Are you looking for a way to protect your office floor from damage? And at the same time, glide smoothly in your desk chair? You are probably considering a glass chair mat, thinking it might be the best solution for you. You might want to think again.
If you have hard surface floors, there is no reason to ever purchase a glass chair mat.
**Now, if you happen to have thick or plush (high pile) carpet in your office, you can skip this article entirely. Office chairs were never intended to move well on thick carpet, so this is the ONLY case that we recommend using a glass office chair mat.
Here are the 4 reasons never to buy a glass chair mat for hard floors:
Extremely Expensive ($200-$800)
Limit Office Chair Movement
Heavy, Difficult Installation
Require Maintenance and Cleaning
Glass Chair Mats are Extremely Expensive ($200-$800)
After researching every available glass chair mats on the market, we found they can range anywhere from $200 up to $800. The smaller sized mats (36" x 48") are at the low end of that price range, while the larger sized mats (60" x 60") are at the high end. Most of the available glass floor mats are made from toughened (tempered) glass with a nano-technology coating. This is quite the process, which creates the high priced office chair mat. Not to mention the extra cost of shipping heavy glass.
Spending more money does not always lead to the best solution. The common problem we're trying to solve is rolling smoothly in your office chair without damaging your floor. Yes, it is true a glass chair mat will protect the area under the glass, but is it necessary to spend that much to protect your floors?
Sure, you could purchase a much cheaper plastic chair mat for around $40-$50. However, these have actually been found to cause more harm than good to hard floors - not good.
Glass Desk Chair Mats Limits Office Chair Movement
As mentioned before, a glass chair mat will protect the area under the glass. But what about the rest of your office? Are you okay only rolling around in a 36" x 48" area?
If you can only roll within a 36” x 48” area, or maybe the larger 48” x 60” area, why even have wheels on your office chair? Rolling office chairs were designed to increase mobility and productivity in the workplace. Having a chair that moves smoothly around your office from your desk, to your printer station, to your filling cabinet can increase efficiency and reduce strain on your body.
Glass chair mats weigh anywhere between 38 lbs to 82+ lbs. Even the smallest size available (36" x 48") weighs 38 lbs. We can understand why these heavy sections of glass can be damaged or cracked during shipping. Besides the shipping, the installation can also be difficult.
Imagine receiving a standard size 58 lb glass mat arriving at your doorstep. A glass mat like this requires two people to bring in the package to the desired work space, unpack it, and carefully place it on the office floor.
Maintenance & Cleaning Required for a Glass Chair Mat
Having a glass chair mat in your office also requires additional work relating to maintenance and general cleaning.
The suggested maintenance from glass chair mat manufactures include regular use of Repel glass and surface cleaner. Dirt, debris, dust, or grit can collect on the surface of the glass. If that debris slides or scrapes along the surface it can cause scratching. This important maintenance step should be done every few weeks or so to ensure the glass mat does not accumulate scratches or etching.
Besides keeping the top surface of the glass, you'll also want to clean underneath. Since glass chair mats have a small gap between the floor and the glass, it is very common for dirt and grime to build up under the glass surface. And getting access to this area can be quite the challenge. It typically requires two people to lift the mat up on its edge and set to the side. Once the mat is moved you are able to clean, vacuum, and/or mop in this area. Finally, the mat can carefully be set back in place with two people.
Protect your hard floors with a better solution that requires no cleaning or maintenance. Better Solution
Traditional chair wheels that come standard on your office chair are made with cheap hard plastic that leave scratches on your floors. These wheels can be easily removed and replaced.
If you replace your current chair casters with the new 'rollerblade' style casters, you'll never have to use any chair mats for hard surface floors.
These rollerblade style wheels are encased in a soft polyurethane material that are guaranteed not to scratch or leave any marks on any surface. In addition, they are built with high precision ball bearings to ensure you're always rolling smoothly around the office.
So if you have hardwood floor, tile, laminate, pergo, bamboo, commercial / industrial style carpet, or other similar flooring, you can roll freely without using a glass floor mat.