Inexpensive Chair Mat Ideas

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
June 3, 2009

office chairA regular office-sized floor mat would have been too big for my home office. So I bought a transparent auto floor mat from the dollar store, and put it lengthwise over the carpet for my rolling desk chair. It works fine.


By pam munro from LA, CA

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4 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

March 22, 2011

I downsized from a home with very low carpeting to an apartment that has high pile carpeting. My computer chair will not roll on the high pile carpeting. I bought a chair mat, but it "walked". I was told to buy a chair mat for high pile carpeting, but the cost was $120 dollars! Does any one have a suggestion as what I could substitute for a a chair mat or where I could find a more reasonably priced one?

By Helen


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March 22, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

My experienced advice is if you are going for a chair pad on high piled carpet, get the hardest pad you can. Avoid the ones that are rolled up with a good brand name; they are for a different type of flooring. A soft one gives in and becomes difficult to slide the chair about.


It will also develop cracks and will need replacing earlier than it's time. I bought a much harder one the second time around and still could use a thicker one. Expect to pay a higher price for meeting this need.


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March 22, 20113 found this helpful
Best Answer

I just thought of an idea that will work. Buy a sheet of thick plywood and cut to size that will work for your office desk area and bevel the edges and paint the board the color of your carpet. That's the most inexpensive way to go and I'm going to do it like this the next time I need to replace.

March 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you like this idea you may need "technical" help. Remove your chair's wheels. Replace them with larger, industrial, caster-type wheels. But the wheels should, I think, be thin, high-profile types with rounded edges.


Adapting attachment devices to fit your chair is the challenge. Before I gave up my shop I would have loved to take this on just to say I did. First thing would be to find the wheels amongst old, scrapped machinery.


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March 23, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Purchase an office chair mat from an office supply store. Office chair mats are durable and they are available in clear and in colors. Be sure the one you choose is for thick pile carpet and if you look around you can often find them on sale. You can find them from anywhere around $25.00 to $60.00 USD.

Do not use plywood! The fibers used to make that wood will work their way into the fibers of the carpet and damage the carpet from the movement over time.

April 19, 20152 found this helpful
Best Answer

Plywood can work great. I used a piece of scrap I had lying around and cut it to fit my application exactly (something you may not be able to do with a sore-bought plastic mat). I initially had some problems with the plywood delaminating and splintering but I fixed that by applying three coats of polyurethane.


Total cost was about $11.00 for one quart of Min-wax polyurethane and my wife and I like the look. I have had no problems with the plywood damaging the carpet underneath.

August 24, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Buy plywood with "one side good". Cut and glue bamboo laminate flooring to the "bad" bad side. (About $2/sq ft) Seal the good side (the part that faces the carpet) with two coats of polyurethane. If you want to be 'fancy' bevel the edges and seal those too.

March 22, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Buy a sheet of 1200x90012mm MDF, seal both sides with water-based varnish, cover the top side with cheap stick-on vinyl tiles (after lightly sanding the top side), and, if you want to be fancy, round the bottom edge with a round over edging bit (router) to preserve the carpet. Paint the edge with paint matching your carpet for a very neat look.


This will last forever and looks waaaay better than a plastic sheet.

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August 9, 2012

This is a page about making an office chair mat. Your office chair may require a mat either to protect the flooring or because it does not roll on carpet. Either way you can make your own and not have to purchase an expensive one at the store.

plywood chair mat


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 22, 2011

I need a low cost solid chair mat for my home office, I can't afford the retail ones. Does anyone know if I could use Plexiglas or lumber? Help!

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