Are the caster wheels of your office chair scratching up your hardwood floors? Perhaps the wheels are no longer moving properly? At worst, maybe the office chair casters are cracked or already falling apart?
There are countless reasons for the caster wheels on an office chair to fail or break down. When this happens, there are some people who sadly resort to replacing the office chair itself.
This is entirely unnecessary as practically all rolling office chair wheels can be removed and replaced. Moreover, the procedure to replace office chair wheels is an extremely easy and straightforward one.
Below is our definitive guide on how to replace caster wheels on an office chair.
The Basic Structure of the Caster
Familiarizing ourselves with the different parts of a caster wheel can help simplify the replacement process. There are three main parts of a caster wheel:
- Stem. The cylindrical part connecting the caster wheel to the chair. In most office chairs, the casters have a grip ring or grip neck stem, which only requires a firm grip and strong force to pull out.
- Wheel. The component that facilitates the rolling of the office chair. It may be made of metal or plastic.
- Outer covering. This protects both the wheel and the floor from damage. The covering can be made of plastic, polyurethane, or rubber. In some cases, the office chair wheels may not have any covering and are simply made wholly from plastic.
Preparing for the Caster Wheel Removal
Before removing all the caster wheels, make sure to properly inspect the wheels and prepare everything necessary for the project. This includes buying the right type and size of office caster wheels.
Turn the chair upside down, with the wheels up in the air for easier access. Measure the wheel to get a point of reference and take a picture. Use this when buying the replacement caster wheels.
However, it is generally better to remove one of the wheels to use as a size reference. This also allows us to see the size of the stem and the hole it should go into, thus minimizing the chances of buying the wrong casters.
Make sure to only purchase replacement office caster wheels after verifying the size and type that fits the chair.
Aside from the new caster wheels, prepare the following items as well:
- Work gloves or a towel, to get a better grip
- Lubricating oil
- Flathead screwdriver, optional
- Rubber hammer, optional
How to Replace Caster Wheels on an Office Chair
Here is our quick and simple step-by-step guide on how to replace office chair casters by yourself.
- Turn the chair upside down or on its side to get full access to the caster wheels.
- Firmly grip one caster with one hand and stabilize the chair base with the other. Pull the caster away from the base.
- In case the caster does not come off easily, use a towel or work glove to get a better grip.
- Alternatively, use the flathead screwdriver as a lever to gently pry the caster out. Lubricating oil may also help loosen it from the base socket.
- If the caster still does not come off, it may have a threaded stem. In such cases, hold the caster wheel firmly with your hands or a pair of pliers and firmly twist it until it comes off.
- If you have already purchased the correct set of office chair casters, prepare to insert them onto the chair base sockets. If not, assess the casters and base then purchase an appropriate replacement.
- To reinstall grip stem casters, firmly hold the chair base and push the stem back onto the socket.
- For threaded casters, align the stem onto the socket and twist or rotate it until the stem is fully inside the hole.
- Repeat this for the remaining office chair caster wheels.
- Place the chair upright. Inspect it to ensure all the wheels are equal and the chair is balanced. Check the roll of each caster wheel, as well.
Know When to Replace Office Chair Casters
Cracked, broken, and stuck office chair casters are best replaced immediately. The same goes for casters that leave streaks or damage the floor and are extremely tangled up with hair and debris.
Replacing faulty casters prevents further damage to the chair and the flooring. It can also help you avoid unnecessary accidents while using your office chair and save money on a chair replacement.