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7 Smart Ways to Keep a Chair Mat From Sliding on Carpet

7 Smart Ways to Keep a Chair Mat From Sliding on Carpet

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Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that can prove to be the biggest annoyances.

Sure, given everything going on in the world right now, mats sliding around on carpeting isn’t likely to be at the top of the list of things that may annoy you – but it’s at least something within your power to change.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at why chair mats move around on carpeting so much in the first place and what you can do about it.

7 Smart Ways to Keep a Chair Mat From Sliding on Carpet

Why They Move

To put things simply, mats tend to move in the direction of the carpet pile on which they rest.

Imagine you are walking on a mat right now. The force of you walking across the mat transfers through it to the carpeting, and so as one moves, the other moves along with it.

This can be especially true with plush mats that lack a rubber backing. These mats are typically so soft that, without something on the back to hold them in place, the force will transfer all the more to the carpeting, causing the creep we all know and loathe.

That’s also true for the force transferred from a chair to a mat as well.

1 – Rubber Backing

That’s why you’ll want to look for carpeting with creep.

The rubber backing will not eliminate every problem with carpet-mat creep, but it will at least stop the mat from slipping along as easily as in a soft plush rubber-less example.

2 – Gripper or Claw Backing

Maybe you want to go one step further and embrace a solution that is centered not just on preventing carpet-mat creep but keeping your mat rooted to the spot. Obviously, your mat isn’t going to sprout roots any time soon, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grip your flooring and stay put in other ways.

This is the basic idea behind mats that make use of gripper or claw backings.

The claws or grippers on the back dig down into your carpet pile, preventing your mat from slipping along as easily. You still transfer force through the mat to the carpeting, but the former has now been “reinforced” in such a way as to prevent it creeping along with the latter.

That being said, not all mat claw or grip backings are created equal. What’s more, you obviously don’t want any claws or grips that may tear up your carpeting.

As such, you’ll want to do your research and make sure that the kind of claw or gripper mat that you are getting is carpeting friendly.

3 – Non-Skid Underlays

If the grip mats aren’t enough, you may need to go a level deeper – literally.

Non-skid underlays work by placing a layer between the mat and the carpet, thus keeping the former from slipping along when pressure is applied to the latter.

This is by far one of the least expensive options on this list, so if cost is a factor, this is definitely an alternative to consider.

It should be noted that this underlay, while non-skid, is typically sticky. While that is usually only on the side that is going to be stuck in place, you still want to make sure that you don’t leave these underlays in a position that could jeopardize your carpeting’s integrity.

To get the most out of this solution, you are going to want to make sure that the underlay is cut in such a way as to ensure that it sticks to the bottom of your mat without overtaking it.

In addition, you need to make sure that you do not trip over the underlay. The practical upshot of this is that you need to make sure that it is a few inches shorter than your mat.

4 – Make Sure Your Mat Is of Good Quality

This is perhaps easier said than done given that quality can be subjective.

That being said, there’s no denying that thin, inexpensive, flimsy mats can roll up on themselves or creep along more than a thick, well-made alternative.

That of course begs the question – what kind of mats are of the best quality?

That’s a rabbit hole which is too deep to explore in its entirety, but to take just a peek inside, it’s worth remembering that thicker materials not only wear better but can often create more friction with the carpeting underneath. This, in turn, can help prevent slippage.

5 – Weigh it Down

This is probably the simplest option on this list – or at least it may appear that way at first. That being said, while this is certainly an obvious choice, it is by no means bereft of difficulties.

For one thing, you may not want to obscure your carpeting.

For another, you want to make sure that you don’t place anything on the mat that could cause you to trip.

Then there’s the question of which items are heavy enough to weigh down the mat and not be dragged along with it in the event of slippage while not obscuring the mat or carpeting.

In any case, this is definitely more of a stopgap measure more than a complete solution.

6 – Keep it Clean

Carpet Cleaning with a Vacuum

It’s a small but significant thing – wash your mat regularly. If it gets soaked through with sweat, water, or muck from outside, it may start to slip, and indeed may stain the carpet underneath.

7 – Use the Right Mat for the Right Job

Last, but not least, you want to make sure you are using the right mat for your particular circumstance.

If you are working out, you should be doing so on a workout mat, not a throw rug.

If you are looking to create an area where guests can take off or put on their shoes, or otherwise deal with lots of foot traffic, it needs to be especially thick and durable.

There are a surprising variety of things you need to consider when it comes to making sure that your mat doesn’t slip or creep along with the carpeting.

That said, by following these simple tips, you can indeed gain better control over this tiny corner of household life.

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G. Sanders

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

TO: VITRAZZA 22 May, 2022 REF: GLASS FLOOR MATTS I couldn’t help but notice most of the illustrations on VITRAZZA’S web site show VITRAZZA matts being used on hard bearing surfaces which offers support to the glass matts integrity. We have carpeting in most of our home. Does the VITRAZZA glass matts perform well on a carpeted bearing surface? VITRAZZA states the glass matt can support up to 1000 lbs. I don’t weigh a 1000 lbs. but I do weigh 300 lbs.and use a large executive chair with 5 casters in my study. The vinyl matt I have now allows me to roll easily but it has formed depressions in the matt’s surface where the wheels rests when the chair is in use. I have a large rectangular matt presently to allow lots of maneuvering room. Uderstanding VITRAZZA's floor matts are 1/4 in thick, my concern is whether VITRAZZA’s might crack or be compromised base on the current status of the application environment. Would a thicker matt be more appropriate for my needs? Regards, G. Sanders

Don S.

Friday 16th of September 2022

@G. Sanders, Vitrazza are expensive. Find a locally owned glass shop and order one from them. Get the thicker tempered glass. You can also save even more money by not getting the little square of glass in the middle where your feed would go. Just look at how far your chair moves close to or under your desk as well as how far back and left or right and order the glass slightly larger than that. If you have the ability to pick it up in a large suv or cardboard padded pickup bed, you will pay less than half of Vitrazza.

Cathy Reed

Sunday 10th of January 2021

I have the gripper type of floor mat which is on carpet, and still over time it moves further under my desk. It is heavy so I hate having to pull it back out. The is now a depression in the mat from the wheels of my chair, and that is not desirable either. I do appreciate that you wrote this article so I know that I am not the only person having this problem.


Monday 11th of January 2021

Hi Cathy,

I have the same type of gripper mat, so I know what you mean. You bring up a good point with the depressions from the wheels as well. For that, I typically try to avoid putting the wheels in the exact same spot every time. This assumes that the seat of your chair rotates separately from your wheels. Even then, you'll still likely end up with some depressions over time, which like you said, isn't ideal.