Rolling an office chair to one's home is problematic. You do want the comfort and flexibility, but the carpet is thick. If you don't use a carpet protector, it's only a matter of time until the carpet will wear out.

Putting a carpet protector, even one of the very thick variety, only helps with thinner carpets. If your carpet is thick, or it has some cushion padding underneath, you're still in trouble. The wheels sink and it becomes impossible to adjust the chair by small amounts in any direction. The wheels just fall back to where they left an imprint. (From experience, I know that these imprints will eventually crack the carpet protector, but then it's not meant to last indefinitely).

Hence I'm starting to think that a 5ftx4ft thin wooden board would do the trick. It would both protect the carpet and it would allow the wheels to roll. But that solution will look terrible in any home office, no matter how rustic the rest of the room.

How do you keep an office chair smoothly rolling, including the ability to fine tuning its location, on a thick carpet that you'd like to protect?

  • 1
    I think a sheet of plywood or something similar might work. It wouln't be too pretty unless you did some finishing on it. You might be able to edge-glue some planks together to achieve this, but there might be a chance of the boards cracking/splitting along the grain. One of my co-workers has a really thick, plastic carpet protector under her desk chair (maybe 1/2" or 5/8" thick) and it looks more "normal" than a sheet of plywood would. I'd imagine it costs many times what a sheet of plywood does.
    – gnicko
    Dec 4, 2018 at 19:33
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    I just kick the casters to rotate them away from the temporary depressions. The only good solution is to install hard flooring under desk areas, even if you keep the carpet throughout the rest of the room.
    – isherwood
    Dec 4, 2018 at 19:49
  • they sell mat specifically for thick carpet, at a higher price. you can also just use two chair mats stacked up.
    – dandavis
    Dec 5, 2018 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


Go to your local plastics shop and get a quarter-inch polycarbonate plexi. They are usually clear, but you might find smoke or bronze. Bring a drawing of the T-shape that office units have. They will cut it and round the edges.
It is about the same cost as an office supply model, but you can customize it to match your office.
By the way, my home office chair stays in its dimples and I just rotate to get in or out. It took some fine-tuning to get the exact location.

  • I would like to confirm. You are saying that a quarter-inch polycarbonate plexiglasss will still have dimples under the weight of an adult; is that right? To your knowledge (you didn't mention the store) do they also sell 4ftx4ft half-inch versions, ideally with rounded edges?
    – Calaf
    Dec 11, 2018 at 16:05
  • The dimples are in my carpet, and that's OK with me. I use no protector at my current desk location. In Canada we have IPP International Paint & Plastics. They cut your piece from a 4x8 sheet of polycarbonate to your dimensions. They charge by the square foot, plus a cut charge and an edge finish charge. The quarter-inch will not dimple. They use polycarbonate on fighter jets.
    – John Canon
    Dec 13, 2018 at 1:22

This is a difficult problem. There are two solutions, neither quite satisfactory.

  1. Buy 4ftx4ft from your local hardware store. You'll have to put up with an exceedingly rustic look. Alternatively, go to a specialized store (1, 2?, 3?, please suggest) that provides a finished product. The trouble is that it has to be 5/8" to handle the weight of an adult without cracking after a few months, and then it's just waiting for someone to be injured on its edges and corners, unless these are tapered.
  2. You likely have five wheels. Rotate them by 1/10 a circle every time you wish to make an adjustment to escape the previous dimples.
  3. isherwood is probably right. Quoting from the comment under the question: "The only good solution is to install hard flooring under desk areas, even if you keep the carpet throughout the rest of the room." If you feel like committing to a permanent location for your desk and chair, this may be the way to go.

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