REVIEW – Most everyone whose work involves sitting at a desk (many in a home office during these challenging times) uses an office chair. But does anyone pay attention to what the chair sits on? Up until now, my home office chair has rolled around on one of those plastic mats that acquire dents when you’ve sat in your chair for no more than a few seconds. This causes the chair to become “stuck” as you try to roll to a different spot. This unwelcome flexibility in the mat eventually leads to wear and cracking over time. A company named Vitrazza has a permanent solution to this common frustration: Glass.
What is it?
The Vitrazza glass chair mat is just that, a chair mat designed to never dent or crack. It’s made of 1/4 in. tempered glass that can withstand 1,000 lbs. of weight—way more than necessary. The glass chair mats are made to either standard sizes or can be custom made to the size and shape of your design.
- Works on carpet, wood, laminate, vinyl or tile
- 1/4″ Tufver glass
- Invisible Shield Pro15 coating
- Polished beveled edges
- 3″ rounded radius corners
- Will support over 1,000 pounds
- Weight: 45 lbs
- Size: Various sizes available
In the box
- Glass mat
- Silicone non-slip pads—two sets
- Easy-lift tool
Design and features
The Vitrazza glass chair mat I received is 48 in. X 42 in.—a bit smaller than the plastic mat it replaces, but not as much an issue as I originally thought. It arrived at my door well protected in a large, heavy flat box—a little over 50 lbs. While it’s easy to remove the mat from the packaging, Vitrazza recommends that two people (wearing latex/non-latex gloves) remove the mat to place it on the floor. I don’t follow rules very well. I was able to slide it out of the box (while vertical) and glide it into the spot I wanted before I gently laid it down. Once in place, it was easy to maneuver into position.
After I positioned it, I stuck some supplied soft silicone Stabil-a-dots (Vitrazza’s name) to the underside of the mat (the top side is clearly labeled with a removable sticker). Vitrazza recommends that the Stabil-a-dots be placed in each rounded corned with four additional Stabil-a-dots at the center. They provide a printed diagram showing placement. These Stabil-a-dots help the mat stay in place on the floor—carpet, in my case. The Stabil-a-dots come in two sets—one for carpet and one for hard surfaces. Again, I don’t follow rules well—I placed the Stabil-a-dots at the corners only.
Vitrazza includes a Care Envelope that contains the warranty, silicone dots, and a plastic easy-lift tool for wedging under the mat allowing it to be easily and safely shifted into place.
While Vitrazza glass chair mats can improve the look of any office space, I’m sure that they didn’t consider my office setup. I have extremely bright and colorful oversized rugs that are laid over carpet. They were made for children’s reading areas in elementary schools. Since I am a designer of children’s books and products, I steer as far away from the corporate look as I can and gravitate towards primary color motifs any chance I get. The Vitrazza mat doesn’t dull the rug color like the plastic mat did. Colors remain as bright and cheerful as they are with no mat.
You might be thinking, “A glass mat?” Keep in mind that this mat is a quarter-inch thick and toughened. Here is an edited quote from Vitrazza about their glass: “For many folks, the initial thought of using glass anywhere on the floor seems unwise. But for over 10 years now, Vitrazza has proved that the trademarked Tufver Glass is a super-strong glass toughened for strength and coated to resist scratches. Most folks ask ‘what if I drop a coffee mug?’ There is really nothing in normal use that will lead to it breaking – not a coffee mug, or a stapler or your laptop, etc. Just like car windows, for example, it takes an awful lot to ruin a glass chair mat from Vitrazza”.
Still—what about breakage? Despite the mat’s ability to support 1,000 lbs., here is Vitrazza’s geeky explanation about the mat’s strength: “Tufver Glass is our trademarked combination of tempered glass and a protective nano-tech coating, Invisible Shield Pro15. Tempered glass is produced by heating annealed glass to a temperature of approximately 1,150ºF, then rapidly cooling it. The glass is cooled by a carefully controlled airflow (known as quenching), which uniformly cools the entire surface simultaneously. The heating and cooling cycle puts the outer surfaces into compression and the inner surfaces into tension. Such stresses cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.” As someone who—as a kid—once shot out many junk car windows with a BB gun, I can attest that this type of glass will break up into small harmless chunks. And yes, I caught holy he** for shooting out those windows! In other words, don’t worry about the Vitrazza mat breaking.
Since the mat is 1/4 in. thick, I have stubbed my toe on the edge a couple of times. Keep in mind that I am always barefoot in my studio building. Plus, the smooth edges of the glass mat are beveled and rounded. I’m also a klutz. In a more formal office setting, shoes are worn, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, if you roll off the mat. Its thickness can hinder rolling back on without having to lift the chair. These are minor quibbles about a useful and beautiful chair mat.
After using the Vitrazza mat for several days, I’ve become a bit spoiled by not having to re-adjust my chair just to get the wheels out of the plastic mat’s rut created by staying in one place for too long. I just roll around freely when I feel like it.
What I like
- No dents, ruts or cracking—ever
- Chair rolls freely across the surface
- Extremely strong
What I’d change
Now that the Vitrazza glass mat is on my floor, I’ve come to ignore it. I just sit in my chair and reposition myself whenever and wherever I need without a second thought. This kind of invisible usability should be the whole reason for a chair mat.