How to Replace Office Chair Wheels

OFW Messina MB Executive Chair White

How to Replace your Office Chair’s Wheels

When your office chair doesn’t function properly because of damaged wheels, you should replace the damaged casters with new ones. Here’s how to go about it.
Office Wheel Chair

Office chairs have wheels to help you move around the office swiftly and comfortably. But these wheels get to a point where they don’t function as they should, requiring replacement or a new chair purchase. as you can imagine, damaged casters are not just uncomfortable to the user, but they could damage the floor, or potentially cause accidents at the workplace. The good news is that most chairs have casters that can be replaced. And the process isn’t as complicated as you might think. We confidently say this because this is one of the things we do at Office Furniture Warehouse

Signs You Should Replace Your Chair Wheels

Fortunately, most chair manufactures understand that chair casters damage over time and often sell chairs with extra wheels. Well, some don’t come with extra wheels but it’s easy to find compatible wheels in local stores or even online. But you shouldn’t replace your chair wheels just for the sake of it. Here are some signs you should look out for to replace your seat’s casters.

  • The existing caster wheels have served long enough and can’t handle more pressure
  • The caster wheels are leaving scratches on the floor when you move around in your chair
  • The rolling of your office chair is not as smooth as it used to be
  • The casters are producing squeaks and disturbing noises whenever you move the chair
  • If your casters are plastic, you might want to change them for a rubber material
  • The chair wheels are not moving at all because they are tangled with dirt or got rusty

How to Replace the Chair Wheels

What you will need:

Sometimes you’ll just remove one wheel and replace it. Other times you’ll replace the entire set of casters on your chair. What we’ve discussed above will assist you on identifying which casters should be removed and why you are doing it. Some of the tools you should invest in include:

  • A glove, towel, rag
  • A wide flat blade screwdriver
  • A tape measure or calipers
  • WD-40
  • New Casters
  • Rubber mallet

Here is how you go about removing and replacing a chair caster from your office chair…

Step 1: Remove the Old Wheels

Turn your chair so the chair wheels face up in a comfortable position for you to work on them. A comfortable position is when your hands can reach the wheels and turn them. If the chair is too heavy to turn, invite a friend to assist you.

Often, removing caster wheels is simple. If the stem is threaded (is a screw), twist and turn it counter clockwise until it pulls off. But not all casters are threaded. So, try twisting your caster clockwise to see if it pulls out of the holding socket.

If it’s a grip stem caster (one that doesn’t unscrew), you should lubricate it where it meets the socket and pull it out. Apply the spray oil WD-40 where the caster stem meets the chair. Give it a few minutes to work. Hold the caster with a strong grip in one hand then pull it away from the chair with the other hand pushing the chair in the opposite direction. If this doesn’t work, take your rag, a piece of towel, or wear your glove to hold the caster.

If your caster is held on the chair using a swivel plate, you should just unscrew it using a screwdriver. A swivel plate is a square plate that is part of the caster which is screwed on the leg of the chair. This design in chairs is rare but could be your case.

Some caster wheels won’t budge even with all the effort we’ve mentioned above. That’s where the flat head screwdriver comes in. Choose the biggest flat head screwdriver available and use it to pry the caster out of its socket. If it still doesn’t budge, use WD-40 to lubricate between the stem and chair. Let it stay there for a few hours then retry the prying process with a pry bar and flat head screwdriver. If you have a friend nearby, recruit them to pull the caster out of the chair socket.

Remove the casters one after the other until they are all out. Then proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Replace the Old Chair Wheels

Once you’ve pulled out the old caster, write down its features highlighting the size of the stem and which type it is. Is the stem grip or threaded? Grip stems pull out from the legs of the chair while threaded stems are screws. Your calipers or tape measure will make it possible to get the exact stem measurements – both the length and diameter. In case you are wondering, the stem is the metal part of the caster that connects to the seat. For those with swivel plates, you should measure the width and length of the plate. They are often squares but could be rectangles.

After measuring the features of the stem, do the same to the wheel. You could use a ruler or your calipers to measure the diameter of the wheels. This could be anywhere between 5 cm and 6.5 cm.

Wheels allow you to adjust your workspace as needed on any type of flooring including carpet.

Choosing the Right Wheel Size for Your Situation

While some office chair brands include an extra set of caster wheels when you buy the seat, not all will have them. So, you’ll have to buy another set of caster wheels to replace the old ones.

Consider Stem Size and Type

The first consideration is the stem size and type. Ensure you buy one that exactly matches what the old caster wheels had. If you loved your old wheels and would love the exact same size and quality, then by all means, consider getting the same diameter and even brand.

If you had trouble getting your chair in motion around the office with the previous caster wheels, you should try out larger wheels.

When it comes to stem types for casters, there’s quite a number. Your chair could have a grip ring stem caster, grip neck stem, threaded stem caster, and stemless casters.

Twin Wheels or Single Wheel Casters?

Will you go for twin wheels or single wheel casters? In general, single wheels don’t last long compared to twin-wheel casters. The reason is that more wheels on your chair mean more even distribution of your weight during use. But if you are looking for a wheel that is more reliable, go for single wheel casters because they have fewer components that reduce the opportunities for them to fail. It might also be helpful to know that single wheels perform better in industrial settings while twin wheel casters are found in most office settings.

Which Floor Type Do You Have?

If you are changing your floor type to carpets, then you should buy caster wheels designed for soft surfaces. They are designed with plastic that doesn’t leave behind wheel marks on the surfaces of the carpet. They also integrate a hood that hides the carpet threads. Another great option for carpeted surfaces is large diameter wheels. But put in mind that hard floor casters are a better option if you’ll be using your hardwood surfaces and carpeted surfaces at the same time. The hard floor casters protect your hardwood floor surfaces from damage.

Factor in Your Weight

The weight of the user counts when choosing your chair caster. If possible, avoid caster wheels with plastic frames. If you weigh more than 500 lb, look for casters that are designed to handle high weights. Steel frame casters are a preferred option.

Quiet Caster Movements are Better

Go for casters with inbuilt ball bearings because they move more smoothly. Also, try them to be sure they will be quiet when in use with your weight on the chair.

Products With Warranty are Reliable

If a manufacturer or vendor offers you a few months or years of warranty on casters, then they are sure their products are reliable. So, consider choosing casters with a warranty backup so that when they don’t perform as promised, you get a replacement or a refund.

Where to Buy Good Chair Caster Wheels

Where do I get new casters for my office chair? We are in the internet age and there are more than enough vendors for office chairs and their accessories. Local hardware stores also have them. All you’ll require is the measurements from the casters you’ve removed and your new requirements. These help you compare to be sure you are purchasing the right item. If you are visiting the vendor in person, carry one of your casters with you to make it even easier to find a match.

We at Office Furniture Online have a great customer care team with an array of chair accessories for you. Contact us to get help from our crew and buy office chairs and their accessories.

Step 3: Install Your New Casters

If you’ve made a successful purchase of caster wheels, it’s now time to install them. You first want to make sure the area your new casters are going to fit is clean. Turn the chair so the legs face up, clean off the dust, dirt, grime, and rust as you prepare them for the new caster wheels.
For those with threaded chair casters, put on your glove then insert the stem inside the sockets of the chair leg. Turn your caster wheels in a clockwise motion. Keep turning until the caster won’t turn any further. Tighten it as much as you can. Do the same to the remaining caster wheels.
If your caster is the grip type (not threaded), push the stem into the socket until the top of the caster is even with the leg of the chair. Sometimes you’ll require a lubricant to enable this process. Use WD-40 on the stem of the caster as well as the socket where you want to insert it. Driving the caster with a rubber mallet can also be helpful if the other options are not working. Just be careful not to break your casters or the leg of the chair.
Then for you that has caster wheels with swivel plates, take a screwdriver and use it to screw the casters in place. Ensure the holes of the swivel plate is aligned with the screw pots of the legs of the chair. Then secure them using the screws and tighten accordingly.

Step 4: Test Your Chair

There’s only one way to know you have done a good job. Turn the chair back to its upright position and sit in it. Try moving around the office the way you’d move on a normal working day. If it works well, then pat yourself on the back because you’ve done a good job. For most people, the installation process would work. But if for some reason, the chair casters don’t hold in position, then you might have missed a step along the way. Repeat the installation process and make sure you complete the process with the guide. If this fails then you might need to replace your chair.

Find Quality Office Chairs and Accessories at Office Furniture Online

Office chairs are supposed to be comfortable and enhance productivity. So when you encounter issues like destroyed casters, you need to make the effort to replace them as soon as possible. When you decide to do this, you’ll need to purchase the right accessories. When you are unable to solve the situation, you can reach out to expert opinions or buy another office chair altogether. Office Furniture Warehouse is available and happy to help with any of your needs. Just come to our Office Furniture Stores in Miami and our Office Furniture Store in Pompano. We are easy to reach if you need expert input or need to buy chair accessories or chairs..

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all office chairs use the same wheels?

Most of the office chairs in circulation today use the same wheels. You can easily pull off a wheel or two from a damaged office chair to fix it in another chair. However, there are some office chairs that make up just 5% of office chairs in the market that use different wheel sizes. They are not common, and there is a 95% chance you may never find them.

Can I use my office chair without wheels?

It is possible to use your office chairs without wheels. However, you may need to consider the comfort level you will sacrifice when you do that. Aside from the comfort, having the office chair stand on your floor without wheels can cause scratches and dents to the floor in the long run. You should get them fixed.

Can you change the rollers on an office chair?

You can change the rollers on your office chair if they have been damaged. However, in situations like when they are simply stuck, you may not always have to change them. A little greasing can get them rolling effortlessly again.

How do I know what size casters I need?

First, in dealing with office chairs, you can simply measure the size of the other casters in the other wheels to determine which size of caster to buy. However, in the rare case that all the office chair wheels have gone bad, you will have to consider the weight of the chair and the weight it carries. Divide that by the number of wheels you need, and you have your answer.

Are all office chair casters the same size?

Office chair casters come in different sizes for different purposes. The size of your caster will depend on the weight of the chair as well as the weight the chair carries. Most office chair casters come with standard 2 inches to 2.5 inches wheels.