Clear PVC plastic. Designed with excellent clarity to blend into the flooring it protects. Smooth backing suitable for hardwood, vinyl, linoleum, and tile. Sourced from recycled material.
Many buyers report difficulty getting it to lie flat after opening.
Made of clear plastic material that feels durable and allows chairs to move over it freely. Textured surface prevents slips. Protective and stays put. Can be used on various flooring surfaces. Great for office chairs.
Comes rolled, so it may take a few days to flatten out. Has a strong plastic odor at first but it fades.
Comes flat; does not have to be unrolled. Holds up well. Several size options available. Thin and clear. Delivered quickly. Many alternate uses, such as dog mat or craft table mat.
Not totally transparent. Can slide without weight on the mat or added grips.
The 1/4-inch thick tempered glass can support up to 1,000 pounds. Suitable for both hard floors and carpet. Scratch-resistant coating. Perfectly clear glass lets flooring shine through.
Smooth glass surface can be slippery for some chair casters.
Smooth, low-pile carpet lets casters glide across it. Carpet is made with odorless and non-toxic fibers. Non-slip backing eliminates shifting. Available in 4 sizes and several colors.
A few reports that the mat ends up curling around the edges. Wears out rather quickly.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Hardwood floors are beautiful, long-lasting, and easy to keep clean. They shine up like a champ. Their durability and ease of maintenance have made them a perennial favorite for decades. But the wood can be worn down by the repeated movements of an office chair rolling across the same area again and again. When that happens, it leaves behind a worn patch that is visibly lighter in color than the rest of the wood around it.
Restoring worn-down hardwood to its original color is next to impossible without sanding the whole floor and staining it. That’s not only expensive, but it is also time-consuming. Fortunately, there is a better way: a chair mat.
A chair mat can protect your hardwood floor for pennies on the dollar compared to retroactively restoring it. A wide variety of chair mats exist, with different colors, materials, and sizes available. We can help you find the one that’s right for you.
How big of an area does the chair mat need to protect? Some chair mats have a tongue or protrusion on one side that is meant to protect the floor under a desk, where your feet are. If you have an under-desk footrest, you probably won’t need an extension on the chair mat, but if you don’t, you should definitely consider it.
The layout of your room will also be a determining factor in the size of the chair mat you need. If your office chair resides in cramped quarters with filing cabinets and other office equipment taking up floor space, you’ll need a smaller floor mat. Avoid unnecessary returns by measuring the area where the floor mat will be. Then, just to be on the safe side, order a mat that is an inch or two smaller than your measurements.
The thickness of chair mats for hardwood floors isn’t a critical concern unless the manufacturer ships the product rolled up. If that happens, a thicker mat will take longer to flatten than a thinner one. If a chair mat is thicker than 0.1 inches, it is probably meant to be used on carpets and rugs.
More important than thickness is the grip on the back or underside of the chair mat. If it has little spikes, that means it’s a chair mat for carpets. For hardwood floor protection, the back of the mat needs to be smooth and not slippery. If it slides around on the floor when you’re rolling your chair or when you’re walking on it, it will act like a giant piece of sandpaper against the floor. That will defeat the whole point of having the mat in the first place.
Transparent chair mats are popular because they allow the colour of the floor to show through — and if you have hardwood flooring, you likely want to show it off. Not all transparent materials are created equally, however. The same can be said for non-translucent mats.
Transparent floor mats are the most popular, but black mats are also somewhat common. Some manufacturers offer a range of colors spanning the rainbow. However, these are the exception rather than the rule.
Some chair mats are listed as antistatic mats. This is useful if you’re a computer technician repairing or building PCs and laptops. Static discharge can be deadly to exposed computer components, so those technicians need to have a static-free mat under them at all times.
Plastic mats often have a distinct odor when they first arrive. If a mat is listed as BPA-free, it shouldn’t have any odor to it. If your mat does have an odor, unbox it in an open space (like a garage), and give it 24 hours to air out before putting it in place.
Some chair mats for hardwood floors have a lip around the edge to prevent your chair from rolling off the mat onto the bare floor. Think of it as a roadside curb for your mat. It’s a nice feature, but it can also trip you up when you’re walking around the mat.
Inexpensive chair mats for hardwood floors generally cost less than $35. These no-frills mats are usually made from vinyl or PVC.
Anything in the range of $40 to $70 is the medium price range. These mats are often made of polycarbonate and will have a much better non-slip backing than the cheaper mats. Some mats in this range may be thicker and larger, too.
On the high end of the price range, you’ll find mats that cost more than $70. You might pay up to several hundred for a tempered glass mat. The main determinants of the price will be thickness, size, and material.
Environmentally friendly chair mats are made of plant-based polymers and are certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as bio-based. They are more expensive than plastic mats.
A. Turn the mat over and spread a thin layer of glue across it. Make sure the glue is spread evenly and let it dry. Once it’s dry, turn the mat back over. The dried glue should add a bit of traction to prevent the mat from slipping.
A. Yes. Put double-sided tape under each corner of the mat. Change the tape every couple of months, though, or it may not come up at all.
A. You can mop the mat just as you would the rest of the floor, but that leaves a residue of water under the edges. That water must be wiped away with a cloth to prevent mildew and rot under the mat. Since you’re going to have to get down on your hands and knees anyway to do that, you might as well clean the mat while you’re down there. Use a soft cloth dipped in a mixture of mild soap and warm water.