip, would work fine for you.

On the other hand, I recommend getting the 2nd one if your workspace is at the corner of a room.

Related Questions:

1. Can rolling chairs be used on hardwood floors?

In the market, most of the rolling office chairs right now come with durable and hard wheels made of plastic. They can easily damage your wooden floor. So if you want to protect your wooden floor, just get a good office chair mat to use on the wooden surface or use hardwood safe caster wheels for your office chair.

2. How to Protect Hardwood Floors From Damage?

If you want to protect your hardwood floor from being damaged, the first thing you have to do is limit the floor’s traffic and impact. Then, avoid cleaning your hardwood floor with water. Finally, if you are using a rolling office chair, get a good chair mat.

3. Will an office chair scratch laminate?

Yes, like hardwood flooring, your expensive laminate floor can also be easily damaged by rolling office chair wheels. That is why you should take steps to prevent that from happening as soon as possible

4. What type of casters is best for hardwood floors?

I mostly recommend soft rubber caster wheels on the hardwood. However, you can also use soft polyurethane caster wheels on your hardwood floor as well. 

Final Thoughts:

According to my research and experience, I think it is wise to get an Office Chair Mat for you if you have hardwood flooring in your office. If you have come this far, you have already seen, doing that, you can preserve the looks of the floor and prevent damages and scratches. If you are wondering about using an office chair mat on carpeted flooring, you should read our article on “Using office chair mat on Carpeted Floor.”

If you purchase a plastic chair mat, sometimes we have a hard time flattening the chair mat, if you need help regarding flattening your chair mat, you can check our article “How to Flatten Plastic Chair Mat?

Thank you for reading! Before you go, take a minute out and check out my recommended Chair Mat.

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.