Office chair mats tend to be an under-appreciated component of an office setup.
They protect your floor, improve your ergonomics, and add an aesthetic to the workspace – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Not all office chair mats are created equal. When most people think of chair mats, they think of the cheap plastic ones you lay over the carpet. These tend to fall apart within a couple of months, or less.
You have many, many options to choose from when purchasing a chair mat.
You sit at your workstation every single day – you deserve a chair that holds up today, tomorrow, and every day in the future. In this post, we want to explain your options and the factors that come into play: material, size, durability, floor type, and cost.
Let’s dive in.
The Role of Office Chair Mats
Although they are widely overlooked, a desk chair mat plays a crucial role in workspaces.
For one, they protect the flooring material from damage caused by the repeated movement of the desk chair. Unprotected, the chair wheels can wreak havoc on carpet, tile, and hardwood floors.
Office chair mats create a smooth surface, allowing office chairs to glide easily while reducing strain on the flooring material.
In addition to protecting the floor, smoother mobility in the chair contributes to better ergonomics – reducing the physical strain for the person using the chair. Lastly, office chair mats add aesthetic value to the room. Depending on the material of the chair mat you use, it can either enhance or compromise the look of the space.
The Different Types of Office Chair Mats
When you buy an office chair mat, you have many options – based on the material. The most common ones include:
Plastic Chair Mats
These are the most common types of office chair mats. While they are cheap to buy, lightweight, and provide basic floor protection, they are usually short-term purchases. Over time, plastic chair mats tend to develop ruts and cracks, rendering them practically useless.
Moreover, the wear and tear on a plastic mat typically creates an undesirable look within a workspace.
Bamboo Chair Mats
Bamboo office chair mats are sturdy, environmentally friendly, and add a natural aesthetic to a workspace. Slightly more expensive than plastic chair mats, bamboo is the better option. but over time, the bamboo can crack and become less effective.
Vinyl Chair Mats
Vinyl office chair mats are durable and relatively inexpensive. They provide a smooth surface for chairs and can be purchased in a range of shapes and sizes. However, the most common complaint with this material is it tends to turn yellow over time – and is not as environmentally friendly as other options.
Glass Chair Mats
Glass mats are the high-end option when buying office chair mats – and for a good reason. These mats are made from tempered glass, making them incredibly durable while providing a smooth gliding surface that won't dent or scratch.
These office chair mats are easy to clean and provide a sleek aesthetic. Due to the high quality of these mats, they tend to carry the greatest price tag. However, you’ll never have to replace your tempered glass chair mat – unlike other materials. A glass mat is designed to last a lifetime.
Sizing Your Chair Mat Correctly
Sizing a chair mat properly is crucial to making the right purchase.
Start by measuring the area where you'll be using your office chair. In addition to the workspace, you’ll need to factor in the area the chair rolls to when pushing back from the desk or moving around.
It’s recommended to leave some extra space for flexibility.
You may also want to consider the layout of your office furniture. A chair mat should fit well within the workspace and not interfere with doors or other furniture.
Choosing a Chair Mat for Different Floor Types
Protecting the floor is the primary role of an office chair mat. To make the right purchase, you need to account for the specific floor material.
For surfaces like hardwood, tile, or laminate, you’ll want a smooth-backed mat to prevent scratches and allow easy chair movement. For carpeted floors, a model with plastic holding discks can help keep the mat in place. The thickness of the carpet also matters. The deeper the carpet pile, the thicker the chair mat should be.
Understanding the characteristics of your floor type is paramount in the office floor mat you purchase.
Price vs. Quality: Making a Cost-Effective Choice
When looking at the price of office chair mats, it’s recommended to take the long term into account. For instance, if you work full-time in an office space, you may consider a more durable option. Cheap plastic mats can become unusable in a matter of months. While these are cheap upfront, the cost will add up quickly as you continue replacing the mat.
High-quality office chair mats, primarily ones made from tempered glass, tend to be more expensive, but the superior durability, floor protection, and enhanced ergonomics are ideal for workspaces that experience heavy use. While the initial investment is higher, they are a one-time purchase that lasts forever.
When determining the initial cost, consider the longevity, effectiveness, and overall value of the material.
Have had the chair mat for a few years and absolutely love it. Before getting the glass chair mat I was using plastic which tore and shredded over time. This mat allows me to easily move around at my desk without damaging the carpet or my chair. I have never had any issues with the glass, and it looks a lot better than the plastic over time. Definitely worth the price as you will not have to worry about replacing a worn-out plastic mat over and over again!
— Brock B (Verified Customer) | Square Glass Chair Mat
Over to You
Buying an office chair mat is a big investment. It impacts how you protect your flooring, your ergonomics in the office, and the overall aesthetic of the workplace.
At Clearly Innovative, we offer a range of high-quality glass chair mats. We feature models that come in square, rectangular, and tabbed shapes to fit your needs. Browse our catalog today and find your perfect tempered glass chair mat – and don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team for questions!