Help me find a cool stone mousepad
December 30, 2017 7:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about buying one of these tiles to use as a mousepad, because I love the way black galaxy granite looks, and I want a stone mousepad. That said, it's a little thick and heavy (3/8 inch thick and 6 pounds!), and I'm waiting to hear back about how sharp or rough the edges are. Can you recommend anything similar that has rounded edges, is available as a one-off, doesn't have anything glued onto it, and isn't prohibitively expensive?

I've poked around a lot on Etsy, Amazon, Wayfair, and various hardware-store sites, and I'm having trouble finding any tiles that are thinner, smoother-edged, lighter, and/or available to buy as a one-off, rather than in a large box of tiles. So I'm also thinking something like a black granite cutting board without feet. I also like Connemara marble, if any options for that come to mind more readily. I spent a ton of time a while back poking through seemingly endless listings for cutting boards and tiles that weren't what I'm looking for, so I figured I'd ask you guys to see if anything came to mind. Thanks!
posted by limeonaire to Shopping (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh right, and dimensions: I'm looking for something that's a reasonable mousepad size, so like 12 inches square seemed OK. I could also see going with a longer piece. I'd want it to then be able to fit horizontally under my keyboard and mousepad area, and thinness would be particularly important in that case, 'cause I like the height my keyboard is right now. Thanks again!
posted by limeonaire at 7:07 PM on December 30, 2017

I'm certain I've seen this at Home Depot or Lowe's or somewhere like that.

Here we go. Six bucks if you like it.
posted by rhizome at 7:11 PM on December 30, 2017

Pro-tip, your mouse may not work right on that, unless it's corded. A wireless mouse will be lost on glossy black things.
posted by sanka at 7:12 PM on December 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

They also have 18"x31", 31 inches being about the depth of a standard desktop, so 18" wide and as deep as you keep clear.
posted by rhizome at 7:13 PM on December 30, 2017

Response by poster: Just real quick: Thanks for the quick sourcing, rhizome! Unfortunately, those listings are the ones I was seeing that are only for a minimum of 1 case of tiles, which is more than I need. They're also about a half inch thick, which is thicker than the ones I'm seeing on Amazon. That said, I'm open to investigating if I didn't have to buy a case. Do you happen to know if The Home Depot or Lowe's will sell tiles like that as one-offs?

Thanks again, everyone.
posted by limeonaire at 7:19 PM on December 30, 2017

I'm pretty sure my local Home Depot has them available as singles at retail. It's possible this could be checked at your local with a phone call, but I'm skeptical of HD's sub-Fry's floor help, so you might have to check in person.
posted by rhizome at 7:26 PM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might go (in person) to an actual tile store and see if they have something you like. Any tile store will definitely sell you a single tile.

But do be prepared that this might not work, assuming you use an optical mouse. Glassy/mirror/shiny/reflective surfaces will confuse the heck out of them.
posted by brainmouse at 7:35 PM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

They'be been selling thin slabs of stone and tile like this for plates/ serving dishes at high end kitchen places for a while. I even saw some at Fred Meyers and Marshalls lately so I bet you can find them most anywhere these days.
posted by fshgrl at 11:13 PM on December 30, 2017

I have bought individual tiles from Lowe's. You can go to the tile section and the single tiles should be in little stacks (unpacked). Sometimes they have a special section at the front of the store, with more tiles on sale.

I have a glossy black marble tile (12" x 12", definitely heavy for a mousepad, 3/8" thick) that I actually use during the summer as a cooling pad for my laptop computer on a table (with the computer elevated a bit in the back). It's been a few years but I'm pretty sure I got it for around 10 dollars or less.

FWIW I just checked and the marble tile works fine as a mousepad for my corded optical mouse at least -- haven't tried a wireless mouse. However, if you're prone to resting your hand/wrist/arm on the mousepad then it might be pretty cold/uncomfortable in cooler temps / make your wrist numb.

The sides of the marble tile I have are polished and not really sharp, but the corners were pretty sharp so I did a low-tech workaround and stuck a small piece of black gaffer tape over each corner to dull the points.

There are also tiles that are thinner. Tiles vary widely, even with the same model, so I definitely agree on going to a B&M store and seeing if any are to your liking, rather than ordering one online.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:55 AM on December 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also meant to say that the black marble tile I have is different from the sparkly one you linked to on Amazon -- the one I have is glossy black but has white/grey swirls and veins. The Connemara type or generally something with swirls/lines instead of shiny sparkles theoretically should work better for mouse tracking but still, always best if you can confirm it would work with the type of mouse you'd be using.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 2:05 AM on December 31, 2017

You might have luck with ceramic tile. You can probably find something in 9x9 or 12x12 with a glossy surface.
posted by SemiSalt at 6:28 AM on December 31, 2017

It's not cordlessness that makes a mouse not like glossy surfaces; it's whether it registers travel using a ball or a laser. Ball mice are perfectly happy on gloss, but lasers get screwed up by reflections. IDK if there are cordless mice that use balls.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:21 PM on December 31, 2017

Response by poster: Indeed, just a note that I have a Microsoft mouse with I think BlueTrack, and I've successfully used it on a shiny black granite countertop. I think Logitech may now have some technology that's improved in that regard, too. So thankfully this is less of an issue than it once was! I appreciate all the suggestions so far!
posted by limeonaire at 1:22 PM on December 31, 2017

I think there's a difference between laser mice and older optical mice, where laser mice are fine on shiny surfaces.
posted by rhizome at 1:29 PM on December 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you know someone with a belt sander it's pretty easy to knock off any sharp edges and even radius the corners. Tile stores rather than home improvement Borgs can also do this in many cases for a fee.

Also if you have a Habitat Renew store they often have a large selection of tile and they definitely will sell singles; my local store sells tile for $0.50-1.00 each.
posted by Mitheral at 3:17 PM on January 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older To Mattress or Not to Mattress   |   Tarrying too long at a “frog wedding”? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.