With frequent projects and fixes to work on, the average DIYer does a lot of standing, and usually on hard surfaces. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re getting into a project, but the strain on your back and soreness in your feet are usually a wakeup call that you might be doing more harm than good on your body. Utility mats are a great way to relieve some of the stress on your body, and with that in mind, we got our hands on a couple of Stanley Utility mats to review.
Specifically we tried out the Stanley 36”x60” Utility Mat and the Stanley Extendable Utility Mat. The extendable mat is customizable to your space by fitting together smaller sections like a puzzle piece. While we tried out a straight three piece version with three interlocking 24”x36” sections, the extendable mats can be configured to surround a corner as well, and have large or small extenders so it can fit your space just right.
The mats have a durable look and feel with a non-slip diamond plate texture that brings to mind solid steel. Thankfully, these mats don’t feel like walking on metal. Even compared to other anti-fatigue mats, these felt extremely cushy and are almost an inch thick. There was a good bounce to them as well, so you don’t get stuck in too much cushion.
Compared to other mats that rely on their toughness to stand out from the crowd, Stanley’s utility mats didn’t give up a sense of comfort to make them durable. There is a great light feeling to them that eliminates stress on your feet’s pressure points and takes the strain off of your joints. The cushy feeling held up too, standing in place for a long period of time didn’t wear down the mat.
The mats are made from high density polyurethane and feature an anti-skid bottom that worked great on wet surfaces as well. It's resistant to common fluids such as motor oil, grease, WD-40, and anti-freeze and is tear-resistant. The company backs their design with a 20-year limited warranty, which shows a lot of confidence; clearly this is a mat that’s designed to last.
One of the best design choices was to make all their edges beveled. You don’t have to worry about rolling an item over the mat, a common problem with other utility mats.
The general utility mat is rectangular and comes in three different sizes, with ours being the largest. They’re perfect to put at a workbench or even in your kitchen since they won’t slip. Pretty much anywhere you know you regularly stand for a long period of time is a good spot to put one down.
The interlocking extendable mat opens up a few more options. They are easy to disconnect and stack, so have more portable potential, and are narrower than usual utility mats. We used them in a workshop with narrow space between the table and shelves. The table itself is very long, so not only was the extendable mat able to fit in the space, but it also was long enough to cover the entire workspace’s length. Other good uses for the extendable mats, especially the corner version, are more involved, but temporary projects such as car work, household projects, and larger builds.