How To Protect Hardwood Floors From Rolling Chairs? [9 solutions + Tips]

Have you had enough of the scratches and scuff marks of your rolling chair on your hardwood flooring? It is a genuine concern for many floor owners those fond of hardwood floors in their homes and offices. So, in this article, we decided to address this problem in detail and have discussed helpful solutions to protect your hardwood flooring from rolling chairs.

Hardwood is an expensive flooring yet, a versatile and classy option you can get for your office or workspace. The only setback of getting hardwood as a flooring material is that they are susceptible to scratches. And, the biggest reason for these scratches is rolling office chairs. 

According to Office Depot, one of the deciding factors while buying an office chair is mobility, meaning it should have wheels to ease the movement of the chair and will be convenient to use.

However, it becomes one of the reasons your hardwood flooring might experience scratches and scuffs. 

Yes, Home Depot claims that hardwood flooring is designed in a way that it can withstand the wear and tear from your family and pets. But, it doesn’t stay immune to rolling office chairs. 

You do not have to worry because we have ways you can protect your flooring from these scratches. We have compiled for you the 9 best solutions to have a delightful workspace with your favorite hardwood flooring and comfortable office chair.

9 Ways To Protect Hardwood Floors From Rolling Chairs  

Before getting into the specifics, let us talk about hardwood flooring and how rolling chairs damage it. Understanding this will make your job easier and help you take care of your flooring accordingly. 

For those unaware, hardwood is obtained from deciduous trees like oak. According to Architectural Digest, a product made from oak, which in our case means hardwood flooring, will last in style, stability, and durability. 

Hence, one expects the hardwood to withstand everyday wear and tear. And, it does. However, the problem arises with the rolling chairs wherein the wheels of your office chairs scratch the surface, making it rough and unattractive.  


Now, why do rolling chairs leave scratch marks on the hardwood?

It is because of the back and forth movement of the chair, particularly from the chairs having rough casters. The scratches tend to appear more and more unless you do something to protect the hardwood and stop this from happening.

The continuous friction between the chair and the floor leads to scratches or even chipping. The chair manufacturers understand this concern and have designed casters that protect the floor. Still, some casters are rough and scratch the hardwood floor.

It is also unfair to hide away the sparkling, fashionable, and classy floor, so you must take proper care of them to keep them looking terrific for as long as possible. 

You might wonder in what ways I can enjoy my hardwood floor and rolling chair at the same time. The following are some solutions that work best in protecting your hardwood flooring from the unpleasant scratches of your chairs. 

Mop the floor


Mopping your floors regularly is necessary because the dust or food particles carried around by the chair wheels may end up scratching hardwood floors.

Be sure to dust your wood floors every week to prevent small particles from marking them. When sweeping or vacuum dusting, ensure your cleaning appliances are not equipped with wheels as they might scratch the surface. 

Cleaning the casters and wheels of the chairs is also important so that the dirt particles do not brush up against the floor while moving. 

Whenever possible, always lift the chair

Another manageable solution without using external protection to avoid floor scratches is lifting the chair whenever possible. Think about the time you unknowingly pushed the furniture like office chairs off the floor because it is easier than lifting them.

In addition, lifting office chairs and placing them in the desired position needs a helping hand. Therefore, we tend to push the chairs in place, which may end up leaving some scratches. 

But, there is a way you can protect your hardwood floor. How?

Try to lift the chair when you need to move it from one place to another, rather than shrieking your wheels against the hardwood floor. In order to prevent damage to your floorboards, one should move the heavy object off the floor. 

Cushion the hardwood floor with area rugs


Cushioning any floor with area rugs protects it from future scratches, scuff marks, and chipping since it ceases a direct touch from any furniture to the floor. It is one of the most practical solutions. Besides, area rugs are a quick, simple, and affordable way to protect hardwood floors from the wear and tear of office chairs and other items. 

In addition, area rugs come in various sizes, shapes, materials, and styles. It means you have a large variety for choosing the rugs based on your taste and space decor. While protecting the hardwood flooring, these rugs in the office contribute to the aesthetics of the workspace or homes. 

Insulate the wheels of the chairs with hardwood casters


Now that we saw some solutions for the flooring, let us see a way wherein just a minor change will make a huge difference. The change is casters of your office chairs. 

Casters, generally, are attached to the wheels of the chairs for swift movement of chairs on any flooring. In a chair, the casters support and transmit the weight of the person sitting in it to the floor.

The material of the caster will determine whether your hardwood floor is safe or not. As long as the casters are made of hard plastic or nylon, they will have negatively impact the floor, scraping it badly. 

However, replacing them is a one-time task to switch to hardwood casters. Why?

Since they will pay for themselves in the long run by protecting hardwood floors from scratches and chips. And hardwood casters are designed specially to minimize the impact on hardwood floors.

Some people might wonder why not replace the flooring rather than casters. One must understand replacing the casters of an office chair is far easier than replacing the entire flooring for the sake of safety.  

Note –Do not use rugs or mats, when using the hardwood casters,  as these will limit the movement and hinder the efficacy of the casters.

Mask the casters using duct tape or soft cloth


A simple and quick DIY solution to protect your hardwood floors is masking the rough casters with duct tape or a soft cloth. To do this, use duct tape or soft cloth to cover the casters of the wheels so that they won’t scratch the flooring. By taping the casters to your floorboards, you can stop them from swiveling. 

However, note that a duct tape or cloth solution has the advantage of being cheap, but it cannot be a permanent solution.

Protect the floor with furniture pads


Another inexpensive yet effective solution to floor scratches is furniture pads. The design of the pads is such that it limits the direct impact of the wheels on the hardwood flooring, preventing the scratching and scuffing of the surface. 

Generally, the material used for furniture pads is rubber and cork since they are not harsh on the hardwood. Again, the pads restrict the direct contact of the wheels and floor, protecting the floor from scratches. 

In addition, there even exist different types of pads such as the following. 

Adhesive pads

Adhesive pads are the cheapest of all other types. It has a simple design having two sides.

  • One side has an adhesive that adheres to the bottom of the legs,
  • and the other has rubber padding that comes in contact with the floor.

As simple as adhesive pads are to use, they are effective. But, after a point, the adhesive can lose its ability to adhere to the legs. Hence, they aren’t a permanent solution, just like the duct tape solution. 

Slip-on pads

Slip-on pads are slightly different from adhesive pads because they cap the legs of the chair, stopping the friction between floor and chair. In comparison to adhesive pads, slip-on pads are softer, easy to install, and don’t fall off. Rubber padding protects hardwood floors, and the cushioning lasts a long time.

Nail-on pads

Unlike adhesive and slip-on, nail-on pads are somewhat close to a permanent solution to protecting the floors against the wheels of your office chairs. Since the nail-on padding requires nails to attach the pads to the furniture legs, they are a little difficult to install.

To benefit from nail-on padding, they need proper placing, as any exposed screw or nail can cause more harm than good.

Cardboard pads

Are you looking for a temporary solution to fix the problem of floor scratching?

Cardboard pads are the solution until you get a permanent solution to them. For cardboard pads, you need to take thick cardboard and place it under the legs of the chair. It will prevent scratching of your hardwood floor. 

Spread on a chair mat


Spreading a chair mat, just like area rugs, on the workspace will allow a safe and swift movement of your office chairs. Although, these plastic chair mats may end up collecting dirt below them and damage the finish of your hardwood flooring

As an alternative, you can buy PVC (polyvinyl chloride), glass, or even polycarbonate chair mats. Clean the floor from underneath at least once in 7 days if you decide to spread on chair mats. 

Work the hardwood floor with polyurethane wood finish


This solution works when you already have scratched hardwood flooring from the rolling wheels of your office chairs. You can use a polyurethane wood finish on your hardwood floors if you notice minor scratches on the floor and want to regain its shine and finish. 

Work the finish onto the flooring and wait until dry. Once dried, place a chair mat or area rug of your choice so that, for a few years, you won’t require to refinish the floor. 

Keep an eye on rolling wheels and replace them if needed

The last option which remains for protecting your hardwood floor from the rolling wheels of the chairs is replacing them if you notice any defect. Always be on the lookout for any scratches or scuffs that may appear on the flooring. Also, replace whichever part of the chairs is at fault. For example, casters, wheels, or even the chair. 

Tip -If you have just renovated your hardwood floors, pick an office chair that can accommodate your brand-new flooring.

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