Chair mat

I have just had new beige carpet installed in my home office. The pile is much deeper than the carpet that was replaced, so much so that my chair does not roll on it.
I know I can buy a plastic chair mat but I think they look tacky. So I now have a sheet of 9mm MDF on the floor. Now the chair rolls perhaps a little too easily, but hey the color is just about the same as the carpet.
Since the MDF is just about as tacky as the plastic would be, I got to thinking that perhaps there is a good wood solution to this problem.
Has anyone built such a chair mat? Do you have any suggestions for something that looks good, is durable and has rolling resistance a bit greater than the MDF surface?
Cheers,
Larry
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Larry, Just use the MDF for a while. The surface will abraid and will get that "Fuzzy" look. Then it will not be as easy to roll on it. Good Luck
Paul

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Easiest way would be to glue a plastic mat to the MDF :-)
A more serious idea - very labor intensive, but this is rec.woodworking - is to get a decent piece of wood and use a router to make a coin pattern. Nothing excessive, no more than 1/16" of an inch height difference. Something that would look like this ->
http://www.hotgarageflooring.com/images/products/g_floor/g_floor_high_res.jpg
A chessboard pattern might be a little less work.
A different idea is to address the wheels. If you can find wooden casters, you'd have a lot more friction. Or wrap some sort of rubber around the wheels (provided the design allows for this)
Larry Spitz wrote:

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... so I googled chair mat, and found a couple wood offerings on the first half of the first results page. Brookstone has bamboo ones, and there are others here: http://www.bestpriceseating.com/bewochmaintw.html Or just get a 4x8 sheet of nice oak-veneer ply, and finish it like you would a wood floor. I'm not sure how to increase rolling resistance, other than possibly a clear rubber or soft plastic mat on top of the wood one, which should slow things down a little. If it were me, I'd probably suck it up and get a tacky plastic one - there are so many available (google) that there should be some that might be less tacky? Andy
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I'd pass on veneered oak. Veneer is maybe 1/64" at most...
Patriarch
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wrote:

Built a floor mat, 4' x 8' 1/4" Oak plywood with some trim and bracing under. If I were to do it again 1/2" plywood.
Mark
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Fri, May 18, 2007, 10:39am (EDT+16) snipped-for-privacy@docrec.com (LarrySpitz) doth wonder: I have just had new beige carpet installed in my home office. The pile is much deeper than the carpet that was replaced, so much so that my chair does not roll on it. <snip>
Shoulda got a wood floor put in. Get bigger rollers fo your chair. Get a diferent chair. Just put down a chunk of decent plywood - if that bothers you, don't look down.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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I've never built anything like this, but an idea struck me. Maybe a good way to get a durable surface is to use some of type of laminate or engineered flooring material secured to the top of the MDF. As for figuring out what provides the rolling resistance you're looking for, take off one of the casters from the chair or buy a spare one from a hardware store, then take that with you to a place that has flooring and try rolling the caster on the flooring samples.
I seem to recall both Sams Club and Costco carry a limited selection of laminate flooring. I mention this because a single box of flooring from one of those stores is likely to be fairly inexpensive. You might also try asking a flooring store if they have any scraps they want to get rid of or sell for cheap.
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I did two for my dad in Baltic Birch. Stained them with a dark stain, to sort of go with his old desk, then three or four coats of oil poly.
Still looked pretty sad. He's happy with it, though.
Were I to do it again, I'd get some engineered or prefinished flooring, and lay it on the 1/2 ply, and trim it out right. But it would still be too thick, most likely.
Patriarch
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Larry Spitz wrote:

Thanks for all of the suggestions. My chair already has casters that are the best I can find for deep pile carpeting, so there is no point in changing casters or chairs.
I think I am going to try out the suggestion of laminate flooring. Neither Sam's Club nor Costco have stores in New Zealand, but it's not hard to find. (Unfortunately Baltic Birch is impossible to find in NZ.)
Cheers,
Larry
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liberally with sand, beach sand will do. Seal with poly. Et voila, matching beige resistant finish. Easy to patch if it wears too.
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