Sunday, November 11, 2012

DIY "Wooden" Office Chair Mat

After finishing the Chrome & Leather Desk for my Husband's Office, I realized that his rolling office chair was not the best thing for our new carpet.  So, I went to look for a basic Chair Mat.  I needed a fairly large one - at least 4' x 4' and I was shocked at the prices of even the cheap plastic mats.  Even more shocking were some of the fancy wooden mats like this one at for $289.00!

Anji Mountain Tri-Fold Bamboo Chairmats, Dark Cherry
Anji Mountain Chairmat - Staples 
But, when I saw the wooden ones, I got an idea.  Here's what I did:

I ran out to Home Depot and picked up this 4' x 4' piece of plywood floor underlayment for $12.00. 

Then, I picked up 16 of these wood-look self-stick flooring tiles at $0.98 each.  I stuck them onto the plywood and here's the result:

Plus, it probably took me a total of 10 minutes to complete this project and my husband was thrilled with his new, expensive-looking Chair Mat!

The possibilities are endless if you think about how many different styles of self-stick flooring tiles there are out there! You could have a marble or granite-look mat, or any style of wood or cork.    

The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

Fake Expensive Wood Chair Mat  (Plywood $12, 16 Tiles @ $0.98 ea)

Total Fake-It Cost:  $27.68

Compare to the Fancy Chair Mat from Staples:  $298.00

Total Fake-It Savings:  $270.32


  1. Your mat looks better than the Staples mat! Awesome!

  2. That's the best idea I've seen! What a savings and looks so good. Job well done, m'dear.

  3. VERY clever! Love all the ideas you plant in my brain. =) Looks awesome!

  4. fantastic idea! Looks amazing. Rose

  5. How thick was the plywood you used?

  6. Wow! Nice chairmat! It's a good thing that you've bought your husband mat that he can use for his rolling chair. With this, he can work comfortably in his office without worrying that he may damage the floor.

  7. Love it, its a win-win for me! This would make a great Christmas present for my husband, and it would add a little something to the look of the office. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I did this today. At Home Depot, they cut it smaller to 4x3 for me for free. The wood subflooring piece was $8.00, and I also used the tiles pictured in the example. Those were $0.89 cents each. I used 12 of them. It came out perfectly and I couldn't be happier. Thanks for this awesome money saving tip!

  9. Thank you for this great money saving project! I actually doubled the underlayment by gluing two pieces together because our carpet is a little thicker, my husband is a big guy, and he works from home and sits at his desk for many hours every day. It looks great and he loves his new mat! I put a link to this on my homemaking blog today. I hope you don't mind.

  10. This is awesome! I guess my only concern is that it could scratch/slide around on a hardwood floor. Any thoughts on this?

  11. I'd be concerned about the plywood fibers eventually working their way into the carpeting over time. (This was mentioned on another web discussion about chair mat alternatives--the warning was against using plywood.) However, I think a solution for that, and possibly the scratching/sliding issue, would be to adhere the vinyl tiles to both sides....or to affix one of those rubbery sheets you put under throw rugs to the bottom of the plywood.

  12. I just made this today. I was able to find a 3x4 piece of plywood at the local ReStore for $3.00 and the same tiles that you used at HD. I love it and it works great. Thank you!

  13. What a cool idea!! You are vary creative.

  14. Has it continued to work well for your husband? Any problems, or things you would change now, after using it for several months?

  15. My floors actually have these tiles so this mat will blend seamlessly into the floor - genius!

  16. You inspired me to do this. Two problems: I needed it about 1 inch narrower to fit between two desk legs. I'm kind of a perfectionist - the vinyl can't go over the edge or fall short of covering the wood.

    I went with 3' lengths of the vinyl wood to create an interesting border pattern. Then 4 1' squares in the center. I like it.

    I had to trim the edges. The vinyl apparently has metal in it, as I got sparks with my circular saw and a dull blade. A rough blade will go through the wood and mat fine, but chip the vinyl. A fine blade will go dull quickly and get bogged down. I spent 2.5 hours with the saw, two blades, and a small belt sander... but it was worth it.

    1. When I say "metal in it" I mean trace amounts... just enough to see a spark every few seconds. Nothing like a grinder on steel or anything. :)

  17. I just made this as well. Easy, creative and cost saving. I did have to tie the 4'x4' to the roof of my carr to get it home, a bit of a challenge on a windy Rochester afternoon!

  18. AWESOME!!!! I could not stand the expensive plastic chairmat I got from Staples last week, and need something the wheels won't sink into — and when I googled' "chairmat alternative" I came across this blog post.


  19. Absolutely Awesome!!!!
    I have a big area to cover and the 72×96 mats were over 450.00. I have the extra room and decided to use 2 4×8 sheets of the medium thickness hardboard,( it looks like cardboard, but 3/16 thick) the flat surface on one side is great for the tile to stick to and the rougher side works great to grab the carpet to keep it from sliding.
    Then I got 2 boxes of the cheapest peel-&-stick tiles.

    2 hardboards 14.12×2=28.24,
    2 boxes of tiles 17.55×2=35.10
    Total with tax 67.14
    for a 96×96 mat.(no clue what a custom cut mat that size would be, but i’d guess at least 600-700.00) crazy!

    Oh, just because I was concerned about the center line where I butt the 2 boards together having the chair catch the edge, I laid a piece of Gorilla Tape under the board on the seam to keep the seam even. Got the idea from carpet layers and carpet tape. Plus when it comes time to take it up, all i need do is pull the tape off and have 2 4×8 sheets to move instead of 1 big one.

    Thanks again!!


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