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Castor wheels on carpet

How to protect your carpets from castor chair wheels

27 August 2020

From improving comfort to boosting manoeuvrability, the benefits of castor wheels are clear. But what about your carpet?

There’s good news on that front. It’s now possible to protect carpet from chair or trolley wheels – all you need is the right wheel design and protection.

Castor solutions

Are rolling chairs bad for carpet? They can be – but fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the risk. The first step to creating carpet-castor harmony is to select the right wheel for your flooring. 

We have castors for wooden, metal and concrete floors – even for extreme temperatures and heavy loads. When you’re dealing with a delicate material such as carpet, however, you need a different design entirely.

The answer? Soft-floor castors. These nifty yet robust wheels come equipped with a harder tread, which makes them ideal for fabric-based flooring such as carpet.

It might seem counterintuitive to opt for a hard tread on soft flooring – or a soft tread on hard flooring, for that matter – but the nature of a firm-treaded design means there is less space for wheels to pick up fibres. This protects both the floor and the wheels, since soft-treaded wheels can be damaged by carpets.

Selecting the right wheels for furniture also helps maximise portability. Take a look at our guide to selecting office chair wheels and fixing castors to furniture to learn more.

Carpet protector mats

Have you already purchased a chair which doesn’t have the ideal wheels? Wondering how to stop this office chair from ruining your carpet? Luckily, there are solutions.

Protective carpet mats now come in all manner of designs – and they can act as a lifeline for delicate carpets in the workplace or at home. Some of the most popular options are made from clear, textured plastic such as PVC, vinyl or polycarbonate.

Be sure to choose a textured mat, particularly if your chair wheels are large, soft-treaded or highly mobile, since this can prevent the chair from slipping. The more delicate your carpet’s pile and fibre, the thicker this protective mat will need to be, so be sure to shop by carpet type.

The downside to using a protective castor wheel mat is the resulting loss of mobility. One of the major benefits to castor wheels – the ability to slide towards the printer or steer your seat towards a meeting space – is dramatically reduced.

The ergonomic benefits remain, however – and your carpets are far less likely to develop snags or patches.

Some mats come in colours and designs, which is great if you don’t like the clear plastic look. Alternatively, consider creating your own protective mat by attaching a piece of MDF board to a carpet offcut. 

You might like this to match the room’s flooring, or perhaps to contrast it like a traditional rug. Simply whip the offcut’s edges, then attach carpet grippers to the board with a strong adhesive. For best results, the MDF should be cut slightly smaller than the carpet.

Interested in castor wheels’ many uses outside of the office or home? Read about their uses in the medical, entertainment and catering industries.