How To Choose The Right Floor Protectors
By Tom Jennings
Each day countless floors are scarred due to damage caused by furniture and appliances. This damage usually is in the form of scratches and gouges that could have been avoided with the use of proper floor protectors. Let’s examine some of the most common floor protectors and their application:
Cup Protector: Typically either rubber or plastic cups that are placed on the floor with the furniture legs resting on them. They are designed to spread the weight of an object over a larger area to diminish the likelihood of a heavy item crushing or puncturing the flooring. These are only used for stationary objects, such as heavy appliances and furniture, which will not be moved frequently.
Leg Coasters: Protectors that are designed to fit over the leg of a chair. They typically extend up the leg approximately one inch to protect the floor from damage when chairs are slid or tipped at an angle. Sold in several diameters to fit specific leg dimensions, this model is designed for use on hard surface flooring.
Felt Protector Pads: These popular protectors are available in many different shapes and configurations. The most popular type has a self-adhesive backing. They are also available in both tap in and screw in styles, as well as a cap that fits over the furniture leg. These are an economical method to protect against scratching a hard surface floor.
Swivel Glides: Installed by nailing into the bottom of the furniture leg, these are typically made of Teflon like material. The advantage of this design is that they will “move with you” when a chair leg is tipped back on – thus distributing the load over a larger area than with a fixed protector.
Casters: This style is typically ball shaped and constructed of rubber, metal or plastic. They are designed to roll under load. Typical uses are office chairs, refrigerators, bed frames, etc. Attention should be paid to achieving the widest amount of contact with the flooring as possible. Too narrow of a contact point can have a blade-like effect under load. Before using on carpeting, a chair mat should be in place to deflect the impact of swiveling casters.
When moving furniture, always place glides underneath the legs before sliding across any type of flooring. These Teflon-like protectors are available in many sizes and shapes. They are very effective protecting both the flooring and the furniture as well. These are intended for temporary use and not as permanent protection.
When selecting protectors, it is advisable to select as large of a “footprint” as is practical. Doing so will spread the weight out over a larger area reducing the possibility of damage to the flooring. Remember to check the condition of your floor protectors periodically, as they can get lost or damaged with usage. New protectors are not expensive – but new floors can be!