Chair mats are an essential component for every home and business office where office chairs are used. They allow for ease of rolling and reduce the amount of energy required to move an office chair from one location to another. Carpeted floors tend to provide too much resistance for office chair casters to work effectively and efficiently. They are also designed to extend the life of your carpet by spreading out the pressure from the chair casters, which will wear down carpet fibers over time and cause indentations. Mats also help protect hard surface floors such as linoleum, tile and hard wood floors from scratches and wear that can occur from office chair casters. When determining which will work best for your work surface, it is important to take several factors into consideration prior to purchasing to ensure that it will be suitable for your work environment.
One important component that must be taken into consideration when purchasing a chair mat for your office is the thickness of the carpet the chair mat will be used on. Each chair mat is designed to be used on a specific type of carpeting, some are made for low pile carpet where as others are made for medium pile carpet. Then there are chair mats that can only be used on commercial grade carpet because of their thin design. The thicker the mat the flatter it will lay and the less it will bow, which makes it easier to roll on. Additionally, thicker chair mats will help prevent the chair from moving since it will stay more level. There are also thicker chair mats ideal for big and tall users that allow for a greater weight capacity and are strong enough to keep from cracking when rolled on.
The backing on chair mats is also essential when determining which will work best for your carpet or work surface. If the mat is intended for use on a carpet, be certain to make sure it has small anchors or studs that will grip the carpet and prevent the mat from sliding. These anchors are specifically designed to not damage the carpet surface or carpet backing. Hard floor chair mats feature have a smooth backing that will not scratch or damage the floor below while preventing the mat from sliding. Bamboo chair mats for hard surfaces come with a unique non-slip felt backing which works in the same capacity in that it protects your hard wood floor while keeping the mat in place.
Chair mats are available in multiple designs and patterns depending on your preference or your employer’s policy. Decorative mats are available in a variety of patterns including oriental rug design, heathered chenille, bamboo, squares, strips, swirls, and lines. These mats allow you to personalize your home or office with elegance and style, making them a perfect complement to all workspace environments. If you are looking for something more subtle, most chair mats come in a clear coating. Others are available in glass clear coating which allows for the beauty of your carpet or hard wood floors to show throw and your mat to seamlessly blend in.
The final consideration when purchasing a chair mat is the type of edges you will want your mat to have. The edge options available are straight, crystal (rounded at the corners), or beveled (sloped downwards). Straight edges are best for hard surfaces, making it more difficult to slide on and off the mat. Crystal edges can also be used on hard floors and add a more elegant appearance with rounded corners. For carpeted areas, a beveled edge chair mat is ideal. Beveled edges are also a good solution if you will be frequently rolling on and off your mat. The ramped edge allows for a smoother rolling surface.
The office chair mat, a key piece of furniture necessary for any work environment that often gets forgotten when purchasing new additions for the office. Chair mats are often perceived as a luxury purchase rather than a necessity, and as something that can be purchased at a later point in time if really needed. While you may have preconceived notions about office chair mats, they are actually a key piece of furniture that should be taken into consideration when purchasing new items for both your work and home office. Having a chair mat in any work environment is beneficial for a number of reasons including floor protection, appearance purposes, personal safety, ergonomic benefits, and ease of mobility.
The primary purpose of owning a chair mat is to protect the surface that you roll on with your office chair. No matter what surface your office chair currently sits on, such as hardwood floors, carpet, or linoleum, there are chair mats designed specifically for each of the aforementioned. Office chair casters can easily scratch hardwood floors, leave imprint marks in carpet, and also damage the quality of your carpet from the consistent rolling. In fact, many carpet manufacturers will void their warranty if an office chair will be used on it without the use of a chair mat. Carpet chair mats typically come with a set of cleats located underneath the chair mat that allow the mat to stay firm and in place when rolling across. Chair mats for hardwood floors or linoleum do not have the cleats underneath the mat, however their weight allows for the mat to stay in one place rather than sliding around as one might fear.
The addition of a chair mat to an office instantaneously creates an elegant and clean appearance . Many come with a clear finish making them less noticeable for those that are apprehensive about having your chair mat take attention away from the overall design of your office and allows the beauty of your flooring to show through. They can also compliment your office design or stand out with the option for colorful and unique designs that are provided by some chair mat manufacturers. Some unique chair mat designs include bamboo, zebra print, a world map, peacock print, colorful circles, and many more. They are also available in different shapes and sizes depending on what your office needs; if you have smaller work area then you may opt for a smaller sized chair mat. If your work area requires rolling across a larger surface area, then you may want to opt for a larger chair mat or a mat that differs from the traditional rectangle shape and try an arc or ellipse shape instead.
Chair mats often bring up the concern for personal safety, for example, many people often do not look where they are walking and may be worried about tripping over their chair mat. The same can be said for walking in the dark at night in your home office and risking falling over from catching an edge on your chair mat. While cheaper chair mats do come with straight edges that can be a safety concern, there are plenty of higher quality mats available that come standard with rounded protective edges designed specifically so people do not trip over them. Rounded or beveled edges are also helpful for a smooth transition to the carpet or floor when rolling off the chair mat.
Chair mats are ergonomically beneficial in preventing leg fatigue and ease of movement. If you currently do not have a chair mat and use your office chair on a carpeted surface, then you have most likely already felt the pressure and struggle that it takes to roll from once spot to another. With a chair mat, gliding from one spot to another is a simple task rather than having to utilize your leg muscles to give you the momentum to move on the carpet. Repetitive pushing with one’s leg muscles can cause unnecessary leg and back pain from over exerting oneself.
Purchasing a chair mat is a worthwhile investment for assurance that your floors and carpets will be protected and unharmed from your office furniture. While getting new flooring or carpets can put a huge dent in your budget, buying a chair mat is very affordable with even the highest quality of chair mats usually falling below the one hundred-dollar threshold. Your legs will also thank you from relieving the amount of pressure necessary to get from one place to another when rolling in your office chair. If anything, keep your floors clean and looking beautiful with the addition of a chair mat.
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When purchasing your last office chair you probably were given the option of which type of casters(wheels) you wanted to have included on your chair. Generally there are not too many wheel option, usually the most common are standard carpet casters or an option to upgrade to soft casters that are more gentle on hardwood floors. Usually carpet, no matter which casters your chair comes with, provides too much resistance for office chairs rollers to work well. On carpet, often it is difficult to roll from one place to another because of the amount of pressure being put on the wheels from a person sitting on the chair, in addition to an already resistant surface. Rolling a chair over carpet will also wear down carpet fibers over time; you may find the spots on your carpet where your chair typically rolls over becoming more bare and noticeably different. Chairs also sometimes tend to leave indentations in carpet if used in the same spot that are near impossible to get rid of.
Chair mats are often purchased to place underneath your office chair to avoid problems that arise from rolling over a surface often and the damage that accumulates over time. Chair mats also allow you to be able to roll quickly and effectively from one place to the next without the typical resistance carpet brings. Mats can also help to protect uncarpeted floors, such as wood or linoleum, from wear and tear. There are also a variety of design options available that are sure to enhance the appearance of any office. When purchasing a chair mat, most tend to gravitate towards the cheap plastic traditional mats that are designed for carpets. Sometimes this is not always the best option to choose for your workplace needs and it is good to determine what is going to be best suited for your office chair and surface your chair rolls on.
The first step towards picking your new chair mat would be to determine the area where your chair mat is going to be used. If you use your chair on a carpet surface, plastic chair mats are a decent option with the downfall being they sometimes crack under pressure and do not last too long. If you use your chair on a hard surface a plastic chair mat won’t work for you as they would slip away and not stay in place. A bamboo chair mat is always a great option to use. Although more expensive in price, not only does it work on almost every surface due to its non slip felt back it is also much more elegant than a traditional vinyl/plastic mat. Incredibly durable, bamboo chair mats are designed to last ten plus years, can be rolled up and are easy to store. Bamboo chair mats are a viable option for both carpet and hardwood floors.
Next you will want to determine the area the mat is going to be used. You want to have a mat that will cover enough of the floor for you to be able to at the very least roll back to get out of your chair. It is best to use a tape measurer and measure from the desk outward to see how far the mat should extend before your purchase. Most chair mats are sold in multiple sizes to accommodate most desk areas and are large enough for regular uses. Measurements can be found in product spec and information area, so it is good to have your desk areas measurements prepared beforehand. If you typically like to roll your chair from one desk to another or between two areas it is best to get the largest mat possible.
Once you have determined where your chair mat will be used and the dimensions of your work area, it is time to decide the actual mat you would like to purchase. Roller mats come in both solid, clear, and as aforementioned different colors of bamboo. Clear mats are sometimes preferred over others if you are looking to have it blend in with the office and carpeting. Some prefer a solid color that will stand out, however, if you get new carpet later your mat may not match up with the original carpet color. Bamboo is always a safe option because it blends well with any pre-existing carpet color scheme and comes in a variety of colors to match your hardwood floors.
Every purchaser will have different wants and needs. so ultimately the decision of which chair mat to buy will be entirely up to them. If you need a standard cheap chair mat that will work well on carpet but will only last about 3 years then your best best is a plastic or vinyl chair mat. If you have a little bit more money to spend and want a mat that will work well on any surface, the best bet would be a bamboo chair mat as they are extremely durable and will not harm underlying floor finishes. Take all the above recommended advice into account the next time you are searching for a new chair mat and hopefully you will find the right chair mat for you!
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