Try Anti-Fatigue Mats...your feet will thank you!

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Blog entry by Bob Simmons posted 12-23-2010 09:24 PM 5089 reads 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In a recent article and video, Let's Install Wood Inlay Bandings I mentioned the use of anti fatigue mats during a woodworking procedure. The situation called for me to be in one place for quite a hours as I would be working at my workbench fitting and installing wood inlay bandings into the dadoes of twelve picture frames. To be more efficient I moved my bandsaw with a mobile base closer to my bench where I could simply turn 180 degrees from the bandsaw to the workbench. It sure beats walking back and forth. Plus it saves time.

Having read the article and watched the video a viewer asked a few questions about the Anti-fatigue mats that are in my workshop. He also stated that his feet get quit tired and sore when standing on a concrete floor in the shop. So, I responded to himn and I also thought it would be worthwhile to write an article on these feet saving mats to share with you.

Interlock mats for the shop.

Each package of mats contains 4 individual mats. Each 24” x 24” mat has interlocking tabs that allow it to be joined with another mat. With one package you can can create a 2’ x 8’ area at your workbench if you choose or a 4’ x 4’ area. If you like you can make two areas of comfort that are 2’ x 2’ as the interlocking tabs make this system very flexible.

To give you an example I purchased two packages of these anti-fatigue mats. I have two workbenches where each has three mats connected together creating a 2’ x 6’ area. Also, there is a single mat in front of my table saw and a single mat in front of my wood lathe. It’s been over two years now that these mats have been in my shop and they simply make life easier.

Anti-fatigue mats for the workbench

Here’s why the mats are a welcome addition in the woodworking shop.
1.) During the winter or summer they insulate the feet from heat and cold.
2.) Obviously, the mats cushion the feet.
3.) Tools are protected from damage when they fall from the workbench.
4.) The mats are easy to clean.
5.) Total installation is 15-30 seconds.
6.) They can easily be moved if need be.
7.) If you like, they can easily be glued in place permanently.
8.) They are inexpensive.

In summary when you decide to order the anti fatigue mats you will feel like it was money well spent. Plus, your feet will thank you.

What are your thoughts on anti fatigue mats?
What kind of mats do you have in your workshop?

Enjoy Woodworking Videos!


........................................Visit…The Apprentice and The Journeyman

.................................................Learn more, Experience more!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

21 comments so far

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3042 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 11:00 PM

I haven’t had a chance to order mine yet Bob, but they are on my shopping list. Thanks for the extra info on these. Think I will pick up 3 or 4 packs to try and keep a general pathway for me to walk around in my shop. My only fear is the edges of these mats becoming a trip hazard. Have you had any issues with that or have I been working in shops that have OSHA hanging out in them to much?

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 2980 days

#2 posted 12-23-2010 11:36 PM

Dan…Concerning the interlocking tabs…Good question because the open ends look like a tripper. However, there is a narrow border that fits into the interlocking tabs . This border goes around the perimeter. If like the mats can be simply glued in place with dabs of hot melt glue once you determine the setup that you prefer. (example: on a concrete garage floor.)

Tripping hazard…The thickness of the mat is 3/8”. Personally, I have not had an issue with tripping on the mats. Keep in mind that there are anti fatigue mats available that has a lower edge, however I do not have experience with them.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3396 days

#3 posted 12-24-2010 01:09 AM

Not only great for the feet, they also do wonders for the lower back. Any type of mats will help, the softer the better. Scrap pieces of carpet also work, but are harder to get the saw dust out of. haha

Have some in front of the Lathe, Table saw, Drill Press, and Work Bench.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3987 days

#4 posted 12-24-2010 01:13 AM

I have 2 stools that get a lot of service in my shop.
Good footwear is a must for long periods of standing and or walking. I prefer no mats under foot for fear of tripping and the problem of clean up.
Almost every tool of any size in my shop is on casters. whcih precludes carpeting the floor with foam.
Everybody’s different so as long as it works for you, good.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3462 days

#5 posted 12-24-2010 01:39 AM

I use these same kind of mats in my shop.
It is 20’ x 20’ and I have the entire floor covered with them. I have had no problem with them as a tripping hazard at all. The interlocking tabs seem to hold quite well. They cut easily with a regular sheetrock knife so you can configure the shape of them if you want to go around tools, benches etc. Once I tiled the floor, I went around the edges and cutt off the tabs so the tiles were flush with the wall. No voids to have to clean around that way. One of the other things I like about them is that “if” (LOL) you ever drop a finished product or piece of a finished product on the floor, this drastically reduces the damage and in most cases, there is no damage. It has saved a few boxes for me….......

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Chuck Anstrom's profile

Chuck Anstrom

86 posts in 2990 days

#6 posted 12-24-2010 02:02 AM

I also have used these mats for the past year and have found them to greatly help reduce fatigue and joint pain. One very minor nit – if you drop a small part or hardware on them, there is no telling where the dropped item will end up.

-- Chuck Anstrom - Virginia

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 2980 days

#7 posted 12-24-2010 02:22 AM

CessnaPilotBarry…Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad the horse mats work for you. Surely it makes a difference for your feet.

Scrappy…You bring up some good points. Not only are fatigue mats easier on the feet…they also help the lower back as you say. It’s nice to be able to go from tool to tool and have a mat available also.

Bob #2…Sounds like you have found a good solution for yourself with a few stools and tools that are mobile. You bring up excellent points…stools definitely can add to your comfort and allow you to get many jobs accomplished. One might also consider how the mats will work for casters rolling over them.

majeagle1…Thanks for your insights. Having a complete floor of tiles definitely eliminates any tripping. I’d also have to think that you have made a difference in terms of insulating the floor as well. This can make a big difference in both the winter and summer. You make an excellent point when you mention if anything gets dropped. The foam mats can save your project and tools from damage.

Chuck…Glad you’ve had positive experience with these mats in your shop. I too have dropped small parts on my mats. I think it make be more difficult to find these small objects because there is no sound when the object hits the mat like you have when it hits concrete. Thanks for sharing!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#8 posted 12-24-2010 02:59 AM

thank´s for bringing it up
I remember we had a play carpet for our daughter made the same way only they were
12 X 12 inch and with alot of colours
but sadly the cats claws destroyed them before I could lay my hands on them they were realy soft
and warm to bee on when I play with her before she cuold walk :-)
but now I have difficult to find cheap mats here in Denmark :-(

but I use soft shoes and carpets at the moment infront of my bench in two layers
the top layer is upside down so its easyer to clean and its a little bigger than the other
to orevent dust in the hair

Merry Chrismas


View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3274 days

#9 posted 12-24-2010 03:48 AM

I have been accumulating mats for all areas of my shop and it certainly makes a difference. I Place them in front of every power tool and in front tof the workbench. Big difference on the feet and back. I have bought a bunch of the 3’x3’ mats sold at Home Big Box Depot that seem to be made from recycled tires..they sure smell strong like rubber for a couple of weeks but they work great and do not move around like cheaper ones have.

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2846 days

#10 posted 12-24-2010 03:53 AM

I have mats, I also wear Crocs shoes. They insulate from the cold concrete floor and they feel like mats.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 2980 days

#11 posted 12-24-2010 05:03 AM

Dennis…It’s easy to see that these mats would serve very well for a child as they learn to walk.
You have a good solution with soft shoes and carpet. Little things like this can make a big difference.

Greg the WhoDat…Thanks for sharing your perspective. Having these mats in front of the power tool and work stations really do make a difference as you say. I’d be curious to know… Do the rubber mats made from recycled tires lose their smell after a while? Sounds like they cushion well.

Ron..I agree with your assessment on the Croc Shoes. Like you say…They are comfortable, insulate well, and yes they do feel like mats. Well worth the $30.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2746 days

#12 posted 12-24-2010 07:30 PM

Bob , I use exactly those type of mats, two packs of 4 each. Suprizingly from different sources, 1 from walmart, the other from a big box drug store chain.. and they both interlock. I guess not suprising after all, probably from the same factory.. 10 bux a pack.
The work very well for me, stood up for over three years now..the only real damage so far is from my son’s wee dachund..Jeff should trim his nails more often so when we play lazer tag he isn’t puncturing the mats ! A slight down note is they don’t sweep clean very well, one has a patern of tiny squares. the other’s like truck checker plate, neither makes a difference on cleanup..

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

#13 posted 12-24-2010 07:41 PM

I found the puzzle-piece ones, from Harbor Freight, shifted around too much for my tastes, so I moved them to another part of the shop.

For now, then, the floor at my workbenches and table saw have one of these:

About sixty bucks, from Amazon. Brand name … IIRC … is Wearwell.

Honestly … as a visually impaired dude … I’ve gotten used to the bright yellow edges. I’m constantly amazed at what I can trip over :-)

-- -- Neil

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 2980 days

#14 posted 12-24-2010 08:46 PM

racerglen…Glad to hear the mats have worked well for you. 3 years at $10 a pack is a pretty decent return for your investment.

Neil…It looks like the edges on your mat slope which would help to reduce or eliminate tripping. I like the yellow racing stripes. I bet I could find a way to trip over them ;)

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2940 days

#15 posted 12-24-2010 10:05 PM

I dropped a L-N plane blade this morning while setting up to sharpen it. Luckily I didn’t wreck it, but made a simple sharpen touch up into a chip repair…and a fair bit of cursing.
Anything softer than a concrete floor would be better!
Looked at those mats about a month ago…will get them after Christmas

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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