How To Replace Office Chair Wheels

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: February 25, 2022

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How To Replace Office Chair Wheels

Retaining a damaged office chair wheel is a bad idea in various ways. For one, a broken wheel unbalances the chair, which means you can fly to the ground anytime.

Even if this doesn’t happen, you sit at an uncomfortable angle. Doing this lowers productivity and induces pain, with lumbago being common.

Check out how to replace office chair wheels in three steps. But here’s a summary to get you prepared.

You choose casters based on size, stem type, and floor kind. Next, you remove office chair wheels by pulling, twisting, or unscrewing. If unable, you remove a stuck office chair wheel with a flathead screwdriver. Lastly, you put wheels on an office chair by pushing, twisting, or using a screwdriver.

How To Replace Office Chair Wheels

Replacing office chair wheels involves three steps:

Let’s dive in.

How Do You Choose Casters?

Chair casters are easily replaceable as only two things need checking. These chairs require right-sized wheels with compatible stems. 

Moreover, your floor type impacts selections. For instance, carpeted and hard flooring demand different chair casters.

The Chair’s Casters and Their Stem

To match your present wheel dimensions, measure their diameter with a ruler. You can resize up or down, though larger ones roll smoother. Also, larger wheels raise your chair while smaller wheels lower it. 

So, pick suitably sized casters that offer you a good sitting height.

The tops of B, C, and K stems have grip rings that let you use them to replace longer wheel stems. Nonetheless, your replacement caster stems must match those on your existing wheels for you to attach them.

If your chair has a wood base, you’ll often need a W-Stem.

Stemless Casters

Some chairs feature welded non-replaceable and non-removable stems. In those circumstances, get appropriately-sized stemless casters.

How to Pick the Appropriate Chair Wheels for Your Floor

Is your workspace carpeted or has hardwood floors? Do you use chair mats? There are hard and soft versions, each functioning best on different floors.

  • Hard casters: Best on carpeted surfaces.
  • Soft wheels: Best on chair mats, wood, linoleum, and tile floors besides other hard floors.

How Do You Remove Office Chair Wheels?

Overturn your chair and have its head on the ground, with wheels up. This gives easy reach to the chair’s casters.

Threaded Casters

Turn them clockwise to disengage. If your caster begins going in the twisted direction, continue, and it should fall out.

Unthreaded-Stem Casters

Lubricate the joint where the wheel joins the chair with WD-40, vaseline, or another suitable lube. Next, pull on the grip stem to remove it. Have one hand on your wheel and the other on the chair’s leg to make pulling easy.

Swivel Plate

Occasionally, an office chair has a square swivel plate instead of caster stems. In this scenario, detach the plate with a screwdriver.

How Do You Remove a Stuck Office Chair Wheel?

If you try pulling a threaded caster, you may not get your wheel off. So, try to twist the wheel to ensure it isn’t stuck simply because of using the wrong procedure.

Try pulling or twisting using a towel or glove if it doesn’t move. Add some lube around the joint and let it rest a few minutes, then retry.

Even so, some wheels are too rusty to remove manually. So, how do you handle them?

  • Get a wide flathead screwdriver, plus a pry bar featuring a nail-pulling notch. The nail-pulling groove should fit the caster’s stem.
  • Insert and turn your screwdriver’s tip where the wheel contacts the chair. Slowly turn your screwdriver until the wheel begins disengaging.
  • If the wheel won’t budge, reposition your screwdriver and start prying. Diverse angles may help you yank the wheel.
  • Place your nail-pulling slot around the stem, between the wheel and your chair. Press against your caster to release it.

How Do You Put Wheels on an Office Chair?

Inserting new casters is the most straightforward step. Proceed with this based on your caster type:

  • Threaded caster: Twist it in until it stops rotating.
  • Grip caster:  Push it into the stem slot until its top flushes with the chair leg’s bottom. If the wheel is difficult to insert, lubricate the stem or gently beat it in with a rubber mallet.
  • Swivel plate caster: Install the swivel plate using a screwdriver.

Further Reading:

How to Clean the Wheels of an Office Chair
How to Remove Hair from Office Chair Wheels

FAQs

Can I Remove Casters From Office Chair?

You can remove casters from office chair with ease based on the wheel type. You may either twist them out, yank them with your hand, or unscrew them.

Sometimes this may challenge you, and you can lubricate and pull out while wearing gloves or using a towel. A flathead screwdriver comes in handy when these fail.

Can You Replace The Wheels on an Office Chair?

You can replace the wheels on an office chair in three primary steps. Begin by getting replacement casters. Next, remove your old casters, then insert the new ones. So, if your wheels get damaged or worn down, replacing isn’t challenging.

Remember to pick suitable replacement casters. Otherwise, you can’t replace the wheel on an office chair.

How Do You Fix a Broken Caster?

You fix a broken caster by replacing it with a suitable wheel. Detach the broken caster and have a new one in its place.

Ensure you get a sturdy option compatible with your floor. Also, note the caster’s height as it should be similar to the other wheels for your chair to sit correctly.

Closing Thoughts

Even with meticulous care, retracing the steps on how to replace office chair wheels is possible. The wheels of office chairs usually have rubber or plastic construction. While the material is durable enough to withstand rough use, it can wear down over time.

In that case, the rubber or plastic starts to crack and break off, leaving the chair without wheels. This can be inconvenient because the chair won’t move across the floor anymore.

But, replacing your wheels takes a few minutes, and you may only need new wheels to do this.