Are Chairs With Wheels Bad For Hardwood Floors?

When it comes to hardwood floors, there are 2 main things that can cause them damage. They are high heels and chairs with wheels.

The name ‘hardwood flooring’ implies that this flooring is incredibly sturdy and durable, and to a certain extent it is. But just like all types of flooring, hardwood floors have their weaknesses, and these are the two things that we mentioned earlier on. 

If you are new to owning hardwood flooring, then you might be quite confused as to how chairs with wheels can damage your floor. After all, the floor is made out of wood, and this is generally a rather durable material.

Are Chairs With Wheels Bad For Hardwood Floors?

So, how can something as simple as a chair with wheels damage your floor? In this guide we’ll be taking a look at whether, or not, chairs with wheels are bad for your hardwood floors, and how to protect them.

So with no further ado, let’s jump right in. 

Are Chairs with Wheels Bad for Hardwood Floors?

As we have said, yes, chairs with wheels are bad for hardwood floors. Just like high heels, chairs with wheels will not always damage your hardwood flooring. But, there is always a high risk that they could damage your flooring, and this is why most people avoid putting a chair with wheels on their hardwood floor. 

A lot of people have hardwood floors in their homes, with many choosing to have this style of flooring in their lounge or kitchen. These are areas of the home where you usually have seating, so you might be puzzled as to how chairs without wheels are safe, but chairs with wheels aren’t.

So, let’s take a look at this difference. 

Chairs without wheels are usually perfectly safe to be used on hardwood flooring. This is because these chairs and couches will usually remain static in your home, so there will be no movement to damage the floor.

Of course, if you were to drag these pieces of furniture around on your hardwood flooring, then there is a good chance that they would damage it. 

But, chairs with wheels have a much higher risk of damaging your hardwood flooring because they will be moved around a lot more regularly. It is not the wheels themselves that will cause damage to your hardwood flooring, instead, it is the rolling movement that they make which will cause damage. 

The most common type of chair that will have wheels is office chairs. Office chairs are built with wheels because in an office you will regularly need to move around your desk to reach different things. It is this continuous movement that will damage your hardwood floor. 

Most chairs with wheels come with plastic wheels, which aren’t designed to be used with wood. Due to this, they will have harsh edges and pieces of plastic that stick out on the wheels. Both of these things combined will cause the wheels to scratch your hardwood flooring. 

When you first begin using a chair with wheels on hardwood flooring, it is likely that you will not notice the damage that is being made.

In most cases, this damage will only become apparent over time, by which point it is too extreme to be fixed. This is why it is best to take precautions to protect your hardwood flooring from chairs with wheels, so let’s take a look at how you can protect it. 

How do you Protect Hardwood Floors from Office Chair Wheels?

If you have hardwood floors, then reading this might lead you to believe that this is the end for your dreams of using a chair with wheels upon it. But this isn’t the case. Thankfully, there are lots of things that you can do to protect your hardwood floors from chairs with wheels to enable you to use an office chair on hardwood floors. 

One of the most popular ways to protect your hardwood floors from office chair wheels is to invest in a mat to put beneath your desk. A similar style of mat exists to protect carpet from office chairs, so you probably will have already heard of this style of protection.

These mats are usually clear, and will come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to find the one that is perfect for your workspace. This allows you to use your office chair freely without having to worry about it damaging your flooring. 

If you find that a protective mat isn’t the best option for you, there’s no need to stress because there are lots of other options available to you. In particular, another popular alternative is the use of felt or cloths to protect your flooring from the chair’s wheels. 

Let’s start with felt pads. You might have seen this before, as it is advised that you put these pads beneath any furniture that you place on hardwood flooring.

Even static furniture. These felt pads allow you to move furniture around on the floor freely without having to worry about it scratching your flooring. You can get something similar for office chairs, so it is worth looking into this option. 

Alternatively, you could choose to use other types of material, such as cloth, to wrap around the casters of your chair’s wheels. When the chair moves around on your hardwood floor, it is the casters that do the damage.

So, you could wrap the casters with soft cloth and secure it in place with duct tape instead. This material allows the chair to move around on the floor, but prevents the wheels from turning. Ensuring that no damage will occur to your hardwood flooring. 


In short, yes, chairs with wheels (aka. Office chairs) are bad for hardwood flooring. This is because the casters of the wheels will scratch against the floor every single time that you  move around on the chair, eventually causing irreversible damage.

Due to this, it is best to take precautions to protect your hardwood flooring, such as investing in a mat to put beneath your desk, or felt pads to protect the floor. This allows you to use your chair freely without needing to worry about it scratching your flooring.