Not all casters are created equal, and choosing the right caster to use for your unique situation can be the difference between damaging or marking your floor and a caster that will work without difficulty. The wrong caster could even lead to caster damage, wear or even early failure of your caster. Knowing the environment and conditions that your caster will need to work in can help choose the right caster for the task at hand.
If you are choosing a caster specifically to use on hardwood flooring, the experienced team at Douglas Equipment knows what to look for in order to find the right caster that will not damage your flooring, yet still meet your needs. Here are a few of the things we will help you consider when looking for the right caster for your unique situation.
What To Look For In a Hardwood Floor Caster
One of the main considerations when determining which caster to use on a certain flooring surface is the wheels of a caster. Wheels determine how the caster directly interacts with the floor. This is why it’s important to think about this before your purchase decision. As a general rule of thumb, you want to use a harder caster wheel material with a soft flooring surface (such as carpet) and a softer wheel material with a harder flooring surface (like hardwood).
Why is this you may ask? The main reason is that casters with hard tread materials can cause damage to hardwood floors. If you buy the wrong caster inadvertently, you may soon find that you have damaged your hardwood floors irreparably before you can correct the situation. To prevent damage to the floor, you should choose casters that incorporate softer wheel materials such as rubber, Polyolefin, Nylon, Polypropylene or Urethane.
These wheel material options are excellent to keep your hardwood floor undamaged while still providing all of the benefits you want from a well functioning caster such as smooth motion and excellent handling. The one concern that should be considered is that a wheel material that is too soft can leave marks behind on the floor, which can be difficult to clean. Always match the caster wheel material to the flooring conditions that the caster will be exposed to. Here are a few models that would be suitable for this purpose:
- Shepherd Baron Series: These casters from Shepherd have double ball Bearing Raceways for smooth motion, and are ideal for furniture, fixtures, medical equipment and office equipment. The 2″ Model is heat treated for better wear, and the finish options are Windsor Antique, Metalized Brass, and Bright Chrome for a very pleasing look. Wheel options include a hard synthetic spherical Polyolefin wheel that is great on a hardwood floor surface. The units can even be RoHS complaint upon request if this is an option you need. Care should be taken however, while the black rubber wheel will protect your hardwood floor it can leave carbon-black marks behind.
- Albion 01 Series: These are Albion’s best-selling light-duty casters because they are versatile and are ideal for use in business machines, electronics, education, construction, service industry, food manufacturing, health care machinery and plastics/rubber manufacturing. Polypropylene wheels are 2 – 4 inches in diameter, which makes them work well on hardwood floors without damaging the flooring. The units have a single ball-bearing raceway that keeps the swivel section rotating smoothly under the load weight.
- Shepherd Soft Tread Ball: Similar in design to the Metal Tread Ball that Shepherd makes for softer flooring surfaces (the metal ball is great on carpet) this is a classic design for office furnishings of all sorts. They are available in Bright Chrome, Satin Chrome, Windsor Antique, Bright Brass, and Unfinished. They hold dynamic loads from 40 – 100 pounds, and the wheel is designed to include a rubber tread material that is good for use on hardwood floors.
- Bassick 00 Series: These casters incorporate a dual ball bearing raceway with a high load capacity but a low profile featuring a sleek and stylish design. They are ideal for business machines, electronic equipment, laboratory equipment and store fixtures and include an option for a soft rubber wheel material that is ideal for hardwood flooring. They can even include a side lock brake if you wish to stop the caster from rolling at certain times in your application.
- Shepherd Pacer Urethane Twin Wheel: These twin wheel swivel casters come in two sizes taking loads from 75 – 100 pounds. They include wheel material options of Nylon or Urethane tread material, which is ideal for hard floor materials. The caster design can come in Flat Black, Bright Chrome, Satin Chrome, Brass Plates or Windsor Antique finishes. Though the lifetime of the caster is sometimes not as long, the optional urethane tread is ideal when you’re worried about sensitive floors. An option for this caster is to include a brake in the design if required for your application.
The Experience and Service You Expect When Choosing Your Casters
For optimal customer service when choosing a caster, you want someone with experience and know-how to guide you. The dedicated team at Douglas Equipment is the place to turn. We have been in the material handling equipment business since 1955 and our dedicated team of service professionals has the knowledge and experience to help you with any questions you may have when it comes to selecting the right caster. We are confident that we can help you find the right type of caster at a price that is affordable.
We are located in Miami. If you are local to South Florida, call us at 305-888-3700 and talk to one of our team members. National customers can call us toll free at 800-451-0030. If you prefer to send in your questions, we can also be contacted online. One of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to working with you soon.