What materials are chair mats made of?

Chair Mats are made from hard plastic materials.

The devil is in the detail and a wide range of plastic compounds are used in the manufacture of chair mats. We offer a selection of different chair mats from budget compounds (PP Series) to superior quality compounds (high quality polycarbonate). When selecting a chair mat it is advisable not only to compare prices but also the plastic compound material that the chair mat is made of. If not stated, ask your supplier or assume that the cheapest material (PVC) has been used.

PVC Chair Mats

PVC Chair Mats are the most widely distributed chair mats in the UK. Main features:

  • fairly transparent, cheap and scratch-resistant
  • PVC includes phthalate plasticizers that outgas from PVC over time causing unpleasant chair mat smells and raising health risks that include asthma or even cancer
  • moderate durability, PVC chair mats (particularly PVC chair mats for carpet floors) typically break after a few years and need to be replaced
  • not suitable for underfloor heating or direct sunlight (due to phthalate plasticizers that outgas from PVC)
  • worst plastic from an environmental health perspective

Polycarbonate Chair Mats

Polycarbonate Chair Mats are the second most widely distributed chair mats in the UK. Main features:

  • highly transparent
  • crack-, curl-, break-, scratch- and yellow-resistant
  • non-smelling and dirt-resistant
  • free from toxic chemicals, totally recyclable
  • suitable for underfloor heating
  • approx. 10-20% more expensive than PVC chair mats.
  • not as many UK manufacturers as PVC chair mats.

Polypropylene Chair Mats

Polypropylene is a fairly new pastic compound on the chair mat market. It has been developed to combine many of the advantages of Polycarbonate with the budget price of PVC. Main features:

  • crack-, curl-, break-, scratch- and yellow-resistant
  • non-smelling and dirt-resistant
  • free from toxic chemicals, totally recyclable
  • suitable for underfloor heating
  • opaque, not fully transparent
  • not yet widely available in the UK

Further Reading:

What is Vinyl / PVC?

What is Polycarbonate?

What is Polypropylene?


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