The past year or so has meant dramatic changes for those who work in an office environment.
Many individuals who commuted to work found themselves woefully underprepared for working at home.
In the age of working from home, it seems more important than ever to craft a comfortable and practical home office that suits all of your needs. One key element of the office is, of course, the office chair.
However, office chairs, whether they have wheels or not, can distort and damage the carpet they sit on. They can physically wear the carpet and create dents, which is inconvenient as well as an eyesore.
On top of that, depending on the carpet, the chair may either not have enough grip and slide around too much, or it may get stuck on the carpet and completely lack a range of motion.
Most people would prefer their carpet not to have permanent indents or flat spots from their chair, and would hope their carpet isn’t a hazard to their working experience, so what is the solution to this issue?
Today, we’ll discuss whether a rug placed on top of the existing carpet will prevent the carpet from being damaged, and find out what will protect your carpet from being damaged by your office chair.
Let’s dive into the subject.
Table of Contents
Can I use a low pile rug as a chair mat?
Let’s analyze if low pile rugs are an adequate form of chair mat that will prevent damage to your carpet.
But first: what is a low pile rug?
The term “pile” refers to the loops of fabric that make up a carpet.
If a rug is a high pile, the loops are much larger and looser.
A high pile rug would be something like a shag rug. A high pile rug will never make an effective chair mat, as the chair will have a very difficult time moving freely across the rug, and is likely to get stuck and damage the rug.
However, in a low pile rug, the loops are much tighter and smaller, creating a very flat and smooth design.
Low pile rugs are an adequate choice for chair mats, as they allow for chairs to glide smoothly across them due to their thinness.
A low pile rug can also be any design and add a unique aesthetic flair to your home office. One downside of this kind of rug is that the rug itself may wind up being damaged by the chair, as it will absorb the impact of the chair rather than the carpet underneath it.
If you ever want to move or reuse the rug, or just don’t want it getting damaged, a low pile rug may not be the best solution for you. Low pile rugs are not designed with the intent of absorbing impact from a chair.
However, if you don’t care about the rug itself, and are focusing purely on protecting the carpet from potential damage, then a low pile rug might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Depending on whether you want one that is small and only fits under your chair, or a rug that is larger and goes under both your chair and desk, you can look for either an accent rug or an area rug.
Area rugs generally tend to cover more of the floor than an accent rug, so it’s important to determine which one you want.
Remember: low pile rugs are the best kind for chairs, as high pile ones are much more likely to either prevent the chair from moving smoothly or cause the chair to get stuck on the loops of the carpet.
Low pile rugs can be easily purchased either online or at a brick and mortar retail store, making them a convenient possible option for preventing carpet damage.
What can I put under my desk chair on the carpet?
So, we’ve got one viable option for protecting your carpet from office chairs.
But if you don’t want to pursue the low pile rug route, what else can you do to prevent your carpet from being damaged?
The best solution is likely for you to purchase a chair mat. Chair mats are made with the specific purpose of preventing damage to the underlying carpet caused by a chair, so there’s no better-suited option.
There are multiple different types of chair mats, though: how do you know which one is the best?
The first type we’ll discuss is the wooden chair mat. Wooden chair mats are, as the name would suggest, made of wood, and often patterned in a way similar to hardwood floors.
They allow for a lot of movement of the chair, and won’t be compressed or indented at all by the chair itself. However, many wooden chair mats are not safe to use on carpets.
Not to mention, they are often very slippery, and if using a chair with wheels, can be dangerous.
As such, they are the least recommended type of mat for this specific issue.
Next, are carpeted or low pile mats, which, as you may guess, are essentially just extra-smooth low pile accent rugs that are made specifically to prevent carpet damage.
They face a few of the same downsides as normal low pile rugs, however, like being more difficult to clean than a plastic or wooden mat.
Overall, carpeted chair mats are a viable option for what to put under your chair.
Finally, the third variety of chair mats are plastic or polycarbonate mats.
These mats can come in multiple colors, designs, and sizes, such as this polycarbonate chair mat designed for carpet.
This mat, in particular, can be rolled or folded, as it is made of flexible material, though some mats, such as this clear, heavy-duty chair mat, are more firm and cannot be manipulated in this fashion.
These types of mats are the easiest variety to clean up, are usually usable on carpet, and allow for sufficient movement of your chair, but not too much slipping.
There are a lot of different choices when it comes to what you can put under your desk chair, and polycarbonate or plastic chair mats are a very sound option when it comes to convenience, ease, and functionality.
Should I put a rug under my desk and chair?
The question of whether or not a rug under your desk and chair will prevent damage is not necessarily one with a cut-and-dry answer.
Overall, it’s entirely up to you if you want to go with a low pile rug, or a chair mat to protect your carpet from your office chairs.
There are pros and cons to both options.
While low pile rugs can be much more fashionable and fit the aesthetic and design of the room you have them in, they are not specifically designed for this purpose.
As such, some may become damaged when the chair is used on them, and some might not absorb all of the impact and wind up damaging the carpet underneath anyway.
With chair mats, although they tend to only come in a few colors if they’re the plastic or polycarbonate versions, they are specifically designed to minimize the impact of an office chair on a carpet.
Chair mats are the best solution to this issue because the mats are made with this specific purpose in mind, whereas a rug may not serve as the best alternative.
If you want your carpet to be protected from your office chair, your best option is purchasing a chair mat, which can be easily found both at online retailers as well as in office supply stores.
It’s an easy solution to the problem that doesn’t face any of the risks of purchasing a rug to do the job.
How can I protect my carpet at my home office?
Investing in a chair mat or rug is one way to protect your carpet from physical damage. However, there are plenty of other things you can do or buy in order to keep your carpet in its absolute best condition.
One easy method of keeping your carpet protected is making sure never to walk on it with your shoes.
Shoes can transfer a significant amount of dirt and outside grime to your carpet, and the treads of your shoes can also wear away at the carpet itself.
Make sure to only ever walk on your carpet with your bare feet, socks, or house slippers, and you’ll make it last longer.
Another simple way to protect your carpet is to be extra careful when it comes to eating and drinking in your home office. If possible, move to a different room to eat, to make sure you don’t wind up spilling anything on your carpet.
If you do spill something, make sure to fix it as soon as possible and you’ll have a better chance of not creating a permanent stain.
There are many different products available to help you clean up carpet stains, so make sure to invest in a carpet-safe cleaning product to protect your home office from spill damage.
One final way to protect your home office is through frequent vacuuming.
Even if you don’t see any crumbs or dirt on your carpet, vacuuming weekly is a great way to make sure your carpet stays in perfect condition.
Many vacuums are usable on both hard floors as well as carpet, meaning it’s a great investment for your entire house to purchase a good vacuum.
By using these methods as well as a chair mat or rug to protect your carpet from your chair, your home office’s carpet can stay clean and undamaged.
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.