If you have a home office, you should be careful when using your office chair on a hardwood floor, especially if it has wheels. Hardwood is a very durable flooring material, but it could become damaged when it comes into contact with debris or hard materials. Consider how to protect your wood floor from your office chair to prolong your flooring’s lifespan and increase your work productivity.
Why Office Chairs Can Damage Wood Floors
An office chair on your hardwood floor can leave scuff marks from excessive wear and tear. If you have flooring made from a tough wood such as hickory or mahogany, you’re less likely to notice scratches or scuff marks than if you had oak or maple flooring. Floors in high-traffic areas can appear worn out over the years, so you need to take care of your flooring if you spend most of your day in your home office.
If you don’t protect your hardwood floor, it could end up looking like an overused cutting board from the scratching of your hard wheels. These components could also have debris underneath them that can scuff the panels as you glide on them. Think about how you can prevent dust and hard materials from making their mark on your hardwood floors.
How to Protect Wood Floors From Chair Wheels
You can have a high-quality office chair while maintaining the hardwood flooring in your office space. Here are some ways you can still use your computer chair on the hardwood floors and keep them in good condition:
- Clean the floor: Small dust particles or food crumbs could scratch your hardwood floors, especially when the wheels carry them across the floors. Dust your wood floors at least once a week to make sure little particles don’t mark up the panels. Use a broom or a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean up the dust and avoid using the wheels on your cleaning appliances because they could also scuff up the floors.
- Lift your chair when possible: Instead of screeching your wheels against the hardwood floor when you have to move the chair, try lifting it when you can. Heavy objects could scratch or dent your floorboards, so when you’re not trying to move into a comfortable position, take the chair off the floor and put it in a new location.
- Lay down a chair mat: Chair mats covering the whole area where your chairs move give the wheels a safe place to glide. Be careful when using plastic mats because they could collect grit underneath them and ruin your floor’s finish. Instead, you can use a polyvinyl chloride (PVC), glass or polycarbonate mat under your office chair. You should also clean under it at least once a week and inspect the floors for discoloration or fading.
- Decorate with an area rug: A woven area rug can protect your hardwood floors from the wheels’ movement. This floor covering is more aesthetically pleasing than a chair mat, and it can cover a wider area if you have a large desk. Clean it regularly to get rid of stubborn dirt that can rub against your wooden flooring. Area rugs are available in various colors, sizes and materials, accommodating your design preference and budget.
- Place cardboard under the rolling chair: Installing cardboard is another inexpensive option, but you shouldn’t use it long term. You can use it temporarily as you look for the perfect area rug or a plastic mat to go under your chair.
- Cover your rigid casters with duct tape or soft cloths: Wrap a soft material, like duct tape or fabric, around the wheels so they don’t scrape your hardwood floors. Duct tape could keep the casters in place, preventing them from swiveling against your floorboards. Even though applying duct tape or cloth is an inexpensive solution, it can’t be a permanent fix. Use these everyday items in your house until you can buy a mat or replace your wheels.
- Check your chair’s casters and wheels: A chair wheel attaches to your chair through the caster, which holds it in place and helps it move. Casters could become dirty or broken over time. To protect your computer chair on hardwood, inspect the casters every once in a while for damage and debris. Clean them by removing them from the base and rinsing them in warm, soapy water.
- Replace or remove the wheel casters: Hard plastic or nylon casters could put too much pressure on your hardwood floors. Replace them with a softer material — such as neoprene, rubber or urethane — for your casters. If you don’t use the wheels to move to different parts of your desk, consider removing them entirely and getting legs without wheels for your chair.
- Change your office chair wheels: Instead of a rigid material, you can replace the wheels on your office chair with smoother ones. Some chairs feature wheels that are similar to ones found on roller skates. Even though these components can still scuff up your floors if you’re not careful, they’re much softer than those you probably have on your chair.
- Buy a new office chair: Instead of replacing the wheels and casters, you might need to get a brand-new office chair. You might want to get a chair without wheels or one with an updated set of them. Consider getting an office chair that can accommodate your brand-new hardwood floors, especially if you bought your chair before updating your flooring.
- Put felt protectors on your furniture legs: If you decide to remove the wheels or casters off your office chair, make sure you put felt pads on the furniture legs so that their weight won’t dent or scratch your hardwood floors.
- Apply a polyurethane wood finish: If you notice scratches on your hardwood flooring and you want to make it look brand-new again, consider refinishing it. You can apply an oil- or water-based polyurethane finish to revive its shine. Then, after the finish has dried, you can lay down an area rug or a chair mat to make sure you don’t have to refinish your floors for at least a few years.
Schedule an Appointment With 50 Floor
At 50 Floor, we can help you protect your wood floor from your office chair. We offer a floor care guide that gives you the tools you need to keep your office space neat and durable. If you need new hardwood flooring after years of excessive wear and tear, schedule an appointment for us to come to your house and show you samples of robust hardwood species for your new floor. For more information about our inventory, call us at 1-800-50-FLOOR.