Is your office chair squeaking every time you sit, stand, or pick a pen that fell? Also, if you are diagnosed with Minisopnia, you’ll hate this noise.
Thinking of getting it disposed of?
Well, that’s going a bit far.
Even if office chairs typically last between 7-8 years, there is a possibility that they’ll develop problems during this time. One of them is a squeaky office chair.
The ideal noise level for open offices is between 40-60 dB, but chairs that squeak can make the noise worse. Perhaps you would be more concerned if you were using chairs in a recording room.
What if I tell you that there’s a quick fix that will get rid of the squeak? squeaky office chair sounds can be quite irritating, and distracting. It almost acts as a beacon for alerting others of your moves.
In this article, you will find easy squeaky chair fixes which won’t cost you dollars. Is your office chair expensive? Don’t dispose of it, you can fix the squeak by identifying the source and following the given steps below. These methods can be applied to any squeaky gaming chair too.
Reasons Why Chairs Squeak and How to Fix Them
Before we begin, let us understand the reason why chairs squeak.
Chairs are installed with many parts. With daily use and movements, these parts are bound to wear and tear. Therefore, the squeak could be from loose bolts, nuts, and weak joints and parts. Sometimes, it could mean that the chair’s lubrication has worn off and needs to be reapplied.
In gaming chairs, the squeaking arises mostly from either the casters, gas cylinders, or backrest. However, there are many other reasons for squeaky chairs describe below.
Depending on the problematic area and source of noise, I have put together cost-effective quick fixes for a squeaky chair.
Let’s begin. This post was written while I was fixing one of our office chairs.
Loose Bolts and Nuts
There are three main reasons for loose bolts.
You probably were lazy the last time you tightened the chair bolts and nuts. As a result, they have become loose over time. While assembling office chairs, you might have forgotten to tighten enough the bolts. It’s easier for a loose both to be looser than a tightened bolt to be loose.
Next, the screws loosen due to constant body pressure. Bolts won’t stay tight for a lifetime, that’s normal. Weight shifting in an office chair for an extended period makes the bolts loosen. The natural stress on the chair due to the bodyweight makes the nuts and bolt undergo friction. This friction movement then turns to torque. If the bolt is tightened enough, the toque can no more tighten the bolt. There’s when the nut starts to push the bolt and make the bolt loose.
Temperature can also be one of the crucial causes of loose bolts. If the bolts and nuts are metal, they can contract or expand due to the room temperature. However, it’s rare for metals to expand or contract at room temperature.
How to fix Loose Bolts and Nuts
- Turn the chair upside down.
- Check for loose screws and bolts by rotating them by hand.
- Although you can tighten the screws by hand, it is inadvisable.
- Get a flathead screwdriver, WD40, oil or grease, and a box of tissues or a rag cloth.
- Then, unscrew all bolts. Use WD40 if they are tough to remove and to clean them.
- Again, tighten the screws and bolts. Make sure they are fitted properly.
- If you notice some rust on the old screws, replace them with new screws
- But before you replace the new bolts, place a generous amount of tissues or the spare rag cloth below the screw area and on the office chair upholstery.
- Apply the grease or oil near the bolt area and then replace the screws.
TIP: It is important to cover the office chair upholstery with a rag or tissues as this will prevent staining of the chair fabric material from oil or grease spills.
Not every joint in an office chair is made of nuts and bolts. The cylinder-mechanism junction, the swivel-base junction are some of the joints where squeaky noise can happen. If the squeaking doesn’t stop even after tightening the screws or bolts, it could be due to weak joints. With regular use, office chair joints rub against each other and cause friction. The friction loosens the joints and the chair squeaks every time the joints rub against each other.
To fix a squeaky office chair like this, follow the given steps below.
- Ask someone to seat on the chair.
- Make the squeaking chair move a little and locate the origin of the squeaking noise.
- After you locate the joint where the squeaky noise is coming, apply some WD40 on it.
- Apply some lubricants or grease on the joints.
- You must have a paper tower or soft cotton cloth to wipe ot excess lubricants or grease.
There are metal posts fixed on top of the wheels. With frequent use, these posts get worn out. Sometimes, the screws of the wheels loosen from the overload placed on the chair. Hence, the wheel axles create friction and squeak. Not to forget, faulty bearings can too cause noises.
They’re more than 10 reasons for a caster to make noise. Most of the time it’s due to any damage on the tread.
- Worn Tread
- Flat Tread
- Tread Cracks
- Chips is Tread
- Tread Delamination
Grainger has provided nice data that states the type of casters with load and noise.
|Harder Wheel||High Load||Noisy|
|Softer Wheel||Low Load||Less Noise|
|Small Wheel||High Load||Less Noise|
|Large Wheel||Low Load||Noisy|
The noises increase even further if the floor is a hard floor. Additionally, hard casters are less squeaky. Hence, hard casters with soft floors are a good combination for noise reduction.
If you are facing this problem, follow the steps to fix a squeaky office chair:
- Flip the squeaky office chair upside down.
- Using a screwdriver, remove the wheels and place them on a rag.
- Spray the wheels and the metal posts with WD 40 or apply an even thin coat of lubricant.
- Apply lube gel to the stem after removing the caster.
- Wipe off excess lubricant and WD 40 with tissues and fit the wheels back in position.
- Sit on the chair and move around to check if the squeaking has reduced or stopped.
If the casters are unrepairable, consider replacing them. The old casters are irreparable, so I had to purchase new ones.
Similarly, screws whether damaged or not should be wiped, oiled, and fitted back in position. When replacing the screws, nuts and bolts get the exact size.
The screws loosen for the same reason as nuts and bolts.
Does your squeaky office chair have a synchro-tilt mechanism?
If yes, then I have just the quick fix for you.
- Remove the seat.
- Spray lubricant on the lever mechanisms.
- Replace the chair seat in its original place.
If you are not sure of how to fix the squeaking or are unsuccessful with the above steps, get it professionally repaired.
The hex shafts in an office chair can produce noise. If there is a weak hold between the swingarm and the hex shaft, it can produce squeaky sounds.
How to Fix noise from Hex Shafts?
To fix noise from hex shafts, first, detach hex shaft from swing arm mechanism. Then apply some WD40 with a rag. Finally, use some lubricant or white lithium on it.
Gas Lift Mechanism
Sometimes the creaky noise can come from the gas lift piston. The damaged gasket on the piston shaft from the pneumatic cylinder causes this noise.
How to fix gas cylinder squeaking?
Mostly, in this case, you have to open the piston and clean it with WD40 silicone spray. After that apply some white lithium grease and assemble the squeaky office chair again.
Do not try to fix it without sufficient knowledge and experience. The gas cylinder might combust on slight damage. Get professionals for this task.
Seat Tension Spring
Sometimes the noise can come from the seat tension spring located at the bottom of the seat. The seat tension spring is contained in a seat tension turn knob housing.
To fix, open the turn-knob housing, then apply light machine oil or grease on the spring.
How to fix sound emanating from the seat tension turn knob?
Don’t fret. Follow along with the next step.
In case, the seat tension spring is the source of the squeak, do this.
- Loosen the turn knob of the tilt mechanism.
- Spray with WD 40 silicone spray or apply grease or any lubricant at hand to the seat tension springs under the turn knob.
Can You Fix a Chair without WD40?
While WD40 is not actually a lubricant, you must need WD40 for a better outcome. WD40 is a KING. Its anti-corrosion element is great at penetrating and soil removal. I’ll recommend getting a WD40 for any fixes.
However, I have put together 3 alternatives for and when such situations arise.
Not only are they economical, but also work in lubricating the chair parts for better working.
- PTFE lubricant.
- Beeswax Wooden Polish and Conditioner. (also works best for any type of squeaky wooden chair).
- Aerosol oil spray (for example, Kano Aerokroil penetrating oil).
TIP: Lubricants with the PTFE formula are more effective.
Top Lubricants Suggestion
While you need WD40, for lubrication, these are my recommendation.
- Grease : Any grease such as heavy lubricating grease will work like charm
- Oil: You can spray oil for lubrication. Mostly in screws, oil is a better option.
- Silicone lubricant: Use this lubricant for plastic-plastic junction.
- White lithium grease: It’s most suitable for parts which bears a lot of load such as bearings, shafts. Perhaps, works great where metal involved.
- Graphite Lubricant Aerosol: Just another lubricant that works well.
- DuPont Teflon Lubricant: Again, use this lubricant for metal-metal joint.
We hope we’ve clarified your question, “Why does my office chair squeak?”. To get a proper solution, keep in mind that every chair is different. If you have noticed, most of the fixes include WD40 and lubricants. Not to mention, The main thing is to locate the damaged area. After that either you’ll repair the part or you’ll replace the part.
Further, if your wooden chair is squeaking, loose joints are likely the culprit. Apply wood glue to the loose joints. Don’t use normal glue instead of wood glue.