The pandemic forced people to set up home offices to work from home. One valid concern that many people had was whether their office chairs could damage their carpets. We’re going to address this concern and find solutions to it.
Office chairs can and will damage your carpet after prolonged use. The plastic wheels are the main culprits, and you should expect the following to happen to your carpet:
- One-sided wear and tear will occur, especially in your immediate workspace area.
- Markings on your carpet will influence its lifespan, especially on lower quality carpet.
Even having the best carpet or an office chair with roller-blade style caster wheels won’t render your carpet immune. After using the office chair for long enough, eventually, your carpet will get ruined. Read on to find how you can prevent this from happening.
How Bad Are Office Chairs For Your Carpet?
While the idea of working from home might sound intriguing, there are concerns regarding the damage that your office chair might cause to your carpet. Even with high-quality carpets and buying the best office chairs, you still cannot risk the long-term effects on your carpet.
Here is what to expect to happen to your carpet:
One-sided Wear and Tear
Prolonged use of the office chair in your workspace can cause uneven wear and tear on your carpet. In the long run, you might be forced to replace the entire carpet simply because a small portion of your working space has worn out.
Markings on the Carpet
You may only use your office chair occasionally, but even a few days of use can leave markings on the carpet. These markings don’t sit well, and they may become permanent if you’re using the office chair with plastic wheels, since they dig deep into the carpet, leaving behind undesirable marks. The markings could be complicated if you’re dealing with a brightly-colored carpet.
Do I Need A Chair Mat On Carpet?
Chair mats have been viewed as both a long-term and immediate solution to the carpets’ damage caused by the office chairs. They’re small, easily moveable, and protect the carpet from coming into direct contact with the office chair’s wheels.
These are small pieces, like rugs, placed on the carpet to prevent it from getting damaged by the office chair. They’re often made of plastic or rubber, and can bend to pressure.
On an ordinary 9-5 workday, an office worker is expected to move their office chair about 300 times! Without a proper chair mat, these movements could eventually become too much for the carpet.
Whether you use your office chair regularly or once in a while, it’s a safe bet to have a chair mat for:
Protecting your Carpet and the Floor
No matter how tough your carpet might appear, there is an amount of pressure it cannot take. The chair mats make it easy for your chair’s wheels to slide through without causing any damage to the carpet. Other than keeping your carpet safe, the chair mat ensures the floor remains in optimal conditions.
Office chairs tend to generate static electricity when the wheels roll on the carpet for a long time. Even though this current might not be harmful to you, it might cause significant damage to your computer, smartphones, or other electronic appliances.
You might find that you’re regularly losing unsaved data from your computer, your laptop might be freezing a lot, or maybe your printer has stopped working. This might be the effects of static electricity.
Reducing Fatigue and Back Pain
It takes a lot of energy to roll your office seat on a carpet, which can cause fatigue. Since you’re straining yourself to move, it can lead to back pain, especially when done for a long time. The chair mat helps deal with this problem as it’s 80% faster to roll on them than the carpet.
This means you get to use less energy to roll your chair around your working space, hence avoiding fatigue and back pain.
How to Keep Chair Mat from Sliding On Carpet
Little things, like your chair mat moving around when you’re working, could be annoying and might hinder your productivity.
The pressure from your chair forces the mat to move in the direction you favor the most while working. Before you know it, your mat is out of place, and you’re forced to readjust it again. Doing this for a long time could end up being frustrating you and take much of your time.
Sliding Mats could lead to:
- Your mat getting damaged from the constant movement
- A slipped mat could expose your carpet to the wheels of the chair
- It will take much of your time to keep adjusting your mat
Thankfully, you can do something about it:
Buy Chair Mats with Grippers and Claws
To keep your mat rooted to one spot, you should buy a chair mat with grippers and claws that help to prevent the mat from slipping.
The claws and grippers dig deep into your carpet, which in return helps to anchor your mat and hold it into place. The mat also reinforces the carpet and protects it from the pressure of your chair.
While you’re out shopping for this type of mat, it best to choose one whose grips and claws won’t damage your carpet.
Go for the Rubber-Backed Chair Mats
Rubber chair mats are great for sliding on, as they also don’t get pushed that much under the office chair. They tend to stick in one place, with very minimal movement. The rubber is a poor conductor of electricity, which means you don’t have to worry about static electricity problems.
The rubber-backed chair mats will not affect your carpet either, and they do a great job in absorbing any pressure from the wheels of your chair.
Use Non-Skid Underlays
Using non-skid underlays does help to keep your mat glued to the carpet. These underlays are placed between the mat and the carpet and can help the mat to deflect any pressure from the chair’s movement.
Where financing might be an issue, this option is the least expensive and is worth considering.
However, it’s critical to note that these non-skid underlays are sticky, which helps them to hold the mat in place. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you place them in a way that they won’t jeopardize your carpet.
Make sure you stick the underlays under the mat with no extra parts protruding, or they may end up sticking to your carpet and damaging it in the process.
Choose the Best Mat for the Job
Flimsy, inexpensive, and thin mats don’t usually last long and tend to roll up on themselves. You should opt for thicker mats for the best experience, which provide more friction with the carpet and can take more damage.
Thick mats might cost a lot compared to thinner mats, but they are worth it due to their lengthy lifespan, ability to prevent slippage, and ability to prevent your carpet from getting damaged.
Working from home is exciting. However, taking the proper precaution such as using chair mats could help prevent any damage to the carpet. Finding the right ways to hold your mat in place will help ease your working hours while also maintaining your carpet’s integrity. Thick mats are the best since they last longer and protect your carpet.
Hamid Tahir is a Mechatronics Engineer and founder of WFH Overload. He is currently working from home and is dedicated to the continuous improvement of his home office setup. Hamid has extensive experience setting up workspaces and dealing with the related tech. He hopes to share his knowledge to help you create the most productive and comfortable work from home setup. Read More