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Office Chairs Ruining Your Hardwood Floors? Consider the Rollerblade

Turn your home office into a roller derby... sort of.

rollerblade wheels on chair
Henry Phillips

Herman Miller's Aeron chair set the standard for the modern ergonomic office chair. The chair is supremely customizable with a breezy mesh frame and a shape that contours with the human body. But nothing is perfect, as was made evident by a Twitter user who tweeted a $30 "hack" for improving the Aeron — and, as it turns out, any office chair — experience.

Wes Bos, a web developer, posted a photo of his Aeron mod in which he swapped out the default casters for a quintet of rollerblade casters.

rollerblade wheels on chair
Henry Phillips

Hard casters are designed to be used on carpeted or textured floors without getting caught up in the pile. In most cases, as they are for the Aeron chair, hard casters are the default pick. Soft casters, wheels made of rubber — or a similar soft, pliable material like polyurethane — is best to be used on hard floors. They also tend to be more expensive than their hard counterparts.

If you've noticed your office chair scuffs hardwood floor, your hard casters are to blame. It's pretty obvious once you think about it: why would you roll hard plastic across a hardwood floor? There's also that unpleasant grinding sound that emanates from two hard surfaces rubbing against each other. Which leads us to the ultimate office chair upgrade for hardwood floors.

Rollerblade wheels offer a grippiness that makes gliding across hardwood a joy. For those with uneven hardwood floors, like parquet or tile, rollerblade wheels will compensate for the rugged texture, while also eliminating the bumpy rolling noise. At about $30 to $40 a pack for office chair-designed rollerblade wheels, it's also one of the more reasonable WFH upgrades there is.

Much like rollerblading itself, there is a learning curve for swapping in rollerblade wheels on your office chair. For example, you may find yourself slipping and sliding given the rollerblade wheels' natural slickness. Stability is a bit iffy, but the ease of motion compensates for that. Unlike dual-wheeled casters, rollerblade wheels don't offer the same ability to swivel, adding some difficulty to switching directions when rolling. Swap out your office chair casters with rollerblade wheels and you might accidentally start doing more rolling than working.

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