Casters for carpeted floors and casters for hardwood floors may seem similar, but they are different in one main characteristic: hardness of the wheel. One simple rule of thumb with choosing casters for a specific flooring material is that the caster wheel tread should be the opposite hardness of the flooring material. Think hard on soft floor and soft on hard floor.
This means if you have a carpeted floor you will want to consider hard wheel materials like steel or cast iron while on harder flooring materials you will want to use softer tread materials like soft rubber or polyurethane. Choosing the right caster wheel tread material can improve the effectiveness of your caster while also protecting the floor material you are moving on.
For carpets, you want casters with hard tread materials on the wheels to provide ease of movement and increase mobility. Materials like cast iron, Polyolefin, steel, Urethane, hard synthetic or Nylon are good choices for their good maneuverability while preventing damage to the carpet. Here are a few suitable models for soft carpeted flooring areas:
- Colson 1 Series: This is a basic caster design that works well. The caster comes in two sizes with capacities of 60 and 75 pounds. The wheel options are Performa Rubber, Polyolefin, Cushion Rubber, Hard Rubber and Polyurethane HI-TECH, many of which are suitable for carpeted surfaces.
- Shepherd Replacement Chair-Pivot Boss: These twin-wheel chair casters come in a Black finish and have a Nylon or Urethane tread material for good wear. They come in one wheel size with a 75 pound dynamic load capacity and have a classic twin wheel office chair look.
- Colson Specialty Business Machine Casters: These casters by Colson have capacity of 500 to 1200 pounds and a feature corrosion-resistant zinc finish, full double ball hardened raceways for better performance and greater durability, operating temperature rating of 45°F to 180°F and ultra-tough, thermoplastic wheels that resist hard impacts and support a high dynamic load.
- Shepherd Metal Tread Ball: These all metal swivel casters come in three sizes for a 40 to 100 pound dynamic load capacity. They include all metal wheels and come in finishes of Bright Brass, Bright Chrome and Windsor Antique. This classic design is seen on many office furnishings.
- Colson G Series Lo Pro Top Plate Swivel and Rigid: These casters are ideal for business machines and housekeeping carts. They come in a Cushion Rubber or Hard Rubber Wheel with capacity of 120 to 210 pounds and feature a zinc plated finish that is attractive and durable, full double ball hardened raceways for better performance and greater durability along with a low profile design that offers low load height and quick swivel response and thread guards standard on all except the 3″ brake model.
Casters with hard tread materials can cause damage to hardwood floors quickly, which is why it is important to think about this before your purchase decision. If you buy the wrong caster inadvertently you may soon find that you have damaged the hardwood floor irreparably before you can correct the situation.
If you have hardwood floors, you should choose casters that incorporate softer wheel materials such as soft rubber, Polyolefin, Nylon, Polypropylene or Urethane. These wheel material options are excellent to keep your hardwood floor undamaged while still allowing smooth motion and excellent handling. Here are a few models that would be suitable for this purpose:
- Bassick 00 Series: These casters incorporate a dual ball bearing raceway with a high load capacity but a sleek, low profile, stylish design. They are ideal for electronic equipment, business machines, store fixtures and laboratory equipment 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.
- 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. Wheel options include a hard synthetic spherical Polyolefin wheel, which is great on a hardwood floor surface. The 2″ Model is heat treated for better wear, and the finish options are Bright Chrome, Metalized Brass, and Windsor Antique for a very pleasing look. The units can even be RoHS complaint upon request.
- Albion 01 Series: These are Albion’s best-selling light-duty caster. They are versatile and are ideal for use in business machines, construction, education, electronics, food manufacturing and service, health care machinery and plastics/rubber manufacturing. The units have a single ball-bearing raceway that keeps the swivel section rotating smoothly under the load weight. Polypropylene wheels are 2 to 4 inches in diameter, which makes them work well on hardwood floors without damaging the flooring.
- Shepherd Pacer Twin Wheel: These two wheel swivel casters come in two sizes taking loads from 75 to 100 pounds and come in a Flat Black, Satin Chrome, Windsor Antique, Bright Chrome, or Brass Plate finishes.a The caster can also include a brake in the design if required for your application. This caster from Shepherd offers wheel material options of Nylon or Urethane, which is ideal for hard floor materials.
- Shepherd Soft Tread Ball: Similar in design to the Metal Tread Ball listed above this is a classic design for office furnishings of all sorts. They are available in Bright Brass, Bright Chrome, Satin Chrome, Windsor Antique and Unfinished. They also hold dynamic loads from 40 to 100 pounds, but the difference is they include a rubber tread material, which is good for use on hardwood floors.
Where to Find the Right Casters for Your Unique Needs
Douglas Equipment has been in the business of quality casters for almost 60 years and we are confident that we can help you find the right type of caster at a price that is affordable. Contact us today for help selecting the casters that will work best on your flooring.