Are you worried that your hardwood floor would be damaged with the constant use of chairs? Well, it is a legitimate concern to have.
A lot of investment and efforts goes into having the floor lined up with hardwood. A unique beauty is added to the overall look of the room if a hardwood floor is placed. If you are someone who uses the chair, especially the roller chair and move it around a fair amount, there are chances that this would cause damage to your wooden floor.
A chair mat is an ideal solution to protect the hardwood floors from the rigours of chair use. However not all chair mats are ideal to be used on hardwood floors. A wrong choice of chair mat could actually cause more damage to the floor.
This is a definitive guide to understand the advantages of using chair mats, how to choose the best chair mats for your hardwood floors along with our suggestions of 10 best chair mats for hardwood floors that we consider would be helpful for you to choose the right one.
Let us first look at why do we need chair mats?
The chair mat advantage
Chair mats are very much necessary to keep up the look of the space and prevent the floors from any damage due to the rolling chairs.
Rolling chairs are a staple at the workplace. The comfort they offer in easily moving around without the need to get up is one of the main reasons for their popularity. However, all this moving has an impact on the beautiful flooring that has been laid, especially the hardwood flooring. Placing a chair mat would help to address this situation.
A chair mat in simple terms is a piece of item that you place between the floor and your chair. There are multiple benefits that its offers:
1. Protects the hard wood floors:
A good hardwood floor chair mat helps to protect the floor against the wear and tear. Floors are a costly affair to lay down. Subjecting the floors to regular wear and tear, especially with the movement of chairs and other furniture can damage them.
It not only spoils the look of the flooring but it would cost you much to replace that part of the flooring. In a few cases, you might need to go for an overall change of the flooring.
Instead of incurring this expense in maintaining the floor, a smarter option would be to use a chair mat.
A chair mat acts as a protection to the floor. All the movement of the chair is now done on the chair mat, thereby preventing the floor from any wear and tear.
In a few cases, a carpet is spread over the hardwood floor as overall protection of the hardwood floor. A good heavy duty chair mat for the carpet would also help in protecting the carpet from any damage.
It is not just the protection of the floor, a good chair mat also facilitates comfort. Sitting down in one place for long hours can cause strain on your back, ankles, feet etc. It is required that you change your position regularly and move around.
A rolling chair helps you to move around and provide some relief to your body which is in a sitting posture for a longer period of time. However, the fear of damaging the floor might limit your movement. By having a chair mat, you can be relieved from the fear of damaging the floor and can move around your rolling chair.
In those cases where there is a carpet on the floor, the movement can be restricted because of the traction. A chair mat helps in a smoother movement of the chair across the surface.
There are options available for a chair mat for the uneven floor which help to overcome the unevenness of the floor and provide you with a smoother movement across the floor.
One of the main reasons to have a wooden floor is the aesthetic look it offers. Having a carpet over it for protection against any damage would defeat the whole purpose of having a hardwood floor.
Using a chair mat would retain the aesthetic look of a wooden floor as it minimizes the need for laying a carpet. The hard floor chair mats are designed in such a way that they do not affect the aesthetic value of the floor and can also contribute to enhancing the looks.
Now, as we understand the benefits that chair mat offers, it is important to also understand – how to pick up the right chair mat. The chair mats are available in many types, materials, designs, textures etc.
Not choosing the right chair mat compatible for the floor, might actually have a negative impact on the flooring. With the various options that are available, it can be a tough task to identify and choose the right option.
Here are few tips to consider when you think of choosing a chair mat for your hardwood floor.
Our pick of the 10 best chair mats
* Tempered Glass
MuArts Thickest Hard
Ant slip mat
Anti-slip high durable
* Polythene Plastic
We have reviewed the various chair mats that are available in the market and have come up with 10 suggestions that we consider to be the best.
While reviewing, we have considered the different criteria like purpose, durability, aesthetics etc. to shortlist the 10 best chair mats.
1. Cleartex Glacier mat for a transparent look and high durability
This chair mat from Cleartex combines high utility with great look providing you with the best of service on all fronts.
The chair mat is made of reinforced glass which provides it with high durability. It can pull up weight up to nearly 1000 pounds making it one of the best chair mats for heavy person. The reinforced glass ensures that the mat does not dent, sink, curl or buckle.
With the Glacier mat, it is not just about the high functionality. The mat is made of crystal clear glass which provides it with a transparent look, ideally suited for wood floors. High quality glass is used in the making of the mat and it does not discolour after usage, ensuring that the transparent look stay for a long period of time even after regular usage.
This chair mat is an ideal option for all types of wooden floors. It is preferably used on hard floors but also goes well with nearly all the carpet types.
It is a flat type mat and its strong glass makes it unbendable. The surface has the perfect finish with a smooth rolling surface that is ergonomically perfect. Your chair would easily glide across the surface without any hassles. The corners are rounded, adding to the elegance of the mat as well as providing a safety option when laid on the floor.
This crystal clear transparent chair mat is made up of reinforced tempered glass which makes it one of the most durable chair mats which can sustain the weight of heavy chairs and heavy individuals. The chair mat is on top of the line and scores high on durability, utility as well as the looks. The transparent design is such that you can see through the flooring and hence the overall look of the floor is not affected. The perfect chair mat on all fronts!
2. Marvelux’s chair mat for all types of carpets
There are various types of carpets which are used for flooring. Not all chair mats are compatible with all the types of carpets. Marvelux’s polycarbonate chair mat is designed as a perfect fit with various type of carpets – light, medium and heavy.
The polycarbonate material used in the chair mat offers ultimate protection for the carpets against any wear and tear caused due to the movement of the chairs. It suitable for low, standard as well as medium pile carpets up to a thickness of ½ inch. The sturdy material ensures that the chair mat does not cup in or bend when a chair is placed upon it. It continues to retain its flat surface even when a heavier person is sitting on it.
The surface offers a smooth gliding, which reduces the stress in your feet. You can comfortably move around providing ample relaxation and ergonomic support for your feet.
Chair mats which are used along with the carpets would need additional grip to be able to hold onto the surface. This chair mat from Marvelux comes with a studded back which helps to provide additional grip to the mat. You can comfortably move your chair around without the fear of the mat slipping up against the carpet surface. The mat does not contain any toxic substances and therefore is health-friendly.
This chair mat is one of the best hard chair mats for carpet which is compatible with most of the carpets of varying thickness. The rugged smooth surface provides easy gliding of the chair and removes the stress on your body especially the back and legs. This is the best chair mat for high pile carpets.
The polycarbonate material provides a sturdier option to survive the longer duration of strain from the chairs making this chair mat your ultimate carpet protector.
3. Heavy-duty chair mat from Double-Check
This heavy-duty mat from Double Check is the thickest mat available in the market. It is made out of polycarbonate and has a thickness of nearly 0.8 inches. The thickness makes the mat highly durable.
The mat is made up of 100 % pure polycarbonate. The surface is a flat firm surface and is capable of supporting heavier loads without cupping or breaking up. The thickness of the mat ensures that the wheels of the chairs do not sink in and are stable.
The mat comes with lip shape. This ensures to provide covering for the floor even under the desk. You can now conveniently slide the chair under the desk when not in use, without causing any damage to the floor. The surface of the mat is also easier to glide. Ensuring that there is no additional stress needed to move the chair around over the mat.
The material is transparent material which ensures that the beauty of the floor is not hindered and is perfectly compatible to the surroundings. The high quality material used ensures that the mat does not discolour at any time.
The underpart of the mat is studded, which provides high grip for the mat to cling on to the carpet. This secures the seating position without any fear of the chairs rolling or slipping up.
Eco-friendly material is used in the make of the mat.
This is the thickest chair mat that is available in the market that provides high durability and protects the carpet against all the wear and tear. Made of high-quality polycarbonate material, it does not break, curl or allow scratches on its surface. The additional lip design helps to even cover the area under the desk, which is an additional feature when compared to the rectangular-shaped mats. This is one of the best heavy-duty chair mats for the carpet.
4. Thick and sturdy chair mat for all hard surfaces from MuArts
This chair mat from MuArts is made of PVC material and is the thickest mat available for hard surfaces. This near 0.8 inch mat can be used for nearly all the hard floor surfaces including – hardwood, laminate, time etc.
Most of the mats for hard surfaces do not come with any additional gripping options underneath. However, this mat has a slightly coated underside which helps to have additional traction on the hard surfaces and hence avoids slippage.
The PVC material used in the mat is of high quality and comes with a long lasting life. Although the mat is thick and sturdy, it is also flexible enough not to cause any breakage on the application of additional pressure.
The material is toxic-free material ensuring a greener and cleaner internal environment.
It has a smooth texture on the surface which allows easy movement of the chair, helping in reduced effort on your body. The surface also has enough traction that does not allow any skidding of the chair from the mat while moving around.
The shape of the chair mat is rectangular and has rounded edges which minimize the risk on any injury when stumbled upon. It has additional expansive surface that can cover up the area under the desk.
It is a see-through mat and integrates very well with most of the hard surfaces.
This mate from MuArts is one of the thickest mats you can find in the market. Ideal for most of the hard surfaces, the mat apart from providing protection to the floor also ensures comfort of usage with its smooth gliding surface on top. The additional grip coating is and add-on surprise. Although there are instances of formation of scratches and curling over the corner, the mat is a quality product which can be used regularly and is durable.
5. Ant slip mat for hard floor surfaces from Office Marshall
This mat from Office Marshall is made of Polypropylene material. Unlike PVC material, this is more sturdy and lasts long. The mat is compatible with most of the hard surfaces.
One of the unique and better features of this mat is the anti-slip surface on top. This helps to ensure that the chair on the top does not slide around and is firmly held in place when in use. Although it has an anti-slip formula, the surface is smooth enough to allow the chair to roll over allowing the flexibility of movement.
The polypropylene material that is used in the make of the chair mat is sturdy and does not result in any curvy edges even in the long run. Curved edges are one of the main challenges of chair mats. The high quality material prevents any such issues from occurring. The material is sturdy and at the same time pliable to ensure that there are no cracks formed on the surface of the mat.
The mat comes in a convenient rectangular shape and has smooth curved edges which reduce the instances of any injury in case of accidental collision against the mat.
The smooth surface facilities easy movement which reduces the stress on feet and the back.
The materials used in making of the mat are toxin free and are eco-friendly. The mat is odourless too.
This is one of the best available options for all types of hard floors. It can be used as a convenient option as office chair mat for laminate floor or wooden floor. The surface of the mat is designed such that it smoothens enough to facilitate easy movement as well as control the slippage of the chair. It is thick enough to prevent any sinking of the chair into the floor surface.
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6. Floortex Cleartex Ultimate chair mat for protecting carpets
This chair mat from Cleartex is made of polycarbonate material. This material is highly durable and provides added on protection to your floor, especially the carpet. This is a heavy-duty chair mat for the carpet.
The polycarbonate material with which the chair mat is made is very tough and can sustain a higher amount of usage. It is perfectly fitted to protect your floor especially the carpet from the regular movement of the chair casters.
The chair mat is flat-surfaced, and the strong build of it ensures that the mat does not sink in when the chair is placed on it. The polycarbonate material ensures that the mat is not cracked or curled. It also does not have any specific odour, making it an ideal choice for a workplace environment.
This Cleartex mat has a transparent look making the floor/carpet to be clearly visible. The high-quality polycarbonate material used does not allow colouring of the mat even after a period of constant use, ensuring that the transparent look stays on forever. This see-through mat would ideally fit into any room and does not appear to be intrusive.
The surface has a good smooth finish which allows easier gliding of the chair across the surface and helps in providing relief to your feet.
It comes with gripper back, allowing it to stick to carpet surfaces and thereby keeping the chair mat stable and in place.
The rectangular shape of the chair mat fits and blends in perfectly with any floor design.
The chair mat from Cleartex is one of the best options available for carpets. The gripper back ensures to offer higher grip on carpet surfaces allowing the mat to remain stable. The smooth finish provides easy movement of the chair. The polycarbonate materials used in the making of mat lends higher durability and offers protection to the carpet from the chairs.
7. Star Counters high durable chair mat for carpets
This highly durable chair mat from Star Counters is one of the best hard chair mats for carpet. The mat is made up of heavy duty polycarbonate material that can resist heavy usage and protects the floor carpet from wear and tear.
Most of the chair mats become obsolete after a period of continuous usage. However this chair mat is made to be able to handle the daily rigours effectively. The mat is transparent and would suit any type of flooring.
This mat from Star Counters provides reliable grip on the surface. There is very less scope of any slipping or sliding of the chair. However the surface also ensures that there is enough feasibility to be able to move around without much pressure. This perfect balance is effectively maintained in the design and the surface of the map. The base has prongs which holdup the mat against the carpet to avoid any sliding of the mat on the carpet floor.
It is one of the thickest mats for carpets with 0.8 inches of thickness. This helps the mat against any bending or curling. Since high quality material is used in the mat, it does not warp or curl over a period of time.
The surface is smooth and flat and there aren’t any edges which stick up. Another unique aspect of the mat is that it is environment friendly and can be recyclable.
The mat is one of the sturdier options when it comes to chair mats for carpets. The polycarbonate material makes it a strong mat which can be used for a longer period of time. The transparent look does blend well with most of the floor surfaces. While it is reliable option with all the best features, one major drawback is its relatively small size. If the size is not a bother, then this is a mat you should be opting for your carpet floor.
8. Ilyapa’s Simple and elegant chair mat for hardwood floors
Simple looks and design may be deceptive in conveying the worth of a product. This effective chair mat for Ilyapa is one such instance where even though the product appears to be simple, it provides great utility features.
The chair mat comes with a simple but aesthetic design. The transparent see through mat blends in perfectly with nearly all types of hard surfaces – vinyl, concrete, laminate, tile etc. The design patterns of the hard floor tiles are clearly visible, thereby not obstructing the beauty of the floor.
It is durable and protects the floor from the constant movement of chairs. The surface is textured to ensure that there is least amount of slippage and the chair is firmly secured when not in movement. The smooth surface allows enough options to move the chair around without any pressure on the legs and back.
The mat is simple to maintain. If there are any spillages or dust, you can simply wipe it off with a wet cloth without any damage to the mat.
The design and the build quality is high, making it a durable option lasting for longer period of time.
There is no scope of cracks or curls even after sustained usage of the chair mat. They are built to be able to withstand most of the office furniture. There is no problem of de-colouration, therefore the mat remains pristine and transparent event after regular usage.
This mat is a good option for hard surfaces. With textured surface on one end and plain surface on the other , the mat does not damage the hard floor in any way. This is especially beneficial in case of laminate and wood floors. While there are certain issues in the mat sticking to the floor, it ought not to be much of a problem since the hard surface do have more traction when compared to carpet ones. This is an ideal option as an office chair mat for laminate floor.
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9. Anti-slip high durable Black mat for hardwood floors
The all-black look of this chair mat from Tikteck offers a unique look when compared to most of the other mats which mostly have a transparent look. However, it is not just the looks that this chair mat distinct itself with.
It is made of 100 % polytene plastic material which offers it the best of both durabilities as well as high flexibility. The mat is specifically designed for hard surfaces and does not fit any sort of carpet floor surfaces. The polytene material provides durability and the mat does not crack up or break under standard use. The surface is scratch-proof and even after sustained usage manages to look new.
The surface is a textured surface which helps to protect chair and other furniture from any slippage. There is an anti-slide coating which is provided on the underside of the mat that helps to prevent sliding of the mat on the floor. The above surface offers freedom of movement of the chair. This reduces the amount of stress and fatigue on the body, especially the back and the legs.
Except for the anti-slide coating, it does not come with any gripper making it an ideal option for hard surface floors. The mat is made up of non-toxic material that is ideal for indoor environment and is ideally suited for most of the hard surfaces.
The mat is a good option, if you are looking for a thick and durable mat. It is sturdy and does not break. However, there are chances that the mat curls up over a period of time which would not only affect the look but the utility of it. Since it does not have any specific grippers, it is one of the best options to have for a hard floor surface with the anti-slide coating taking care of any sliding on the surface. It is an ideal black chair mat for hardwood floor, if you have the right matching interiors.
10. Unique cherry brown look anti slip mat for hardwood surface
The chair mat brings in a sense of uniqueness with its cherry brown look. The material used in the make of this mat is Polyethene, which makes it highly durable yet flexible option for a chair mat.
The mat is free from toxic materials like – PVC, BPA, metals like tin, lead etc, making it an environmental friendly option to have, especially indoors. It is also 100 % recyclable, adding on another aspect to its eco-friendly quotient.
In general, the underneath surfaces of the mats ideal for hardwood floors do not come with any grippers for the fear of damaging the floor. However, this mat comes with four grippers which help to hold onto the surface more securely. The material of the gripper does not damage the wood floor.
It also comes with an anti-curling tape which prevents the mat from curling over a period of time. The surface allows the wheels and casters of the chair to move freely. The design and the build are such that this frequent movement does not leave any marks on the mat.
The utility of the mat can be extended to beyond the chairs and can also be used under the desks, plant pots, other office equipment etc.
The carpet is specifically designed for hard surfaces and is rigid to bear heavy office equipment. Apart from the grippers, the mat also has anti-skid texture under the surface, which prevents any skidding of the mat.
The chair mat has a unique look about it. Features like additional grippers and anti-skid texture are added to ensure that the mat does not skid on the surface. However, this offers least resistance and the mat is prone to skid over. However, it is a sturdy mat which can be used for multiple purposes, especially if protecting the floor from fixed items is required.
How to choose the right chair mat for hardwood floor ?
There are a wide variety of options available to choose a hard floor chair mat that is compatible with your requirements. The right chair mat makes all the difference in regards to the comfort, ease of movement, floor preservation etc.
There are several factors that one must consider while choosing a chair mat . These include – the type of flooring, the shape of the mat, the size required, thickness of the mat, edges etc. Understanding all these specifications would provide you with the required knowledge. It will also help you to make the right choice in selecting a chair mat that can offer comfort, easy movement and protection of the floor.
1. Type of floor:
This is the most important factor which is considered while choosing the right chair mat. The flooring can be a hard surface or a carpet. Hard surfaces further include wood, stone, marble etc.
There is a basic difference between the chair mats used for carpeted surface and those used for hardwood surface. The chair mats ideal for hardwood have a smooth back surface which do not scratch or damage the floor. Whereas the chair mats used for carpet have anchors on the back side which will prevent the chair mat from sliding over the carpet. Choosing such a chair mat with anchors for a wooden floor could cause impressions and damage to the floor.
Ensure that the key difference is considered and only those mats designed to be placed on the hard wood surface, are considered for your wooden floor.
2. Shape of the mat:
The chair mats are available in multiple shapes and designs. Rectangular shape is one of the most popular designs. The shape is such that it would blend well in any environment and can also offer more space when compared to other designs.
There are various custom shapes and designs that are available, where the chair mats can be customised to fit into the décor.
One of the other options for the shape of the mat which needs to be considered is the availability of a “lip”. A lip is an extension to the chair mat which would slide under the desk. So, when you are done with the work and slide the chair under your desk – you will have that extra space of protection for the floor.
The size of the chair mat should be such that it perfectly balances the space required to manoeuvre the chair around and the extent of space that is occupied.
Choose a size which would provide you with enough space to move around the chair. If the size is small and limited which restricts the movement, there would not be any point of having a chair mat in the first place.
However few of the spaces would not be able to offer scope for larger space. Hence, select a mat which can balance out both these variables.
Apart from the standard incremental sizes, there is a scope for customization where you can have a customized size.
A thicker chair mat is easier to lay down. It can be laid out flat and the chances of it bowing are less when compared to a less thicker mat. There are various types of cushioning options that are available.
A thicker mat would overcome any unevenness of the surface and would help the chair to stay even. In general, the carpets used for hardwood come in a single thickness and do not offer much variety as in the case of mats for a carpeted surface.
The type of edge is another factor to consider when choosing a chair mat. There are in general two options available – Straight and Slope (beveled).
As the name suggests, a bevel slope has an edge which tapers off. Most of the chair mats for carpeted surface have a bevel edge. It is generally recommended to have a straight edge for a hard wood surface.
However one of the concerns which is raised for using a chair mat is the chances of tripping over while walking. So depending on the comfort, a bevel edge can be used which blends into the floor at the edges or a straight edge can be used which will act as a distinct platform so that those moving around can be more conscious.
Different materials like wood, plastic, fibre, polycarbonate etc are used in making of the chair mats.
Material like polycarbonate offers more variety and flexibility with enduring strength. The aesthetics also need to be considered while choosing the material used for chair mats to ensure that they blend in well with the space.
Most of the materials used for chair mats blend in well with a hardwood surface. Especially a transparent chair mat is recommended for hardwood floors so that the aesthetics of the hardwood surface are clearly highlighted and visible.
As you could see there are various aspects which need to be factored in. With the wide variety of options that are available, it is important to first understand the requirements and the feasibility before freezing up on the right option. The choice you make in regards to the chair mats makes all the difference of comfortable seating and less damaged floors.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are planning to buy a chair mat for your hardwood floor and are confused about the different perspectives, we have brought up a list of the commonly asked questions for you along with the most suitable answers. Read through the answers and get all your doubts on the chair mats clear to make the ideal purchase.
Which types of mats are ideal for hardwood surfaces?
Mats which have specific gripper or bumps on the underneath tend to form impressions on the hardwood floors and damage them over a period of time. Hence it is advised to use only those mats which do not have a surface which can form impressions.
What options are available to make mats skid free on hardwood surfaces?
Mats ideal for hardwood surfaces do not come with specific grippers which can hold them onto surface. However to reduce the possibility of skidding, the underneath of the mats have specific coating or have a texture which will provide some traction.
What are the different materials with which chair mats are made?
Chair mats use a wide variety of materials. Polycarbonate and plastic polythene are the most common types of material used for making the mats. Few of the mats do come with tempered glass which are highly durable.
PVC mats are not the most preferred option due to they not being ecologically compatible.
Why should not mats for carpets be used for hardwood floors?
The mats designed for carpets contain specific gripping options underneath them. Carpets in general have less friction and these gripping options help to hold onto the carpet floor. These grippers can damage a wooden floor when used for a long period of time. Hence mats designed for carpet floors need to be refrained for hardwood floors.
What are the problems one would face with chair mats?
Most of the issues related to chair mats are developed over a period of time. One of the main issues is with the curling, wherein the edges of the mats curl after a certain period. High quality mats delay this process and remain curl free for a longer period of time. Glass and Polycarbonate material are more resistant to curling.
What are the different shapes that chair mats are available in?
Rectangular shape is the most common shape used for chair mats. Few of the mats come with an additional lid which extends under the desk. This allows to comfortably push in the chair under the desk when not in use. However there are options available which allow for customization.
Chair mats provide great option to protect the floors which are subject to regular abuse by the constant movement of chairs and other office furniture. However it is important that the right kind of chair mat is chosen for the specific requirement.
A lot depends on the nature of the floor. The difference between the different types of floors and their tolerance in regards to the various chair mats needs to be understood to be able to choose the right chair mat. Few other factors like the price of the mats, maintenance of the same, their fitting into the interiors of the office or home etc also play a key part.
A considerable amount of effort and investment goes into installing in floors made of hardwood. While they do add good aesthetic value, there are also high chances of damage when not maintained correctly. Chair mats help to preserve these hardwood floors and help them survive for a longer period of time.
The purpose of the guide was to provide the basic premise to understand how to choose the right chair mat along with the suggestions of the best chair mats.
While the list is not exhaustive, this would act as a guiding example of the features which the best chair mats have, especially for wooden floors.