How to Flatten Plastic Chair Mat?

You have a swivel chair with a great caster, but you bought a chair mat to protect your carpet or hardwood floor from scratch or stain the caster wheels. As the plastic chair mat comes in a rolling shape, it’s going back to its previous condition when you unrolled it. So, how do you flatten this chair mat?

You can flatten the plastic chair mat in the following ways:

  • Leave the chair mat for at least 24 hours to warm up if it’s cold outside
  • Unrolled the carpet as it gets to room temperature
  • Place weight on all four corners of the chair mat
  • A warm room with direct sunlight will speed up the process.

Modern chair mats are made using vinyl. Flexible vinyl allows the manufacturer to roll the mat for shipping. Vinyl plastic has memory characteristics; it takes that memory to remain in a rolled form when it is rolled up. Sometimes it might be challenging to unroll into a flat shape.

4 Must-Know Tips to Flatten the Plastic Chair Mat

Let the chair mat meet the room temperature.

If it’s winter in your region, then it’s more likely that your chair mat had a cold temperature when you received it. Vinyl material gets harder in cold temperatures and flexible in warm climates. 

It’s more likely that your chair is made from vinyl material. Before unrolling your mat leave it for 24 hours to meet room temperature.

Unroll the Chair Mat As It Gets to Room Temperature

After 24 hours of receiving your chair mat, it might meet the room temperature.You can unroll the chair mat using the following way.

How to Unroll the plastic mat to flatten it?

  1. First, cut the straps of the mat, then place it on the floor; pull the leading edge away from the mat and onto the surface of your floor.
  2. Knell on the edge of the mat to hold it in place ( you can take someones to help in this step); grasp the open end and unroll the rest of the mat.
  3. Apply weight on four corners. You can use a pile of books on four corners to hold it in place.

It won’t take a lot of time to flatten the mat. Sometimes it takes as little as one hour. Regarding the thickness of your mat, allow up to 24 hours for your mat to flatten completely. A thinner mat takes less time than a thicker mat to flat.

Placing weight on the corner of the chair mat

As I have mentioned above, use a pile of books as weight and this weight on the chair mat’s corners. It will make the process faster by getting flat.

Room With Direct Sunlight

Sometimes the chair mat takes a longer time to get warm. But a room with direct sunlight will make the process much faster if you don’t have access to direct sunlight in your room or office. You can use the balcony or roof to make the chair mat warmer.

A small tip for you is, do not use devices like heat guns or hair dryers to heat the mat as this may cause permanent damage to your chair mat. You will see in a lot of places this idea is mentioned to warm up the chair mat. However, it can damage the plastic of the mat.

Related Questions

How do you uncurl a plastic placemat?

Uncurling a plastic chair mat and flattening it are two types of issues. You applied all the above ways to flatten your chair mat. But still, the edges of the chair mat remained curly. 

To uncurl the curly area of your mat, first, flip it over if the chair mat is already flat, then reroll the mat in the opposite direction. It creates an opposite curl to the curly edges. You can keep it rolled up for a few minutes, or you can strap it and then check if the edges are straightened or not.

Also, you can use the weight method on the curly area to get it straightened. However, the first attempt is more likely to work.

How do you cut a plastic chair mat?

You can cut plastic chair mats with a utility knife or tin snips or hand shears(if the chair mat is thin, less than 0.125 inches). If you have a small working surface, you can measure the surface using a measuring tape and mark the mat’s cutting area using a pen or pencil.

First, lay down the chair mat on a working surface, then secure the cut line using a metal straight edge ruler. If you are worried that it will leave a stain on your working surface, you can use a long piece of flat aluminum bar stock and put it on the surface.

Then use the utility knife to cut the plastic chair mat. Modern mats are soft and flexible, so you don’t need to pressure to cut the chair mat. In the case of using tin snips, you don’t need the aluminum bar stock.

One thing to keep in mind is that if your chair mat is thick, you might need to pass the utility knife a few times to cut the mat.

Are plastic chair mats recyclable?

Yes, plastic chair mats are recyclable. Plastic chair mats are usually made from flexible PVC tiles or polypropylene. These mats are recyclable and stored at the recycling facilities.

How do you cut polycarbonate chair mats?

Polycarbonate chair mats are not flexible like PVC chair mats. Polycarbonate chair mats are rigid that makes the chair rolling much smoother.

Thickest polycarbonate chair mats are 0.125 inches thick that can be found on amazon. If your polycarbonate chair is less than 0.125 inches, you can use the hand shears to cut the mat. However, If it’s thicker than 0.125 inches, use a circular saw to cut the mat.

In this case, mark the mat’s cutting position using a marker, then using the circular saw or hand shears, cut the polycarbonate chair mat.

How to flatten rubber floor mats?

You can flatten the rubber floor mats the same way as the plastic chair mats. Place the mat in a warm room with access to sunlight or keep it outdoors to get warm. Then you can place them on the floor and use weights on the corner of the mat to fasten the process.

How to prevent an office chair mat from moving ?

The chair mat moves on the carpet while you are rolling. If that’s the case, then you can use double-sided tape to prevent it from moving. I will suggest you add this tape on the four corners on the opposite side of your chair mat.

There are a lot of ways to prevent a chair mat from moving. I think it’s much easier to use tape underneath the chair mat to prevent it from moving from a carpeted floor or hardwood floor. 

Final Thoughts

Office chair mats are an essential product for the office. But flattening a chair mat sometimes becomes harder for us. You can quickly flatten the chair mat using the above methods that I mentioned. Please make sure the chair mat is warm enough to meet the room temperature; it’s much easier to flatten the chair mat when it’s warm.

You can also try out a polycarbonate chair mat that is rigid and smoother for rolling. This chair mat doesn’t need to be flattened.

If you have a hardwood floor or carpeted floor and you want a chair mat so that your favorite floor doesn’t get damaged, we have dedicated articles regarding chair mat for hardwood floor and carpet floor.

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started reseaching on ergonomic chair and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.