How to Choose Casters for Carpet: Factors to Consider
Victoria Forney

How to Choose Casters for Carpet: Factors to Consider

Are you moving your home or office furniture to a new location? Are you or your employees struggling to push heavy objects across carpets without casters or on casters better suited for flat surfaces? Before anything valuable breaks or anyone gets hurt, ask Caster Central about their extensive stock of affordable, reliable furniture casters for business, personal, and industrial use.

Choosing the optimal casters for carpet requires experience with different caster types, carpet types, and business contexts. To avoid having casters break or wear out too early, consult an expert in caster materials before buying replacement casters or ordering casters for new furniture and equipment.

When it comes to choosing casters for carpet, there are several critical factors to consider.


What Are Casters?

Casters enable people to move heavy loads safely and conveniently by attaching wheels to their bases. Casters include a fitting with a stem or plate that attaches to the piece of furniture and the caster wheel. Typically, the caster has bearings so the wheel can swivel while the caster’s fitting remains stationary.


Cater Wheels and Fittings

Casters consist of two parts that could cause problems when you use them on carpeting. The wheel contacts the carpet and can get caught on the carpet fibers. The fitting, which is the part that secures the wheel and attaches to the cart or furniture, influences the caster's mobility.


Caster Wheel Materials

It is generally best to choose a hard caster made of a sturdy material such as polyurethane or nylon for carpets since it will roll more easily. Soft caster materials work better on hard flooring because they are quieter and produce less wear and tear on floors. 


Applications for Casters on Carpeting

While most businesses use tile, hardwood, laminate flooring, or very short carpeting, offices and workplaces in many industries have carpeted floors that can impede the movement of some caster types. These can include.

  • Hotels, apartment complexes, and assisted living facilities
  • Retail outlets that aim for a home-like feel.
  • Home service businesses that bring equipment to customers' homes


Workplace Safety

Moving heavy objects along carpeted surfaces can be difficult because the carpet produces friction that impedes the forward movement of the casters. If caster wheels stick, the person trying to move the furniture might try to compensate by pushing harder on the side of the object. Depending on the object's weight distribution, pushing harder could cause it to tip over. 


Protecting Floors

Dragging furniture across a carpet can tear the carpet and destroy the threads, leaving permanent tracks. Even if you use casters, using the wrong type could damage your carpets.

Suppose your business brings equipment into your clients’ homes or has a carpeted lobby or retail showroom. In that case, it is essential to carefully choose the casters for your furniture and mobile equipment. A damaged carpet can hurt your brand and expose you to liability if you damage a client's carpet or if someone trips on a damaged carpet on your property.


Office Chairs

Different pieces of equipment and furniture have varying load requirements and needs for stability. Using the same casters for all your furniture could result in less than optimal performance.   

For example, rolling office chairs typically have light or medium-duty casters that support a person's weight. Office employees sometimes use their chairs as makeshift dollies to move computers, boxes, and other items that are too heavy or unwieldy to carry.

If the casters do not move well on the carpet, the chair could tip, potentially damaging the equipment and injuring the employee.

If you have a carpeted office, consider the ergonomic effects of your office chairs. Your chair wheels should give your office chairs enough stability that someone can sit on them comfortably but not too hard to roll.

Twin caster wheels are a low-cost option for office chairs. These casters have two small wheels on either side of the fitting. They typically have plastic housings to protect the wheels, but the wheels and the fittings can consist of other more durable materials. 


Heavy Office Equipment

Moving heavy equipment without proper equipment and technique is a frequent cause of workplace injuries. Be proactive in developing workplace safety protocols if you have carpeted office space and any equipment like:

  • Carts for equipment
  • Heavy computers or copiers 
  • Filing cabinets
  • Bookshelves

If your employees or visiting technicians must move any of these pieces of furniture, ensure that they have heavy-duty office casters and that the casters move easily on carpeting. In addition, provide adequate training so that anyone who tries to move the furniture knows how to move it safely.

Whenever you buy casters for heavy equipment, calculate the maximum weight that the casters can support and allow a sufficient margin of error to avoid overloading the casters. Your heavy office furniture will be more difficult to move if the caster is under strain.

Casters can experience greater than usual forces if you push heavy equipment over uneven terrain. If one or more caster wheels become stuck, the cart might lean or tip forward, placing more stress on some wheels. This could exceed the rated load on those casters and cause the casters to break. 


Gurneys and Medical Equipment

Many casters have specialized features, such as bacterial resistance, that make them useful for medical applications. For instance, if you own a business that transports patients into or out of your home, having gurneys that move smoothly and evenly through the carpet can protect them from injury and save precious time during an emergency.

Hard rubber wheels and stainless steel casters are suitable for medical situations because they are sturdy, not porous, and resistant to high temperatures. It might be beneficial to use casters with integrated brakes and shock absorbers so that you can lock them in place to keep patients steady but have smooth mobility when you need to transfer a patient.


The Type of Carpeting

The length of carpet fibers influences how easily the casters will move across it. Optimizing your casters for carpet length increases their effectiveness. 

What if you will be moving furniture over different carpet lengths and styles? Having multiple pallets, dollies, and carts on hand is one option. If that is not a cost-effective solution, choose a caster that works well on thicker carpet, such as metal casters with rubber, nylon, or polyurethane wheels.


The Right Type of Caster Design for Carpeting

Ball casters have increased maneuverability.

Casters with wide, large-diameter wheels help you move furniture over uneven surfaces and reduce the pressure per square inch on the carpeting, reducing the risk of damage.

One disadvantage of furniture that rolls easily on carpeting is that it can move too freely on smooth surfaces. Accidents could happen if a cart, luggage rack, or office chair slides or rolls across the floor when its user expected it to stay put.


Finding the Casters You Need with Caster Central

Many business owners who need casters search big box stores or online stores that do not specialize in casters. Their selection might be limited to only the most popular styles. Additionally, their inventory might not include the combinations of wheel composition and fitting design that would work best for your situation.

Caster Central is the best source for affordable casters for carpets, hardwood, laminate flooring, concrete, and more. We know the common caster problems you might have to deal with when choosing, maintaining, and using furniture casters, particularly on carpeted floors. Browse our inventory and call us at 1-800-445-4082 if you have any questions.