When it comes to determining what kind of casters and/or wheels you need on furniture, there are several different elements to consider. It’s important to select the correct type so that the furniture moves easily, the floor remains free of damage, and the weight can be supported correctly by the casters and wheels. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are selecting casters and wheels for furniture.
The Weight of Your Furniture
An important factor to consider is how much weight your casters and wheels will be supporting. Available in three styles – light, heavy, and heavy-duty – each caster is meant to hold up to a certain weight. While smaller and lighter casters may be appropriate for smaller furniture, large casters and wheels can transport heavy trailers and trucks. A good rule of thumb is to calculate the gross weight of your load, and then divide that by the number of casters that will be holding the weight. For example, if you have a piece of furniture that is 80 pounds and has four wheels, you only need to select casters that can support 20 pounds each. Conversely, you wouldn’t want to use those same casters to hold furniture that weighed around 150 pounds.
If you are working with furniture where the supported weight may shift, you will want to take that into account as well. A chair may have four casters to support the weight most of the time. If someone leans back in that chair, however, the weight may need to be distributed between two casters at times and this should be factored into your decision when buying casters for it.
The Type of Flooring
The type of flooring that the furniture will be used on plays a large part in caster selection as well. Softer wheel materials will need to be used on floors such as granite, tile, or wood so that the flooring isn’t scratched or cracked. Not only are softer wheel materials safer for harder floor materials, but they are also quieter and will provide better traction.
If you are working with a softer flooring material, however, you’ll want to choose casters that are made of a harder material to provide the correct traction. Carpet height is another factor to consider as you will want to have larger wheels for taller carpets. If you use wheels that are too small, there will not be enough traction and the furniture will be difficult to move on the carpet.