Your office and workspace need to be comfortable enough because you spend a major chunk of your time there. Office furnishings have come a long way and in the current era, they are all about enhancing your productivity while working and maximizing your comfort level. However, you might not even think about chair mats when you plan out your office needs. Turns out, they are quite essential to protect your office chair and you too from repetitive stress injuries.
No office worker can sit still in their office chair for the entire day. They move a couple of hundred times every day while sitting on their chairs. So, chair mats are a kind of ergonomic tool that offers several benefits from reducing your fatigue to protecting your office floor from all that damage inflicted by your chair casters.
However, you might not know how to choose the right office chair mat for your work space. Customers often do the mistake of picking the wrong mat and later come up with complaints. This guide will teach you all the things you need to know to pick the right mat for your office chair. Read on to find out!
How to Choose an Office Chair Mat
Office chair mats come in different styles, thicknesses, and are made of different materials. So, you must take a bit of time to select the ideal office chair to ensure you can maneuver without any worries and protect your floor at the same time.
There are five basic things that you need to consider while choosing a chair mat:
- Your office flooring type: Whether it is hard floored or carpeted
- Size of your workspace
- Arrangement of your workspace
- Chair casters
- Load and usage level of the mat
Things to Keep in Mind while Purchasing a Chair Mat
1. Floor Type
Keep in mind that office chair mats are meant for both hard floors and carpeted ones too. However, if you have a carpeted floor, then pick such a chair mat that can grip onto the underside so that the chair stays put in place. Turns out, finding such a mat is not that easy. There could be a wide range of thickness of carpets and there are different chair mats designed for the same.
Choosing a chair mat with the appropriate thickness for your flooring type is quite important. If your chair mat is too thin for your floor, then it’ll start cracking within a couple of weeks. On the other hand, a thick chair mat not only provides protection but also allows you to comfortably roll your chair on it.
But, you can’t get a chair mat meant for a carpeted floor on a hard floor. Note that chair mats for carpets come with cleated backs to get a proper grip on the carpets. Such a mat, when placed on a hard floor will destroy the finish of your floor. Here’s how you should decide on the thickness of your chair mat based on the flooring you plan to place it on:
For hard floor:
- Chair mat thickness: 1/8″ (without cleats)
Carpeted Floor Types:
1. For low pile carpets:
- Chair mat thickness: up to 1/8″
- Carpet: up to 1/4″
2.For medium pile carpets:
- Chair mat thickness: up to 3/16″
- Carpet: up to 3/4″
3. For plush pile carpets:
- Chair mat thickness: up to 3/16″
- Carpet: 3/4″
How To Measure Carpet Thickness?
Given below are the steps to easily measure the thickness of your carpet:
Step 1. Straighten the paper clip’s end
Step 2. Place it vertically in a way that measures from the top of the floor to the top of your carpet while passing through the carpet padding.
Step 3. Mark the measurement with a marker on the paper clip and choose a mat with thickness not more than that of the carpet.
Tip: If you are in doubt, then pick a mat with thickness more than what you think you’ll need.
Note: Usually the manufacturers designate chair mats according to floor type, so, you should use that as a reference too.
2. Chair Mat Size
Before finalizing the size of your chair mat, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you prefer moving from your desk often or sit in the same position for hours?
- How much of a “roll area” is available?
If your chair mat turns out to be too large, then it will accompany space underneath the office furniture as well. Carefully figure out how large your workspace is and make sure your chair mat covers no longer than that. Chair mats are meant to support your office chair with you on it. If you place furniture on the mat, then it is bound to crack and might also devalue the warranty of the chair mat. So, your chair mat must be of the right size as per your work area.
3. Chair Mat Shape and Arrangement of Your Workspace Furniture
Chair mats can be of three different shapes:
- Light Bulb
Now, generally, rectangular chair mats are quite versatile and work well with all three types of workstations like writing table, desk, and U-workstation. On the other hand, the light bulb mats are best for corner and I-shaped workspaces.
Your mat should also be compatible with the caster type of the chair. If you are using the wrong caster type, then your mat can get damaged and crack easily. So, if your flooring is carpeted, then the chair casters should be hard and if the flooring is hard, then you need to have soft casters.
5. Load And Usage
To ensure that your chair mat lasts long enough, you should factor in its weight tolerance too. Also, the usage level is important too. If you don’t want to change your chair mat any time sooner, then pick a thicker chair mat meant to handle higher load and usage.
These were the basic points you need to keep in mind while picking chairmats. After weighing in these factors, you can move on to a couple of other characteristics that you might like. Given below are some of the same:
- Material of the chair mat
- Edge type (Beveled edges can roll easily)
- Color (to make sure that the mat goes well with your office aesthetics)
- Also, if you work on sensitive electronic equipment, then you should get anti-static mats.
Do you need a floor mat for your office chair?
Yes, floor mats for workspace chairs are essential for a lot of reasons. Given below are some of them:
- Floor Protection
Office chairs have rolling casters for enhanced mobility but these can cause irreparable damage to surfaces of floors. It can scratch hard floors and also tear apart your carpet. A chair mat can protect both hard and carpeted floors from scratches, tears, and also from accidental spillage.
- Increases Productivity
Office workers move on their chairs quite a lot in an average day. Installing chair mats will not only protect your carpets but also enhance your productivity by preventing strain on your muscles. This gets rid of that unnecessary back pain and fatigue.
- Protects Warranty of Your Carpet
The majority of carpet companies will not hold their warranties if you don’t install chair mats underneath the chairs with casters.
Are Chair Mats Worth It?
Yes, definitely. Chair mats are worthy to invest in because not only do they increase your office place comfort level and productivity but also protect and increase the longevity of your flooring. Otherwise, your hardwood floors or carpets might get destroyed and also won’t be saved via warranty.
A lot of people overlook this but chair mats surely form an important element of your office. Besides protecting your office flooring, these ensure that you can move around freely with your office chair. Getting the right office chair mat could be quite tricky and we understand that an office worker might not know how to do the same. Hopefully, the points mentioned in this blog will help you get the perfect chair mat for your workspace.