When choosing a chair mat, it’s important to select the proper material for your application. Here are a few things to consider:
On a hard surface you want a mat that does not have cleats/grippers, for they will damage the floor and may crack or break. Your choices are:
- EcoKLEER, which is very clear and made in an environmentally friendly way, but is limited in size to no larger than 46 x 60.
- Acrylic starts off clear but will quickly scratch and is prone to breaking (not a wise choice).
- Clear, non-studded vinyl is a good choice as it is textured on both sides to help grip the floor on the bottom side and reduce scratching on the top side. This material is the most economical to ship as it can be rolled and easily shipped. Available in sizes up to 5′ wide and 50′ long.
- Black vinyl is also another choice if you’re wanting to cover up a spot on your floor. Available in sizes up to 5 ‘ wide and 8’ long.
On carpeted areas it depends on the thickness of the carpet and padding. Thicker is always better, but especially on deeper carpet or carpet with pad. Chair mats break quicker if too thin of a mat is put on to thick of a carpet and pad combo because the more they flex the sooner they will crack or break.
- EcoKLEER is an option, but is so thin it should only be used on low pile carpet with NO pad and only comes in sizes up to 46 x 60.
- Vinyl – While there are several variations of thickness of vinyl mats, the thicker material usually carries a lifetime warranty and would be the best choice. My suggestion would always be to purchase at least a .200 thick mat for low pile carpet and at least a .250 thick mat for any combination of carpet and pad. Both carry a lifetime warranty against cracking and breaking and will give you years of service while providing a firm rolling surface. In most cases you get what you pay for and chair mats are not the exception.