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Chair mats are floor protection mats, which are predominantly used to protect floors from damaging chair legs or castor wheels. They can also be used to protect floors underneath furniture or heavy objects, such as tables or cabinets for example.
What are the Benefits of Using Chair Mats?
- Floor Protection
- Help Chair Movement
- Improve and Maintain Aesthetics
We cover these in more detail below.
Chair Mats for Floor Protection
The most obvious benefit is that they protect the floor from damage, especially from wear and tear. Chair legs and castor wheels can cause damage by ripping and crushing carpets as well as marking or scratching hard floors. The cost of replacing floors is huge in comparison to investing in a good quality chair mat.
The chair mat can also cover the area where feet are rested whilst seated, which will significantly reduce the impact of wear and tear on the floor beneath.
Heavy furniture can also cause crushing and indents in a floor which a mat can help with. The weight of the object will be more spread across the whole mat, reducing pressure on the floor beneath.
Spillages are more likely to fall onto the chair mat beneath where you are seated which will protect the floor from staining and make the spillage easier to clean.
Chair Mats to help Chair Movement
The surface of chair mats makes it easier to glide your chair over, whilst giving enough resistance to ensure you are not inadvertently moving from where you wish to be sat. This helps to reduce user fatigue, especially when compared to the difficulty of moving a chair through the pile of a carpet.
Chair Mats to Improve and Maintain Aesthetics
Instead of having a worn path appearance created by the wear and tear of chair movement, you can have an attractive mat in its place instead. Chair mats can now be found in a variety of colours, styles and materials. Most are transparent, so you will be able to see the floor beneath and it will not detract from your existing décor.
Which Chair Mat material should I choose?
Depending on factors such as budget, location, usage and taste, there may be a chair mat material more suited to you.
PVC Chair Mats
Normally at the cheaper end of the chair mat market, PVC mats are better for occasional use. They are less durable than the alternatives and more liable to crack or split. When unboxed they will need some time to lay flat and stay flat and there may be an unpleasant odour which will soon disappear. PVC can be poisonous, so if children or pets are around, you may prefer to choose a mat made from a safer material.
Polycarbonate Chair Mats
The polycarbonate mats we feature on this site are made from the same material that is used in bullet proof glass and aircraft windows. It is therefore inherently strong and durable. If the chair mat is going to have heavy or regular use, then this is a better choice of material as it will last a lot longer.
Rubber Backed Chair Mats
Rubber backed chair mats are available in more colours and patterns and look more like a traditional floor mat. This can help if aesthetics and decor are a primary concern. Rubber chair mats need to be heavy and sturdy enough to ensure they resist rucking up which can make it more difficult to move over the mat.
Glass Chair Mats
A premium look, but also a premium price. If you’re looking to add a touch of class in your office or home, then choosing a glass chair mat may be the option for you. They are usually made from tempered glass, so breakage or cracking should not be an issue under normal use. These mats are heavy, so it’s not a portable or easy to store away solution.
Sustainable choice of Chair Mats
Many chair mats are made from plastic which, quite rightly, is gaining a reputation for its negative environmental impact. We believe that if the plastic used is recycled and recyclable, then this is ensuring the plastic is being used for benefit, whereas it would otherwise go into landfill.
Should I choose a Lip or Rectangular shaped Chair mat?
Many of our PVC and Polycarbonate options are available in a choice of rectangular or lipped shape. The lip shape is ideal if you have limited room to fit the mat between the legs of your desk, but still want floor protection for where you place your feet. If this is not an issue, then choose a rectangular shape.
What Size of Chair Mat should I choose?
When measuring for the perfect size chair mat, measure the width of your desk as well as the area you are rolling or moving over. If you move from computer to a cabinet a few metres away, then this area will be larger. You want the chair to remain on the mat and not roll off the edges, so measure this whole area to determine the correct mat size. You should also include the area where you place your feet for increased floor protection.
Can I cut Chair Mats to size?
Our Shades Eco Chair Mats can be made to any custom size up to 1.5 x 6.6m, and provide a useful chair mat option for those requiring a custom fit chair mat. This mat can also be further cut by the customer, should you need to cut the chair mat to fit around furniture, fixtures or fittings for example. The pile is bonded to the rubber backing so only a small amount of fraying will occur initially but will soon stop.
Our Polycarbonate Chair Mats can also be cut, but are a little more difficult to cut through due to the material they are made from being very tough. However it can be done as long as you have the right tools, such as a sharp utility knife and steel rule or a very fine toothed circular saw. Care must be taken when cutting to avoid cracking or splitting the material.
Please note you will void and warranties and guarantees when cutting into your mat.
Need more help choosing your Chair Mat?
Choosing the right chair mat for your facility can be difficult when you consider the many choices available to you. We are happy to help you cut through this choice and ensure you get the right mat for your premises. Use the Contact Form for additional support.