How to Replace Office Chair Wheels? [In-Detail Guide]

When office chair wheels are hard to control, they can be tedious – the struggle, the bother of spending so much time, and the frustration of either not moving the chair for what you want or the chair keeps rolling.

Having new, smoother casters to replace those stubborn wheels is a blessing. Increased friction on a broken chair wheel can cause wear and tear. 

This raises the following questions: 

How can this be fixed? 

Are we better off changing the chair?

Is there any way to repair the worn-out wheels?

Let’s find out the answers to these questions :

When Should One Replace Office Chair Wheels?

Source cewheelsinc.com

Are you looking to replace your office chair casters?

If yes, then no need to look any further. Chair casters get damaged and worn out with constant use. Therefore, you need to have a caster replacement handy.  

Moreover, damaged, dirty wheels require a lot of effort to roll. Also, they destroy the flooring and carpets.

But worry not.

Here are some preliminary signs of your chair casters calling for attention:

Worn Tread

Although rubber wheels are a great option, their tread is prone to wear and tear from excessive use. Hence, sitting on a chair whose wheels are unsteady or broken chair can cause health problems. Therefore, watch out for the wheel threads. 

Less Sturdy

Sitting in a wobbling chair is like sitting on a roller coaster. And, if your chair is facing this issue, it’s time to replace the wheels. Since the chair is titled, wobbles, and unsteady, your sitting frameshifts. Thus, wrongly aligning your vertebrae. 

Unsturdy wheels are a sign that you need to get them changed. Hence, averting falls and back problems. 

Noisy wheels

Is your chair squeaking? 

If yes, then it’s probably the wheel ball bearings calling out to you when the bearings rust; friction causes them to emit a noisy sound.

A noisy chair can be irritating to you and the rest of the office workers. 

Difficulty in Moving

Worn out and broken wheels decrease the mobility of the chair. Furthermore, it leads to roughly dragging your chair from one place to another. 

Signs of Corrosion

If your chair has metal wheels, then corrosion is inevitable. Not only corrosion, but they also discolor easily. The rusted caster wheel leaves reddish, ugly markings on the flooring and area carpets. Therefore, it is necessary to replace the casters.

Basic Caster Parts and Mechanics

Source bulldogcastors.co.uk ( mount plate caster)

Source youtube.com ( stem caster)

Before we jump into the replacement process, let’s familiarize ourselves with the caster parts.   

There are three main parts of the caster.

Stem– is a cylindrical part that adjoins the caster to the chair.

Wheel–  is attached to the metal part and facilitates easy rolling of the office chairs.

Outer covering– is made of soft rubber. Therefore, it aids in protecting the floor from damage and skid marks.

How to Replace Office Chair Wheels?

We now know the caster parts. So let’s get into the main part of the article. 

Office casters are usually available in a set of 4 and 5. 

NOTE:  Wrong caster wheels can scratch or dent linoleum floors. They can also cause dips and ridges on carpets. 

To replace office chair casters, do the following:

Measure Caster Stem Size and Type

Source casterhq.com

  • Firstly, note what type of caster stem your chair has. Accordingly, purchase the correct replacement. If not, the stem won’t sit well with the chair cylinder.
  • Secondly, using a caliper or measuring tape accurately measures the stem diameter and length. 
  • Standard size of an office chair caster stem is 7/16 in (diameter) x 7/8 in (length).

Choose the Right Casters

When choosing chair casters, you need to take into consideration the following factors. 

Do you have hardwood floors?

YES

then read on to know what you need to look for when buying casters. 

  • Aesthetics: the caster wheel needs to match the frame of the chair. You don’t want a bright-colored wheel with a sleep chair frame, now do you? 

NO. Therefore, invest in caster models that are black or grey. 

  • Floor Protection: Hardwood floors are costly. Moreover, using metal casters can leave scratches and dents in the flooring. Hence, it is necessary to choose the right casters.

Always opt for casters that offer floor protection, or else you can use chair mats or area rugs that can be used in all floor types. 

  • Right Fit: it doesn’t make sense if you purchase the wrong casters. Therefore, before you head out to a furniture store, Walmart or Ikea, measure the stem diameter and length. 
  • Easy to Install: installing casters should not be energy-consuming. Hence, purchase casters that are easy to install and have a long warranty period. 

Remove and Replace Broken/damaged Wheels

Make sure you change any broken or damaged wheels. You must replace all the wheels at the same time for efficient rolling.

  • First, overturn the chair or place it sideways. 
  • Second, firmly grip the damaged wheel and pull it out. This will require a little force.
  • If the wheels don’t budge, you’re pliers or a screwdriver and hammer. Place the pliers between the wheel and stem junction and twist the handles on either side. Similarly, place the screwdriver at a 45°angle in the wheel cavity and using a hammer, knock out the wheel.    
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  • If the caster has a threaded stem, twist it to loosen and remove it.  

NOTE: However, fancy office chairs caster may be difficult to remove by plucking them. Try using the screwdriver and plier method here. 

  • ​Lastly, replace the new caster wheels in the empty socket. The clicking sound will indicate that the wheel has been placed securely. 
  • If you do not hear the clicking sound, don’t worry. Cover the wheel with a soft cloth and hammer to secure the wheel. OR, you hammer the fork plate of the wheel until you hear the popping sound. 
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  • Apply a little grease (WD 40) or some lubricating oil near the stem if necessary. This will ensure the smooth rolling of the office chair.  

Replacing casters with mounting plate

Source precisiontools.com

It’s not necessary to mark the places where you’re going to drill holes if your chair has previously had casters with mounting plates. In that case, I suggest you use casters with stems. 

Small screws are available, along with mounting plates that help attach the mounting plate to the chair legs. An easy way to do this would be to use a small screwdriver.  Make sure that the mounting plate is firmly mounted using the screws.

Replacing Stem Casters

Source elizabethadamsmd.com

Most commonly, grip ring stems are used. Designed as a metal cylinder, it is topped by a split ring. The grip ring is expandable and compressible. It secures the stem securely into the chair socket once installed. 

In comparison to the grip ring stem, the grip neck stem is more difficult to remove from its socket. Try it yourself or go for a professional if needed.  

Source rogueengineer.com

It would help if you replace all your chairs’ casters at once for the following reasons:  

  • Assuring uniform aging and functioning  
  • Reducing the frequency of wheel replacement 
  • Maintaining chair caster technology   

If you can find a wheel that is at least reasonably similar to a rollerblade wheel, that will be acceptable. It’s imperative that the new chair casters fit the same chair foot as the old one to be as durable as possible. Always have a spare wheel on hand for emergencies.

Replacing Stemless Casters

Occasionally, older chairs’ casters have been welded and cannot be removed or replaced. Stemless casters can be substituted for broken chair wheels in these cases. A special order stemless caster fitted with a welded stem up to 1-5/16″ long is available at a furniture store or online marketing sites.

Test Office Chair

Eventually, test the chair. Once the office chair wheels are replaced, sit on it to ensure that the wheels are all proportionately replaced. If not, the chair sits unsteady and can cause health issues if used that way. 

Check out the following Image for an Info:

Source: karo.co.za

Change the Caster Base

Source bhphotovideo.com

Sometimes, the chair wheels don’t match or are difficult to replace. Then, you can replace the entire base caster. The base caster includes the chair feet, pedestal, and casters. You can easily remove and replace the base. 

TIP: if the caster base does not install securely, you can use screws to tighten the base. 

NOTE: if you can’t find suitable casters for your office chair, do this.

  • Check below the seat for the chair part information or the chair manual. Look for the wheel ID or number. 
  • This number or ID will help the customer service to easily help you find the right wheels. 
  • In case, the issue can’t be solved and there is no solution, the representative will ask you to try a new chair caster base for your model.  Feel free to give it a shot. 

Here is a short video on how to replace office chair wheels. 

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