Chair mats are your office friends, whether you know it or not. An ergonomic support system that not only protects your health by easing the burden put on your back and joints, but also the floor beneath by preventing scuff marks and carpet tears. These mats can save money on both doctor visits and flooring replacements.
But can we save them?
Who hasn’t seen a chair mat looking worn and faded after hundreds of hours of being rolled and stepped on? With all the wear and tear these mats take, it can feel like they’ll need a replacement in no time. But do we actually need to replace them or can simple routine maintenance extend their lives?
Read on to find out more about chair mat durations and how best to take care of the office pal you didn’t know you had!
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How long do chair mats last?
There are many factors that contribute to the longevity of chair mats. Type of materials, the amount of use, and maintenance given to each can all contribute to a chair mat’s life span. Let’s take a look at each and how they can affect how long a mat will last.
Type of material
Chair mats come in various materials. Polycarbonate, PVC, and glass are some of the most common. Each has its benefits and can be the perfect fit depending on your budget and office needs.
Strong. Durable. Commonly made from recyclable material. Polycarbonate is a plastic perfect for chair mats. It can take the rough and tumble of daily office life, but can occasionally scratch if not used with the right flooring. However, this strength doesn’t come cheap. This type of mat is the most expensive of the plastic options. A polycarbonate chair mat can last up 10 years with proper maintenance.
2. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
A more affordable plastic option compared to polycarbonate, PVC, this is a great alternative for those on budget, but still want great longevity in their mat. PVC offers a great balance of price and performance. A PVC mat should last its owner 6-8 years with average use.
Powerful and eco-friendly compared to its plastic alternatives, this scratch-resistant material is a pricier option than its plastic counterparts. But you get what you paid for. Without fading or discolorations, a glass mat will outlast them all. Many glass mats come with a lifetime warranty, so you can expect them to last decades.
Amount of use
Like all items, the more use of the chair mat the shorter its lifespan. Wear and tear can eventually lead to cracks and discoloration. Putting mats in high-traffic areas can cause additional use that will accelerate the need for replacement.
The amount of care given to each mat can greatly expand the life of a chair mat. A routine cleaning schedule will ensure that any mat lasts long on the office floor.
Keep reading to learn the best way to keep your mat happy and clean.
How do you wash and maintain a chair mat?
Frequently cleaning a chair mat will increase its longevity and ensure it continues to look brand new.
Washing with warm soap and water will eliminate mold and other junk that builds upon the mat. Follow it with a thorough drying to avoid potential damage from prolonged moister exposure and the mat will be in great shape. Make sure that the underside of the mat receives the same attention as this will prevent it from sticking to the floor from toxic build-up.
Most chair mats are resistant to common cleaners. However, some cleaners contain chemicals that have been shown to damage mats. When cleaning mats, the best practice is to keep it simple.
Another way to ensure mats will last is to avoid direct sunlight. Prolonged sun exposure has been shown to fade and discolor mats. Never sacrifice a mat’s health for the sake of the best office placement. However, if the consistent sun can be avoided, the mat will last longer.
Direct contact with moisture, from heating vents or office humidifiers, can also contribute to mold growth and material softening of the mat. Being mindful of the mat’s location compared to moister-prone areas can help to preserve it.
There are also different types of mats for different types of flooring. Ensuring the right mat is being used for carpet vs. hardwood can help to not only protect the floor, but also the mat.
Keeping up with these cleaning recommendations, being aware of the mat’s exposure to sun and moisture, and ensuring the correct mat is in use can help keep anyone reaping this office tool’s benefits for years to come!
So are chair mats worth it?
Absolutely! Chair mats provide a list of benefits that greatly outway any cons due to their occasional maintenance.
Chair mats provide superior protection on carpets and hardwood, preventing scratches, scuffs, and tears that might otherwise appear during the hustle and bustle of the workday.
Office workers have a harder time gliding around their desks with carpets or hardwood beneath them. Having the flat, smooth surface provided by a chair mat will ease the burden and allow its user to move without friction.
Chair mats provide an extra buffer between their user and the floor. It takes the tension off their backs and legs by creating a cushion against the unforgiving hardwood or carpet.
A sleek and clean mat creates the perfect aesthetic for your office. Pairing the right mat with the right decor can really give a room the right feel that encourages productivity, calm, and engagement.
With all these benefits, it’s easy to see that a chair mat is a must-have!
Chair mats are a great addition to any office. They can be an asset to your productivity and health for years to come.
While longevity varies from mat to mat, taking care of them properly will extend their lives and continue to make them look and work like new. Selecting the right type and keeping them from harmful exposure can ensure that you get the most out of your mat, and will allow you to enjoy all the wonderful benefits it has to offer.
So what are you waiting for? Invite this office friend to your home and notice the difference.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.