Can you or your readers suggest a simple way to protect the wood floor around my desk chair. I try to avoid rugs and I have not found any other choices that both protect the floor and look good and match the look of my place. I am open minded to a small rug if that is the best choice, but wanted to make sure I have considered other options. Any ideas?
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This is a great question and before we get into a few solutions, it is good to know that different wheels will have a far different effect on your floor (so your chair choice can be important). For example, our officemate has a vintage Eames workgroup chair that has slowly and steadily eaten THROUGH the floor, while our Leap chair hasn't made a dent. Long story short: better wheels = better floor.
Of course the classic way to protect a floor or carpet is to put down a plastic surface under your chair. These are inexpensive and work, but not too pretty.
In your case, we would buy some FLOR tile to make a small stationary carpet area right around your chair and under your desk. FLOR are inexpensive and THIN so that rolling on them would be no problem. You can also change them easily should you get tired of them or want to change your style.
Another good solution is BOLON vinyl sisal. This is tough, attractive and thin enough for rolling as well. You can find it at Curran and SisalCarpet.com.