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Protect Your Home Office Floor with Chair Mats

Chair Mats

Remote working has taken off like never before, and more and more companies are seeing it as a viable long-term plan rather than a short-term fix. If you’re working from home, then you’ve probably got your office set up already – your laptop/computer, telephone, nice desk, and the all-important office chair. But the vast majority of people forget, or simply don’t know, that they also need an office chair mat. If that’s you, read on for our guide.

What is a chair mat?

A chair mat is, quite simply, a mat you put your chair on. It’s important because, sitting all day in a chair, making even tiny movements, or wheeling back and forth, can cause damage to your flooring. Carpets can get unsightly indentations and bald patches; hard surfaces can get scratches and marks. Office chair-mats provide a barrier, taking the impact so your floor doesn’t have to. One more great thing that is not expensive and can help you to save your floor is furniture protector pads. They are invisible and very easy to use.


Choosing the type of backing for your new chair mat (the side of the mat that goes on the floor) is the easiest decision – if you have smooth floorings like wood, laminate, vinyl, or linoleum, you’ll need a smooth backing so it doesn’t scratch. If you’ve got carpet, you’ll need backing with grip: it holds on to the carpet fibers and prevents friction caused by moving about.

What shapes are available?

As with any domestic rug, you can get chair mats in a range of shape options. The most popular are rectangular, square, or lipped. Freestanding, basic-shaped desks usually line up nicely with a square or rectangular mat, whereas if your desk is a corner or ‘L’-shaped one, or you have it next to a wall, a lipped mat can sit comfortably underneath.

What are they made from?

As with shape, you can get chair mats made from a huge variety of materials. You’ll want to stick with a low profile, so you can move or wheel your chair with ease – so the two main choices are:

PVC: this is the more affordable option. With that cost-saving comes a loss in durability and even some functionality because you can’t/shouldn’t use these mats next to a radiator/heater or if you have underfloor heating, as PVC cannot handle temperature fluctuations particularly well. These mats also can’t take really heavy weights – you’ll end up with cracks and breaks. PVC mats are fairly durable, you should get a few years out of one (if you look after it), but it’s not best-in-class by any stretch.

Polycarbonate: These mats are more costly, but they will last for decades. Heat and weight are not an issue, you can use polycarbonate mats over underfloor heating or with a portable heater right on top, it’ll make no difference. These mats are also fire resistant, which is a nice bonus feature – particularly in the home.

What about the look?

Most chair mats are transparent, making them unobtrusive in your office space. This is a particularly versatile option, great for those that might have their office set up in a shared-purpose room (you’re using the dining table for a desk, or you’re in the corner of your living room, for example) or if you frequently need to move your mat between rooms. For those with an eye for color, you can get your mats in a huge range of designs and colors, which can put a nice splash of color and style to your room – but you will have to pay a little more for these.

What size do I need?

This will depend a little bit on you as a worker. If you tend to shuffle about a bit, wheel back and forth, or switch between standing and sitting a lot, you should go large. This will give the most coverage and protection. If you sit fairly still and only get up a couple of times throughout the day, you can get away with a smaller mat that fits just under the chair footprint. These latter options are particularly handy if you want to roll or pack away your mat, or if you want a more subtle mat.

Author Bio: First Mats started life as a safety matting specialist, but has since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality-approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge.

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