Are Office Chair Wheels Appropriate for Wood Floors?

No, they’re not.

It’s common knowledge that office chair wheels tend to damage hardwood floors. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get rolling office chairs.

You can have a rolling office chair and still maintain pristine hardwood floors without sacrificing one for the other.

Why Do Rolling Chair Wheels Damage Hardwood Floors?

The problem isn’t your chair or how you use it. The main issue is the type of wheels attached to your seat.

Are the wheels made of rubber, polyurethane, or nylon?

Knowing the type of caster wheel attached to your office chair could be the difference between a damaged and pristine wood floor.

There are two primary types of caster wheels. These include:

Soft Caster Wheels/Hard Floor Casters

This type uses soft materials, such as rubber or soft polyurethane.

The reasons for using soft materials are to protect hardwood floors and have easy control. When moving heavier loads across hard surfaces such as hardwood floors, tiles, or concrete floors, hard caster wheels tend to make controlling your load a little challenging.

This is why shopping carts have rubber wheels to reduce the damage to the wood floors — hard casters easily dent them.

If your office has hardwood, laminate, tile, or marble floors, buy soft caster wheels. These types are best suited for such floors as they’re designed to leave the flooring and mats unblemished.

Check out our rollerblade wheels as a great example of what this type of wheel entails.

They’re safe for all types of floors and come as a set of five wheels. Each wheel is encased with soft polyurethane to ensure that your wood floors are protected.

smoothly and perfectly engineered chair caster wheel
Rollerblade Office Chair Wheels

If you’re not pleased with what you get, feel free to ask for a refund.

Yes, they are that good, as seen from our customer reviews.

Love These Wheels for Our Office!

The wheels are constructed of excellent quality materials. They installed very easily and are a perfect fit. I bought 2 sets of these wheels for our office after having a new luxury vinyl floor installed. They glide with ease and after 8 months of use show no sign of wear on our floor. I highly recommend this product. Raymond S.

Great for Use on Hard Floors Without Scratching.

We recently had new luxury vinyl plank flooring installed and the old casters on my desk chair were starting to create scratches. These solved the problem with the added benefit of being both quieter and smoother. No complaints here! T.T.

Hard Caster Wheels/ Soft Floor Casters

These casters are ideal for softer surfaces such as cushioned floors.

If you were to use soft casters on carpeted floors, you’d notice that the casters would get bogged down. This is why it’s advisable to use hard casters on cushioned surfaces as it reduces the friction at the point of contact — little to no friction translates to a smoother ride.

How to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Now that you know the kind of chair casters to get for your hardwood flooring, let’s figure out how to protect your floors.

Replace the Hard Caster Wheels on Your Office Chairs

The first order of business should be to switch out your hard casters for soft ones. You’ll need to replace your current chair casters with those for hardwood floors.

chair caster wheel for scratch-free tile and hardwood floors
Rollerblade Office Chair Wheels

There are several other measures that you can implement to protect your floors from scratches. However, switching nylon for rubber wheels is the most effective protective measure.

The beauty of soft chair casters is that you’ll have nothing holding you back. You can glide across the room on your office chair without having to worry about the carpet or mats.

Wheel replacement is easy. You can follow this step-by-step wheel replacement guide:

  1. Remove one caster wheel to verify the style, shape, and measurements.
  2. Visit The Office Oasis and select rollerblade office chair wheels.
  3. Once the new set of wheels has been delivered, remove the remaining wheels.
  4. Replace the old wheels with the soft caster model.

Chair caster wheel for tiles, thick carpets, etc.
Rollerblade Office Chair Wheels

Clean Your Floors

You’ll need to vacuum and clean your floors regularly.

Think about all the dirt that you and your colleagues track into the office. Think about the small bread crumbs that fall onto the floor, never to be seen again.

While these tiny particles might not bother you, they’ll damage your hardwood floors.

Every time you glide with your office chair, some of these particles stick onto the casters.

Thanks to the constant movement, your office chair will leave scratches on your floor.

Lift Your Chair

The reason your floors are full of scratches is that you keep dragging the wheels. It’s time to try a different approach. Instead of pulling, how about lifting your chair?

Heavy objects are the biggest threat to hardwood floors. If you want to protect your hardwood floor, lift your chair.

Think about the pressure you exert on your hardwood floor every time you drag your seat across the room.

Where possible, pick up your chair and encourage your office colleagues to do the same.

Add a Chair Mat or an Area Rug

Another option would be to add a chair mat or area rug.

Chair mats are best suited for small spaces or individual office chairs. These mats will cover your office cubicle or just enough area for your office chair to glide.

Keep in mind that adding a chair mat isn’t the final step. You’ll still need to clean under your mat and inspect your floors for wood flooring issues such as fading, peeling finish, etc.

Also, consider the type of chair mat you choose. Ideally, avoid using plastic mats as they tend to collect grit under them.

That doesn’t sound so bad, or does it? Well, it’s not the worst thing that can happen, but it will ruin your wood finish. A better alternative would be to add a polycarbonate mat under your chair caster.

If you want to cover a larger area, try using an area rug. Since area rugs are larger, you can place them under your office furniture, such as the desk and office chair.

Use a Cardboard

This option is only suitable as a temporary solution.

Cardboards are cheap, and you get to decide your preferred size. Do you want cardboard that’s large enough to cover several pieces of office furniture? Or do you prefer small cardboards for individual pieces of furniture?

Since cardboards are cheap, you can use them to cover your hardwood floor while you look for a mat, area rug, or carpet.

Wood Floor Scratch Repairs

By now, you know all the tricks to keep your hard floor looking pristine, but what about the scratches on the floor?

Do you leave them as is and hope that the new chair caster wheels won’t make it worse?

You can hide the scratches by applying a new coat of finish. If the scratches are too noticeable to conceal with a fresh coat, try sanding the floor and refinishing it.

If the dents are too large to cover up, use wood filler or replace the damaged floorboards.

Get a Better Office Chair

How long have you had your chair? One year, two, three, four, or five?

durable office chair wheels for wood floors
Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

It’s time to get a new chair. Think about the benefits of working on a mesh chair.

  • You’d get a rolling chair with the right type of caster wheels for your wood floors.
  • Improved productivity - The success of a business is reliant on the productivity of its employees. If getting a mesh office chair will help improve your mood and productivity while reducing the damage on your wood floor, then it’s a worthy investment.
  • You’ll enjoy excellent posture, neck, and spinal support.

As stated in the beginning, rolling chairs can damage your floors, but you can implement any of the tips listed above to protect your flooring.

So, get that rolling chair you’ve been eyeing, pair it with our rollerblade caster wheels, and enjoy a smooth glide across the office.


Featured Image from:Unsplash by Laura Davidson

The Office Oasis

Written by The Office Oasis