Chair mats are floor protection mats on which chairs are placed in order to protect floors and flooring from indentations, scratch marks and scuffs caused by the wheels or legs of the chairs. Rolling office chairs are known to damage flooring such as carpet and floor surfaces as a whole.
Usage of chair mat
When purchasing chair mats, consider the kind of carpet they are intended for. This is because they are designed for different thicknesses of carpet.
If for instance you buy a chair mat intended to be used on low pile carpet, it must be strictly used for low pile carpet and not on heavy or high pile carpet. If you use it on high pile carpet, it will bog down into the carpeting, making it difficult for you to move around.
In addition, the chair mat will destroy the fibres of the carpet and your carpet will be damaged. If your carpet is heavy or high pile, use a chair mat that is designed specifically for it to safeguard it from possible damage and unnecessary stress.
Productivity and health of a chair mat
It is important to note that chair mats make it much easier to move within your working area because it takes much less effort to roll your chair on a chair mat than on a carpet. This increases productivity by improving mobility. They also reduce fatigue and back pain, thus helping maintain optimal health.
How to selection a chair mat
Always select a chair mat that grips on the underside to keep it safely and firmly anchored in place. Usually, chair mats come with special studs that help to hold them securely onto the carpet.
A chair mat that has no grip may end up being a waste of your money as it is likely to keep moving all around the floor as you move your chair.
The top of the chair mat suspends the chair above the carpet pile while the mat remains in place. This ensures the carpet does not develop ridges and ruts.
Best material for a chair mat
Chair mats come in different sizes, shapes, and materials to cater for all manner of floors and flooring, including carpet. The best materials for a chair mat intended for a carpeted surface are tempered glass and polycarbonate. These materials are not only often transparent, allowing you to see through them, but they are also incredibly durable.
Chair mat design
Chair mats are specifically designed for both carpeted and uncarpeted hard floors of an office. Do not put a chair mat designed for carpets on a hard floor and vice versa. Chair mats for carpeted floors feature different designs from those mats designed for hard floors such as concrete, tiled, and wooden floors.
Type of chair wheels that don’t spoil mats
There are two types of office chair wheels: plastic, and roller-blade style wheels. Office chairs that are equipped or fitted with cheap and poor-quality plastic wheels can ruin your carpet, especially if they break down as they tend to become jagged and develop sharp and destructive edges.
On the other hand, office chairs with high quality roller-blade caster wheels will not ruin carpet. However, without chair mats, plastic office chair wheels are known to damage carpet after a lengthy time of use, therefore it is always a great idea to use chair mats.
The well-being of your carpet will also be determined by the quality of the carpet and not only by the type and material of chair mat you use and the quality of your chair wheels. It is therefore advisable to always choose high quality carpets for your office.
They downforce of a chair is nearly 100 times greater than that of a footstep. A chair mat helps to spread this downforce, therefore preventing damage to a carpet.
Chair mat thickness
Always choose a chair mat that is sufficiently thick for your flooring because if it is not, it will crack within a matter of weeks. A thick chair mat also provides additional comfort, support, and protection.
Chair mat size
Choose a chair mat that is the right size for your work area by determining the farthest points of your workspace. For instance, measure the distance from your desk to your file cabinet or bookshelf. This will enable you to get the right length of chair mat to cover the distance.
Considerations when choosing chair mats
Chair mats for carpeted floors should be at least 3 millimetres thick to ensure a firm grip. If the carpet is one made of deep pile, then the thickness should be at least 5 millimetres.
- Construction materials
One of the best choices of material for chair mats is polycarbonate, a durable and incredibly strong polymer used in mid-range chair mats. This material resists cracking and curling, and the studs tend to hold onto the carpeting more securely than PVC or vinyl.
It is used in the manufacture of bullet-proof glass as well as aircraft windscreens. It is available in printed and colour options. It never cracks nor does it ever become discoloured. Other chair mat materials are plastic, rubber, bamboo, wood, and sisal.
- Tempered glass
Tempered glass is also another good material, but it can be more expensive than polycarbonate. It is a safety glass that has been made five times stronger than normal glass, making it very tough.
It is the perfect material for making high-end chair mats because it offers a completely flat and smooth surface for chairs to move around with complete ease. They have great clarity and shine, making them attractive to use in any office.
- Price of a chair mat
High-end tempered glass and polycarbonate made chair mats are the most expensive while PVC and vinyl are far cheaper and therefore most affordable. Tempered glass chair mats are made of a scratch-resistant design which is intended to protect flooring such as carpet while at the same time offering a smooth surface for your chair.
Most chair mats are transparent, but there is also the option of patterned, woven mats for office owners who prefer to use the mats as accent pieces.