Mat vs Wheels for Hardwood Floor Office Chairs

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Updated December 7, 2022

If you are shopping for a new seat, you may be comparing mats vs wheels for hardwood floor office chairs. Even the best office chairs, after all, need to have to remain stable while being used. Keep reading to learn the differences between these caster wheels and dedicated floormats.


  • Office chair wheels are convenient but could damage or scratch hardwood floors if you aren’t careful.
  • You can protect your office space floors by placing the chair on dedicated office chair mats or by removing the wheels entirely, and replacing them with a stable base of some kind.
  • You will have to physically carry your chair when it needs to move if you have the office chair caster wheels removed.

Differences Between Mats and Wheels for Office Chairs

The key difference between the two is that caster wheels allow for instantaneous movements, while floor mats provide a stable area for a chair to reside. Most office seats arrive with casters for hardwood floors, but you can typically take them off for placement on a mat or carpeted floor, no matter if you are comparing a mid back vs high back chair, or any type of chair. The good thing about this type of protection is that a lot of them are made to where you can trim the office chair mats to fit your area better.

Speaking of other office chairs, we have lists with options including the best big and tall chairs and chairs without wheels.

Insider Tip

You should really think about removing a chair’s wheels if the chair is extremely heavy, as it will most certainly scratch your hardwood over time.

Here are some more subtle and stark differences between using a chair with wheels and one placed directly on a mat.

Floor Protection

One of the benefits of using a floor mat as opposed to wheels is that your flooring will become protected. Even the softest caster wheels can create scuffs and related marks as they repeatedly roll over the hardwood floor, leading to expensive maintenance and repair. If you want to make absolutely certain that your flooring remains untouched, remove the wheels from an office seat and place the chair on a dedicated floor mat. And while your floor will be protected, you should still remember to periodically check your wheels for buildup. If you notice any, read our guide on how to get hair out of chair wheels to get your wheels rolling smoothly again. Alternatively, you can get a chair designed without wheels, like the one in our Boss Office Products leather sled base side chair review. You won’t be able to move the chair as easily, but your hardwood flooring will remain protected. This holds true no matter if you are comparing a mesh vs cushion office chair.


Obviously, an office seat without wheels that resides on a stable base on top of a mat will not be able to move at all. This could be frustrating if you want mobility for moving throughout an office environment, or when it comes time to rearrange your furniture setup. Office chairs with wheels can easily be moved wherever you want, making them much more portable.

Additional Tools

Most office seats ship with caster wheels, but they don’t always come with replacement base units for where the wheels would go. These components are called many names, including office chair glides, and you’ll have to purchase them on your own. Make sure whatever items you purchase can integrate with your seat.


How do you protect hardwood floors from office chairs?

Remove office chair caster wheels and replace them with office chair glides or related materials. These chair wheels replacement rubber items are efficient at protecting hardwood.

Are rolling chairs bad for hardwood floors?

Office chair wheels can damage hardwood floors in certain instances. Try replacement rubber chair casters instead.

How to keep your hardwood floors in perfect condition?

Remove the office chair wheels from a heavy-duty chair, turning it from a rolling chair to a stationary chair.

STAT: Although hardwood floors can add substantial value to your property, in order to maintain their worth they need to be protected from scratches and dents that furniture like office chairs can cause. (source)

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