Do Office Chairs Damage Wood Floors?


Whether you work from home, own your own company, or simply take pride in the appearance of your office, you want to keep things aesthetically pleasing. Anyone who works at a desk wants to have a comfortable seat that they can use while completing their daily tasks. A major problem with this is that your office chair could be doing serious damage to your flooring. 

Do office chairs damage wood floors? Office chairs can indeed damage all types of wooden floors. The hard plastic wheels over time can ruin hardwood, laminate, and floating floors. An office chair with weight, rolling across the floor will leave marks and scratches, that are difficult and expensive to repair

Luckily, if you want to keep your flooring intact and beautiful, there are some ways to protect your floors from this unwanted damage. Some common options used are:

  • Area Rugs
  • Floor Mats
  • Floor Casters
  • Cardboard

Which Chairs Can Cause Damage?

Much of the furniture that is used in an average home can cause damage to wooden floors. Whether you have a home office or an office at your workplace, almost any chair you pick will cause damage over time. The most commonly used office chair is those that feature wheels for ease of use. 

These chairs are usually great for business purposes as they are cushioned, are easily adjusted, are capable of swiveling 360 degrees, and have wheels for easy movement. The major problem here is that the wheels can cause scratches and dents to the flooring over time. If you find yourself commonly rolling the chairs or moving around in them, you will certainly see damage over time. 

Consider the Durability of Your Flooring

If you are using a home office, you are not likely to replace your flooring simply due to your office chair. Many opt for hardwood or some form of engineered flooring due to their beauty and added value for the home. However, in offices, having this flooring underneath your office chairs can lead to damage quickly and may not be the best option. 

Those who are considering changing their flooring but want to stay with a wooden floor look may want to opt for engineered flooring as these have been designed to be more durable. They also have several layers that can be sanded and refinished should scratches or dents occur. Picking a high-quality engineered wood floor option could be a great option. 

If you would rather have true hardwood, choosing a harder timber is a great choice because they withstand damage better. Some great harder wood options are:

  • Brazilian Walnut
  • Brazilian Teak
  • Brazilian Redwood
  • Ebony
  • Sugar Maple
  • White Oak 

Of course, if you already have wooden flooring in place and do not want to change out these floors, protection is key. The more scratches and dents your flooring gets, the more work and money it will take to repair them. However, there are some easy ways to protect your flooring.

How to Protect Your Floors from Damage

Luckily, if you have a floor you love and want to protect from damage due to your office chairs, you have several great options. Protecting your flooring can be very inexpensive and easy; some commonly used options are:

Add an Area Rug

Area rugs are readily available online and in-store and can match a huge variety of décor options. Adding a simple area or throw rug under your chair can make a barrier between your floors and those damaging wheels. Of course, you will want to choose a rug that is not overly shaggy or thick, as these will stop the chair from rolling smoothly on top.

If you want to have dual purpose protection, you can choose a larger rug that covers underneath your office desk and chair. While desks do not cause as much damage, they too can be damaging over time. Also, larger rugs often allow you to move your chair more freely, and you do not have to worry about accidentally rolling off the chair. 

Depending on the size, material, and where you purchase your rug, prices will vary greatly. You can find rugs that cost under $50 up to those that cost hundreds, but you can always find an option that fits your budget and room needs. For an added layer of protection and to keep your rug in place, you can put a non-slip pad underneath the rug. 

Add an Office Chair Mat

If you do not want to cover your floors with a large area rug, there are floor mats that may be more suitable for your individual needs. These go underneath your office mat similarly to rugs but are often cheaper, smaller, and allow you to see the underlying flooring. Some common floor mat options are made from:

  • Bamboo
  • Carpet
  • Tempered glass 
  • PVC
  • Vinyl 

If you want to keep the underlying floor visible, choose a clear option. However, avoid overly plastic or slippery floor mats, as these can cause the wheels on your chair to slip and can be dangerous. Also, floor mats are often smaller, so you want to ensure that you are choosing an option that covers the area you are likely to move and damage in your office chair. 

Cardboard Works in a Pinch

If you are noticing damage now but do not have the budget or time to make changes immediately, cardboard is a super cheap and easy option. A cardboard box can protect your floors until you are ready to choose a more permanent solution. While cardboard is not the easiest material to roll around on, it’s a great option as a temporary fix in your office.

Also, if you plan on using the cardboard for longer than a few days, you should use some tape to stick it to the floor. Make sure to check the cardboard every few days as the chair will quickly wear through the cardboard and potentially cause damage to your wood floor underneath. 

Add Chair Casters

Some higher-end office chairs already come with chair casters, which are designed to protect your floors against damages. However, if your chair does not have these soft rubber or nylon wheels, you may want to add them to protect your flooring properly. These casters can be purchased separately and used to protect your flooring from the wheels. 

While it takes a little work, removing your original wheels and replacing them with hardwood flooring casters is fairly easy. You can find these casters at most furniture or hardware stores, and they are not very expensive, especially compared to chairs that feature them or even area rugs. You want to ensure that you do check the wheels often to make sure that you have nothing stuck inside that can cause damages as they are easy to pick up small rocks or tacks. 

Final Thoughts: Can You Combine Protection Options?

If you really want to protect your hardwood flooring in your home or office, combining options is a great choice. You may want to put down a floor mat, and an area rug on top or use an area rug and chair casters. Overall, you can double up on protection to keep your floors safe from scratches and dents. 

Also, try to keep your floors clean from debris, clean chair casters often, and vacuum your rungs regularly. Keeping things clean can significantly reduce the amount of damage caused by your chairs. 

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