Instructables
Picture of DIY Office Chair Mat & Caster Replacement
When I started working from home, I bought a nice desk and office chair.  The wheels/casters made deep divots into the carpet. (see photo).  My first solution was to buy a cheap floor mat from Office Max.  What I didn't know was that not all chair mats are worth buying and it cracked apart within days.

So I then invested in a more expensive mat hoping it wouldn't crack up.  It didn't crack.  However, the wheels continue to make fairly deep impressions into the mat - not as bad as the carpet, but bad enough that it was a nuisance and I felt that I had to drag the chair out of the impressions just to move it.

Next, I invested in oversized casters, which made a big difference - until I rolled off the mat onto the carpet.  Then I was back to square one.

I figured I need to come up with a better solution.  I spent some time googling and found a few people saying they'd used furniture movers/sliders, but I couldn't find a step-by-step so I had to make up a few steps, but it worked out.

I hope it works for you.
 
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Step 1: Create a Firm Foundation

Picture of Create a Firm Foundation
The first challenge was to find a suitable foundation.  After searching craft stores, online, and considering making my own supports, I finally found the perfect solution: bun feet.  These are designed to be used as the feet under a couch or love seat.

They're perfect because they're round, solid and have a pre-drilled hole that comes in quite handy.  The only challenge is that pre-drilled hole is filled with a lag screw that needs to be removed for our purposes.  I found that channel lock pliers give the right leverage, but I'm sure vise grips would work equally well.

Simply unscrew and discard the lag screws.

Once I removed the lag screws, I replaced them with T-bolts, which I found in the specialty hardware section at Lowe's, and that fit perfect into the pre-drilled hole.
AllIDoIsFuss made it!8 days ago

I did this on my cheap IKEA desk chair. Unfortunately, I got sliders that were too big, but since I didn't feel like making things more difficult or driving all the way back out to Home Depot I just went with it (I bought online for in-store pickup). To compensate for the size difference I cut out most of the slider's foam, leaving a ring for the buns could fit snugly inside. I am glad I used the 3M strips, since if I do get around to finding more appropriately-sized feet it shouldn't be toooooo onerous to replace them.

If it helps anyone who is not super tool-knowledgeable, I used a 15/64" drill bit on the chair legs. The size smaller made it just a tiny bit more difficult to get the screws in and there's no reason not to make it easier. To cut out the foam for the buns, I used a compass (see picture), which was fun since I haven't done that in years.

Overall I'd definitely recommend getting the right size sliders, since I think some of difficulty sliding may have to do with the edge of the slider being so far out from the main weight-bearing bit. If that makes sense. I could be wrong!

Shopping list: 3.5" round bun feet, 1/4-20 x 2" coarse zinc-plated steel round-head machine screws, 1/4-20 x 5/16" zinc plated tee nuts, NOT the 4.75" Movealls furniture movers (Everbilt's 3.5" rounds are probably your best bet).

Thank you for posting this tutorial! I didn't want to keep chewing up this new carpet but the not-desk chair I was using was so uncomfortable, and this fix seems to be working (for the all of 20 minutes I've been sitting in it since I finished it).

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uncool359 months ago

Project looks good . How has it held up over time? Has the carpet broken down from the friction?

frugalguy2 years ago
If you paint that one odd leg with black paint to match the others, nobody will ever know you shattered the black cover. Use a small brush and tape to keep the edges sharp.
DrThunder2 years ago
I made these for my chair and it doesn't slide every well when sitting in the chair. My chair is pretty heavy though. I think im going to make a wood plate that goes over the whole bottom of the chair. Then glue some plastic to the bottom of that. I'm guessing that more surface area would make it slide easier.
It would be great if you can show the before and after photo of the casters. I wonder where did you get your office chair parts? I would want to source some of my supplies there too.
thmill (author)  modernstyler2 years ago
I bought everything I used either at Lowes or Home Depot.
MikeDre2 years ago
awesome DIY! where did you purchase the "buns"?
thmill (author)  MikeDre2 years ago
I happened across them at Lowes. I've seen them at Home Depot as well. All of these big box stores seem to have a section of stuff to fix your couch.
I would really like your post ,it would really explain each and every point clearly well thanks for sharing.
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copperaxe3 years ago
Bravo. I'll have to do this as well. I can't bring myself to buy a plastic mat that makes that rumble-strip on the highway noise. My carpet thanks you.
Awesome! I have the same carpet! Must try.