A study dubbed What’s That Sound published on the Interface.com website reveals that 69% of noise adversely affects 69% of global employee’s productivity, concentration levels, and creativity. (Source)
And as we’ve already seen in the previous articles, noise can result in detrimental nonauditory effects.
The same applies to a squeaky office chair, which can be a nuisance to both you and other people around you.
Fortunately, chair squeaks don’t mean you get a new chair. With a proper diagnosis, you can fix the squeaks inexpensively, and without wasting much of your time.
But how do you fix a squeaky office chair?
To fix a squeak office chair or desk chair, simply turn the chair upside down and then use a wrench or screwdriver to tighten all the loose bolts, nuts or screws. After tightening, you should spray something like lubricating oil to the components of the chair mechanism and wipe excess oil using a soft towel or cotton cloth.
1. Check the Source of the Noise
Just like fixing a squeak bed frame, the first step to fixing a squeaky office chair is locating the source of the noise. Most of the time, the squeaky sound comes from loose bolt and screws due to age or excess use.
Flip the chair and secure it by leaning it on a stack of books. If you assembled the chair yourself, then you would know exactly where to look, but if you didn’t, then it is important to inspect it.
You can use your fingers to wiggle the screws and bolts to feel whether they are loose. You can also rock the chair back and forth to see whether the screws on the limbs are loose.
2. Fix Bolts and Screws
Once you locate them, use a screwdriver to tighten them. You can also tighten the screws that are not lost to prevent future problems.
You can likewise add nails to strengthen the chair. Some chairs do not use nails or screws to secure the limbs together.
If you have a gaming chair, you may disassemble it with tools such as a screwdriver, rubber mallet, bolt remover, and drill for a chair with bolts and nuts. This will allow you to properly fix them.
3. Clean the Rust
If you don’t have a lubricant in your home, you can choose other methods of removing rust from your screws and bolts.
One of the methods includes cleaning them using the available materials in the house, including a toothbrush or a ball of steel wool and vinegar.
You will need to dip the brush or steel wool on the vinegar then gently scrub the rust off the metallic parts. You can remove the rustic parts, then clean them or clean them while they are still on the chair.
This method is mostly useful on metallic chairs. Pay close attention to the swivel or the chair’s height adjustment parts.
If the work is too much, you can purchase new parts, then replace them yourself. However, this may cost you.
4. Use Oil to Lubricate Rusty Bolts
Sometimes an office chair can be squeaky due to moisture, especially if you work in a humid area. A good solution is applying the oil directly on the bolts and nuts to prevent rusting.
You can also use an oil spray or rub the oil on a piece of cloth then apply it on the screws and bolts to loosen them. Rubbing the oil or any other lubricant on a piece of cloth will prevent the mess that a spray may bring.
You can ask a friend to help you locate the source of noise by having them sit then rock the chair back and forth. Then apply the oil until the noise diminishes.
However, applying the oil on the chair may be difficult, so you may need to remove the screws and bolts and apply them before reinstalling them back on the chair.
Sometimes the course of the squeaky noise may not be the bolts or screws but the wheel’s axles. People always assume that the noise always comes from the bolts or screws and end up ignoring the wheels.
You must inspect the wheels as well. One way of doing it is turning the chair upside down then spray on the wheels using a silicone spray.
Once through, test the wheels by rolling the chair for a few seconds. Don’t forget to also check up on the springs of the chair.
When leaning back on your chair, you may hear the squeaky noise due to rustic springs. So oil them as well.
You can find oil or lubricant or any department store or purchase one online. An example of an oil or spray you can use is WD-40 Water Resistant Silicone Spray Lubricant.
The lubricant is waterproof and affective even on springs.
5. Apply Glue
Glue is also a good product when you are wondering how to fix a squeaky office chair. However, you need to go for wood glue; otherwise, if you use ordinary glue, it won’t work.
Wood glue is much effective when joining the limbs of a chair.
You need to check the source of the weakness then apply the glue. Once you are sure you have applied correctly, allow it to rest before sitting on the chair.
Giving it time ensures the glue dries up completely and joins the chair without giving you problems in the future.
Keep in mind that glue will only work on a wooden chair, so if your chair is metallic, you may have to use a different method.
You can also try Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner if you want something more natural.
6. Use a Wood Swelling-Liquid
Your office chair may be squeaking due to loosened legs. This is caused by the shrinking of the dowels.
You will need to remove both of limbs so that you can reach the dowel then apply the swelling wood liquid. Then rejoin the legs once you have correctly applied the liquid.
This method is much effective compared to applying glue.
7. Fix the Springs
As mentioned before, the problem could be the springs of the chair. Instead of lubricating it, you may fix it completely using a Teflon Thread Seal Tape.
A spring may squeak when you are leaning on the chair. You will need to access the springs by removing the nails or screws using a nail remover and a screwdriver.
Once you have accessed the springs, you will have to attach the tape and rub them together between them. Rubbing the tape will lessen the pressure between the springs that may be causing the squeaking.
8. Replace the Chair
If all the methods don’t work for you, maybe it’s time you think about replacing the chair with a new one.
A squeaky chair is hard to deal with. But nothing hurts more than spending money and time in trying to fix a chair that won’t stop squeaking.
To save you the pain of dealing with the nuisance, purchasing a new chair is the viable option.
An example of a chair you can purchase is Modway Articulate Ergonomic.
There you go, some of the best ways on how to fix a squeaky office chair. However, don’t forget that the maintenance of your chair will determine how long it will serve you.
Also, don’t forget to be gentle on your chair as it will also determine how long it will last. Otherwise, follow the above steps, and you’ll be good to go. You can check out this guide on how to soundproof a room from yard noises.
- A-List of Best Quiet Air Compressor
- Quiet Blender Buyer Guide
- Noisiest Fans on the Market
- Quietest Projector
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.