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Dos and don’ts of buying a new chair mat for your office

Most office floors fall into two general types: tile and carpet. Over time, officer chairs can crush down carpeted floors, creating ruts that can be hard to clean and that ignore that they can inhibit the free and easy movement of office chairs. With tiled floors, the w focused weight of the person in the chair can cause the tile to break down, possibly causing hazards if not replaced soon enough. In either case, having something between the floor and the chair can be a good idea.

Office Mats: A Primer

The office chair mat is a ubiquitous piece of furniture in most offices. Made of various substances, the office mat is designed to make movement easier, as otherwise, chairs would need to contend with the cracks in tile floors and the issues of trying to move on a carpet; chair wheels are just not designed for even the simplest of obstacles. They are usually made of acrylic, hardened glass, or dense foam, allowing the worker to easily shift position behind their desk so as to make access to their files easier.

From a more practical perspective, office mats prevent food and liquid from reaching the floor as well as guard against scuffs, indentations, and other marks; interestingly, some flooring manufacturers will void their warranties if they find you are not using mats. They can also help prevent the build-up of static electricity, saving your valuable computers from damage and memory erasure. It also takes 80% less effort to move on a mat than on a carpet; this helps prevent back pain and leg strain. Office mats may look like simple accessories, but some thought should go into their purchase.

Some Basic Considerations

The first question is, what kind of flooring does your office have? For hard floorings, such as hardwood, laminate, or tile, you need to look into a mat with smooth backing so that the mat will not damage the floor and keep the mat from moving. These mats are usually thinner with straight edges. Conversely, if you have a carpeted floor, you should be looking at a mat with small cleats to hold it in place, and the thicker your carpet is, the thicker the mats should be; thinner mats may bow or crack, thus eliminating most of the advantage of the mats.

The perfect chair mat should also be anti-static, as modern offices have a lot of electronic equipment in place, and an anti-static mat will help protect them from most forms of electrical damage. You should also assess the area around your workspaces and what sort of shape that mat needs to be in order to fit the area in question. The default is rectangular, sometimes with a lip to fit under the desk for a person’s feet. However, there are triangular, round, and oval mats, as well as the possibility of a custom size and shape should you need it.

Any office supply floor person should be able to help you find the correct solution as long as you know the floor type and what kind and size of the area needs to be covered.

How to Determine Fair Pricing

In general, the size and material will determine the cost of mats, but you may be able to obtain a discount if you are buying a number of them at one time. Also, any customization will also increase the price as well. As for material, vinyl mats are probably the most economical in terms of price versus benefit, but jute and sisal mats are cheaper. Vinyl mats also have the widest variety of colors and prints. Glass is probably the most expensive, with wooden and Plexiglass mats not that far behind, but they are also surprisingly tough, making them well worth the price.

Office chair mats can help make the life of office managers much easier. Carpets and tiles need to be replaced every so often anyway, but using mats can help increase the time between replacement floors. They can also add a decorative element to some offices, given that not all mats are meant to be hidden. When it comes down to it, mats can help cut the costs of running an office, make movement easier, and generally improve morale in the office.

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