A Quality Desk Chair is Deserving of a Quality Chair Mat
Choosing the best desk mat for your chair is not as simple as throwing down a mat hoping it will be sufficient. Since the typical office employee sits the majority of the workday and moves their chair an average of 300 times per day, a fair amount of consideration should go into the decision making process. Chair mats, as well as chairs, are an essential ergonomic tool in the office setting. Selecting the correct desk mats are critical in reducing occupational stress injuries and worker fatigue.
The two primary aspects to consider when deciding on a chair mat are the floor type (hard or carpeted) and the edging style of the mat.
- Hard Surfaces – These include concrete, tile, linoleum, hardwood and marble, for example, essentially any surface that isn’t carpeted. Desk chair mats for hard flooring will have a smooth back to prevent damage or scratching of the floor underneath. Avoid using a mat designed for carpeted floors as the cleats or “nubs” will quickly mar the hard surface.
- Carpeted Surfaces – Carpeted surfaces also include desks resting on oriental rugs. To prevent sliding, chair mats designed for use on carpeted surfaces use cleats or “teeth”, which grip the carpet without harming the carpet itself. One also has to consider the type of carpet, specifically the carpet pile. Different chair mats are made for carpets that are low to medium profile (lacking a pad underneath), carpets that are medium profile with padding and deep profile without padding, and all other carpets considered deep profile with padding.
Besides the type of flooring, another factor is the thickness of the mat itself. Chair mats made for hard flooring surfaces are made in one thickness only, whereas chair mats designed for use on carpets vary in thickness, depending on the carpet pile. In general, thicker mats will lay flatter and are less likely to bow, making rolling the chair easier. Also, thicker mats provide a more level surface, preventing unintentional rolling of the chair.
One last thing to consider when shopping for a chair mat is the mat’s style of edging. The mat edging will be either straight or sloping or beveled. Unless requested by the customer, most manufacturers design chair mats for hard flooring with straight edges and for carpet the mats will have beveled edges.