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Review: Vitrazza Glass Office Chair Mat – Forbes

As a result of the pandemic, many people have been working from home over the past year. It’s looking as though a good chunk of those will have the option of continuing to work remotely for at least part of the week. In the early days of this, many people made do with temporary setups. As weeks stretched into months – with the potential for permanence – there’s been an ongoing move to upgrade the WFH experience. New computers, new monitors, new desks, new webcams, and new office chairs. Vitrazza has a suggestion for one element of home office upgrades that’s often overlooked: the chair mat. The Colorado-based company sells American-made glass office chair mats
Vitrazza’s glass chair mats can be used with carpet as well as hard surfaces.
Glass mats in general have benefits over the typical plastic chair mats. Plastic mats get worn down, with wheel ruts and damaged edges. Dirt gets ground into them. They yellow or become discolored. They can build up a static charge. When I lifted it up, I discovered the premium plastic mat I’ve been using to protect the hardwood floor in my office — which lies flat against the floor — actually rubbed some of the finish off the floor all around its perimeter. 
My plastic chair mat is worse for the wear, with damaged edges, discoloration, ruts, and some … [+] ground-in dirt.
In contrast, glass avoids the wheel ruts, curled and warped edges, and ground-in dirt. It also doesn’t build up static. A good glass mat costs more than plastic, but won’t need to be replaced the way a plastic mat does.
Vitrazza is an American company that has seriously upped the glass chair mat game. With so many people now working from home, there has been a surge of home office upgrades including high quality, ergonomic chairs and desks. But not everyone thinks of upgrading their chair mat to a quality version as well.
The mats are made in America, using solid 1/4-inch thick Tufver Glass. This tempered glass has four times the strength of regular annealed glass. The company says their glass mats are designed to hold over 1,000 pounds. Edges feature furniture-grade polishing with micro bevels. They’re smooth, not sharp, and also designed to allow a chair to smoothly glide over the edge. If you somehow manage to break a Vitrazza glass mat, the company says it will crumble into small pieces instead of big shards.
Vitrazza Tufver Glass is 1/4-inch thick, with furniture-grade polished edges and micro bevelling.
The company applies an “Invisible Shield Pro15 Nano-Tech Coating” to the glass mats. This helps to prevent scratches and keeps the glass from being too slippery (for example, if you walked on it with wet shoes).
About the only thing you need to avoid is extreme heat. At 400°F, the glass starts to lose its tempered properties, reverting to regular, annealed glass. If your office is near 400°F, you probably have other things to worry about…
Included with each glass mat are sets of “Stabil-a-Dots.” These look like the adhesive silicone bumpers you’d buy for anything that’s being placed on a hard surface to avoid marring or slipping. These ones are obviously designed to support a lot more weight (the glass mat, plus the chair, plus the person sitting in the chair), but they serve the same purpose. They prevent the glass mat from moving around, while protecting the surface below. Several sizes are included in the box. Smaller Stabil-a-Dots are for use on hard surface like wood or tile floors, while the larger sizes are meant for use with carpet (even high-pile carpeting).  
Stabil-a-Dots for various surfaces are included.
Vitrazza stocks 18 different chair mat sizes. There are two glass options: Chiaro (standard clear with a slight visible tint) and Luminoso (low iron and ultra-clear). However the company also offers custom designs tailored for specific applications. These can be up to 40 square feet in size.
If you’re worried about durability, the company covers its glass chair mats with a transferable lifetime warranty. They also come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with free returns.
I’ve been working from home full-time for over a decade, and so I was able to justify a pretty expensive, ergonomic office chair. One thing I didn’t really think about was the wheels. When I first installed the Vitrazza chair mat in my office, the wheels still didn’t make me think twice. The glass was much smoother, so they moved around easily enough and if they made a little contact noise in doing so, I was already accustomed to that.
However, the experience with most chairs can be improved by replacing the original wheels with higher quality versions that are optimized for use on a hard surface. Vitrazza offers replacement universal Quiet Comfort office chair caster wheels that are made with soft tread urethane instead of hard plastic. They roll over glass more smoothly, quietly, and without skating. A five-pack costs $65 and with most office chairs it’s simply a matter of popping off the original wheels and pushing on the new ones.
Hubless Casters are coming soon.
The company sent me a set of its new Hubless Casters (which are coming soon). These made a huge difference compared the hard plastic wheels that came standard on my chair. They are are not only far more effective and silent, I have to say the hubless design is also very cool looking. If you ever replace your chair, you can pop out the wheels and use them with the new one.
If you want to go all out on the glass upgrades, Vitrazza also sells desk blotters. I use a plastic one on my desk to protect the wood from scratches from all the equipment I’m always moving around, but I can see where glass would be an upgrade for many of the same reasons — in particular, my plastic cover is now beginning to yellow.
Vitrazza sent me a review sample, and the process was much more straightforward than I’d expected. A plastic chair mat can be rolled up for shipping, but with glass that’s obviously not an option. The Vitrazza glass mat made it across the border (the company ships to both the U.S. and Canada) without issue, and was solidly packaged.
The glass mat arrived safely and was securely packaged.
A glass mat is large and heavy, so two people are recommended for unpacking and placement. It arrived securely encased in cardboard and the recycling pickup accepted everything except some thin foam bumpers. First, I removed the plastic mat, then cleaned the hardwood floor beneath. Next, the Stabil-a-Dots were applied (included instructions show the optimal placement), then it was set in place. The glass was pristine on arrival, and I took care not to get it all smudged with fingerprints. A plastic pry tool is included to make it easy (and safe) to life up an edge once in place if you need to move the mat. 
Note, the version I received is tabbed (for use when sitting close to a pedestal desk) Which is an extra-cost option.
Three things I noticed immediately. First, I could clearly see the floor beneath my chair. That made the room feel a little more open and less cluttered. Second, moving around in my chair on the glass mat (especially with the upgraded wheels) was completely effortless and completely silent. Third, the glass makes the setup look more professional.
The Vitrazza glass chair mat protects the floor beneath, while still letting you see it.
After using the Vitrazza glass chair mat for a few weeks, I have some observations. I’ve run off the edge a few times and that has not been a problem. It requires little effort to roll back on. Long expanses of the glass have a slight flex — understandable because they are off the floor between Stabil-a-Dots and my older (50 years+) hardwood floor is not 100% smooth and flat. The company assured me this is normal, the glass is designed to handle the stress, and it is not a concern. They suggested adding an additional Stabil-a-Dot to the longer, unsupported edges if that was making me nervous.  
The closest thing to an issue I’ve encountered is cleaning. My family includes two large and very furry dogs, and a pair of cats. They are in and out of my office constantly through the day. The slightly elevated glass mat means there is space for dog fur to slide underneath and accumulate. Nothing that the vacuum’s crevice tool can’t easily pull out, but that was one thing I didn’t need to worry about with the floor-hugging plastic mat. The dogs also occasional drool or drop a wet toy on my floor. With the plastic mat, I didn’t really notice. The glossy, reflective glass surface showcases these drips and marks. They’re easily wiped up, but that is one extra step in my weekly office cleaning.
I have yet to drop anything of significance like a coffee mug, but Vitrazza says its glass mats can take that sort of common office abuse.
Vitrazza’s glass office chair mat is the perfect way to complete your upgraded home office.
The bottom line on the Vitrazza glass office chair mat is that it is easily the nicest office chair mat I’ve ever used. In combination with the company’s new hubless caster wheels (which are coming soon), the experience of rolling around is incredibly smooth and effortless. It’s hard to go back to a mass market plastic chair mat and plastic wheels…
The question is whether the price of entry is worth it for you. Ready-to-ship square and rectangle versions start at $275 (shipping is free to the lower 48 States). The web site may have sales and discount codes, so watch for that to potentially cut the cost.
If you work from home or from an office and moving around on your wheeled task chair is chore and/or doing a number on your floors, the Vitrazza solution is as good as it gets. You pay a considerable premium compared to a roll-up plastic chair mat. But it’s not a ridiculous amount considering what you get: a surface that looks much more professional, stands up to use, is easy to clean, is easier on your floors, and is simply nicer to work on. And it should also last a lifetime, which reduces the price premium if you are replacing plastic mats every few year. 
Disclosure: Vitrazza provided a glass office chair mat and wheels for evaluation but had no input into this review.


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