The functionality and mobility of an office chair are often enhanced by its rolling casters. However, there may be instances where the rolling feature becomes a hindrance rather than a benefit. This article delineates several pragmatic solutions to halt the rolling of an office chair, catering to different preferences and levels of technical aptitude. From simple caster stoppers, hands-free brake casters, wheel straps, to placing an area rug or using foam blocks, various methods are discussed to provide a stationary seating solution.
The article also elucidates how a malfunctioning tilt lock mechanism can inadvertently contribute to the undesired movement of the chair and offers guidance on addressing this issue. For those considering a more permanent solution, transitioning from rolling casters to stationary chair gliders is also explored. Each solution is aimed at enhancing the usability and stability of the office chair while ensuring the preservation of the flooring surface.
1. Install Caster Stoppers
Installing simple caster stoppers is perhaps among the easiest ways to stop your desk chair from moving around when you don’t want it to. These accessories come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you do your market research properly to get the ones that exactly fit the wheels on your chair.
As for the installation process, all you have to do is place them below the wheels. The stoppers act as boundaries to keep the wheels from moving.
Remember to remove the stoppers when you want to move the chair. Otherwise, applying excessive force to roll the chair with the stoppers below can damage the flooring.
2. Use Hands-Free Brake Casters
Although many modern office rolling chairs are equipped with a braking system, you may not find this on traditional rolling desk chairs. Or, the braking mechanism on the wheels may have worn out with time.
In either case, you can replace the old wheels with locking casters that come with a hands-free brake mechanism. This way, you can prevent your office chair casters from moving when not needed. Simply place the chair upside down and remove each wheel by pulling it out of the slot. Make sure your hands are completely dry so that you can have a secure grip on the wheel.
Once all the wheels are removed, take the new casters and push them into the openings one by one. Turn back the chair and push it around a bit to ensure that the wheels are properly installed and not coming off.
Now, one thing to keep in mind before buying this type of office chair wheels is that they come in different variations in terms of the locking mechanism. I’d suggest getting wheels in which the brake system automatically engages when you sit, thereby keeping the chair in the stationary position. The wheels will become “mobile” as soon as you get up from the chair.
However, if you want to roll the chair while sitting on it, you will have to disengage the brake system manually. The process for doing so will be mentioned in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Another type of brake caster allows you to control the braking system with simple foot movements, so you don’t have to get up while moving your office chair. But be careful not to move your feet too much, as you may accidentally tamper with the brakes.
3. Get Wheel Straps
If you think removing and installing new wheels isn’t your cup of tea, I have an easier yet effective method for you that will get the job done. Just buy a few simple straps meant for office chairs and attach one end of the straps to a fixed point near your office chair. You can use furniture legs (like that of a table or desk in the vicinity) for the purpose.
Hook the other end of the straps around the wheels, and you’re all done! While this technique may not work as effectively as a brake caster or stopper, it can keep your chair stable, as the rolling will be limited to the perimeter of the straps.
If office chairs with braking casters seem too much of a spend for you, you can opt for a chair with wheel straps to keep it stable.
3. Place An Area Rug
A furry area rug can enhance the look of your space as well as effectively eliminate the problem of a rolling chair. It will create friction with the wheels and make for a rough surface to prevent the wheels from moving, keeping the chair steady.
The best part is you can get one in any shape and size as long as it comfortably “contains” all the wheels. I’d recommend going for a thicker rug, though, as the thicker the rug, the better it will work to stop the wheels from moving.
However, the surface of the rug will depend on your floor type. For instance, if your floor is slanted or sloped, I’d recommend going for a rug that has longer fiber strands. These will surround the wheels from all sides and prevent them from sliding.
Similarly, you should choose a rug with rubber padding for a slippery floor so that it won’t move around and block the movement of the chair wheels.
At this point, some of you may be wondering if you should use an area rug for a carpeted floor. The answer would be yes, as carpeted floors usually have a smooth surface that can help the wheels glide.
4. Use Leftover Foam Material
Do you have some leftover foam? Then don’t throw it out, as it can serve as the perfect solution for stopping your office chair from rolling around. Yes, many people have found success using simple shaped blocks of foam to stop their office chairs from rolling randomly.
Cut out a foam block (preferably in a square or rectangular shape). Make sure that the foam isn’t too thin; otherwise, it won’t effectively serve the purpose. And if the foam is too thick, it will stop the chair from moving altogether.
In that case, you’ll have to remove the foam every time you want to roll it. Remember that the purpose of the foam here is to restrict wheel movement for more stability and not stop it entirely.
Now, place the rectangular or square block of foam directly under the center of the chair (and not below the wheels) to keep the wheels from sliding. You may have to replace the foam once in a while, as the material may lose its firmness and become flat.
Can The Tilt Lock Mechanism Of Your Office Chair Make It Roll?
I know you may be thinking that the tilt lock mechanism of the chair doesn’t control its movements. However, a faulty tilt lock can interfere with its stability.
For the unversed, the tilt lock facilitates the adjustment of the angle of the backrest or the height of the seat. In the case of the former, you can simply push it back to recline or pull it slightly to straighten its alignment.
However, a stuck or malfunctioning tilt lock won’t perform its function effectively. As a result, the force from pushing or pulling the backrest will transfer directly to the wheels, making the chair move unnecessarily.
To fix the tilt lock on your office chair, try adjusting the resistance knob (usually located at the base) to achieve the right tension so that reclining the backrest doesn’t require too much force.
Aside from that, if the chair gets accidentally locked, then the reclining or height adjustment feature won’t work. So, find the tilt lock lever or knob and rotate it in the opposite direction, and this should solve the problem.
If not, there may be a bigger issue with the lock, and you may have to dismantle the chair to fix it. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to understand the process.
Some people spend on rollable office chairs, only to find out that they prefer stationary chairs more! In such cases, they end up replacing the wheels with stationary chair gliders. If you plan to do the same, I’d suggest placing a cloth or rug underneath the “new feet” to prevent the floor from getting scratched.
If none of the tips mentioned above work, the wheels on your chair might be damaged, and it may be time to change them. Or, you can invest in a new chair altogether that has better quality wheels. But do check out the past customer reviews of your preferred model to make a well-informed decision.