Use a desk chair mat to reduce the wear and tear on floor surfaces that is caused by your chair. The repetitive back and forth movement of your chair over the floor, particularly wood, will manifest itself over time. The desk chair mat will help protect your flooring and keep it in a well-maintained state.
Choosing a Desk Chair Mat
You should choose a desk chair mat that is designed for the type of flooring that you have in your office. There are mats built for medium and low pile carpeting, carpeting with padding, carpeting without padding and wood floors. Making this distinction will ensure that you choose the right mat that does not cause further damage.
You also want to make sure that the mat adheres well to the floor and slip or slide when a chair is rolling across it. You also want to ensure that the mat is non-studded, as these will be driven into carpeting over time and cause damage.
You should also obtain measurements of the area that needs to be covered by the mat. This usually is the space under the desk, any space between the desk and the wall or desk credenza and any outer areas that you tend to move to in the chair.
Check Out Various Retailers
You can go to a carpet store, office supply chain or home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes and examine the different mats that they sell. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions and comparison shop. The measurements you took will tell you if you need one mat or several mats. You may also ask if the material used in the mat can be purchased separately to make a custom fitted mat.
Installing the Mat
It may be possible for you to do this job on your own but it is advisable if heavy lifting is involved to enlist the support of a friend or co-worker. Installing the desk chair mat will involve moving the desk several times in and out of position and making adjustments to make sure that everything is in alignment. Doing this by yourself could put you at risk for back injury and is best to avoid by simply asking for help.
Once installed, you should test-drive the mat by rolling across it several times in different directions. This will give you a sense of range of movement and test to see if the mat performs as advertised. The surface of the mat should permit free movement when seated but not be too slick that it is difficult to walk on. If you have any problems with the mat, return it immediately to the place of purchase.