Whether it’s your squeaky office chair, gaming chair, or ordinary wooden chair, hearing a sound every time you make the smallest adjustments is irritating for anyone.
If you’re one of those people, this problem is easy to fix with tools you probably already have at home. Find out how to fix a squeaky chair below!
How to Fix a Squeaky Chair in 5 Steps
You’ve been itching to learn how to fix a squeaky chair. Don’t worry. We’ll walk you through everything step-by-step in this section.
Step 1: Find the Source of the Squeaking Noise
Whether you’re dealing with a squeaky office chair, gaming chair, or ordinary wooden seat, the first step will always be to try and find the source of the squeak.
To do this, ask someone to sit on the chair for you.
Then, get down next to it to try and listen for the location of the source. Have your assistant shift their way around so you can figure out where all the parts are rubbing against each other.
Or you can also…
Flip the chair over and try moving the pieces around by pushing on them if you don’t have someone to help you.
Once you’ve figured out why the chair squeaks so much, MARK the areas you think you need to work on with some duct tape.
Step 2: Gather Your Tool Box and Supplies
Depending on the exact kind and problem of your chair, you will need different tools and materials.
Typically, you will need:
Make sure the nails and screws are the proper size and have no rust on them.
Help! I don’t know the right size for my nails!
If you’re unsure of the right size, get a nail from your current chair and bring it to your local hardware store. They’ll know what the proper size is and will give you the correct replacement.
Also, a thing you need to ensure is to have the right kind and size of screwdriver.
If your chair has bolts…
You’ll need these if you plan to completely take the chair apart or swap out the bolts for brand new ones.
WD (Water Displacement)-40 or Construction Adhesive?
You will need a spray lubricant like WD-40 to oil all the moving components before putting everything back together to prevent most sounds from becoming a problem later on.
Step 3: Clean or Replace Components with Rust
This will apply to you if your chair has any metal pieces.
Rust will create more friction and break down these metal parts, so you must maintain your chair regularly and replace these rusted components when needed.
Our best advice: clean these up as best as you can.
You can also soak them in white vinegar or any carbonated beverage, like a Coca-cola, to break down the rust.
If it’s too far gone, it’s best to swap out these metal parts for a new one.
Step 4: Oil Components and Housings with Spray Lubricant
With an office chair or similar types that are mostly metal, pay special attention to all the metal chair components.
Check the swivel wheels, height, chair back adjustment, mechanisms, and any other moving joint.
It’s very unlikely you’ll have to replace all these, but it’s best to perform some maintenance by cleaning and lubricating them regularly to keep them from rusting.
What’s the best solution to protect your chairs from rusting?
We highly recommend the WD-40 lubricant and silicone spray we mentioned earlier.
This will keep these springs, bolts, and other components from rusting. Make sure to also oil the inside of the housing with the same silicone spray lubricant.
Consequently, it will also keep them from making that annoying squeaky sound or any other noise.
If you’re new to this, you have to know that you should only oil your springs, nuts, nails, bolts, and screws with lubricant after you’ve already cleaned them out, dried them, and reinstalled them into your chair.
If you only hear the squeaking when you lean back…
The springs are the problem. Oil the springs inside the turn-knob housing to fix a squeaky office chair.
First, loosen the seat tension turn-knob, detach it, then oil all the way inside the housing.
Step 5: Tighten Joints
After you’ve cleaned everything and properly applied oil to the right places, the next step to fix a squeaky chair is to work on the rest of it.
If it’s still squeaking, the obvious solution would be to make sure to tighten the screws, springs, and joints.
Using your screwdriver or drill with a bolt bit attached, tighten the components and joint connections.
Or, here’s a little extra something you can do…
You can add new screws and nails if you think the wood is sturdy enough to handle them and if you aren’t scared of accidentally messing your chair up.
If you have the kind of chair that doesn’t use screws for you to tighten, use adhesive on the chair:
- Gently move the piece you want to remove back and forth until it comes completely loose.
- Then, reattach it using wood glue or any other appropriate tape or adhesive.
For loose legs, expand the dowels with a wood-swelling liquid to fix the problem.
Wood dowels often shrink over time, which can cause the joints to move too much. If you restore the dowel to its original size using wood-swelling liquid, it should fix your noise issue.
You may also need to fix a thing called a joint plug if you find that it’s loose or out of shape. Alternatively, an option is to add more nails or bracket hinges along with glue to reinforce it.
Why Do Chairs Squeak and How to Apply Each Step Thoroughly?
First up, the type of chair you are dealing with:
- Armchairs – fully upholstered chairs that look like sofas
- Classic wooden chairs – mostly made of wood, with or without upholstered elements
- Work or gaming chairs – chairs typically made of a combination of plastic, metal, and other materials that have basic moving and adjustment mechanisms
Squeaky Wooden Chair
Wooden chairs are typically your dining, patio, or office chairs, including your grandma’s rocking chair.
Whether they have detachable upholstery or not, the squeaking problem typically comes from loose screws and bolts on and around the chair.
So, it’s easy enough just to flip the chair back and set it (seat-down) on the work surface. Then, just tighten everything up.
Always start with figuring out how all the parts, screws, and bolts come together.
Double-check all its parts and inspect the screws and bolts. If they’re rusty and squeaky, you can either apply oil or replace them. Either way, it is an easy and inexpensive solution.
If you have Ikea-like furniture, your chair might have glue in its joints.
This glue can wear out several times during its life. The squeaking noises can start once parts of the chair rub against one another. So keep a bottle of wood glue handy.
Because they’re heavier and bulkier with the weight of a fully upholstered seat, armchairs usually have thicker and sturdier legs compared to the typical wooden chair.
However, this doesn’t mean that your armchair is immune from any squeaking from loose legs. If your armchair has rusty swivel wheels, expect to hear A LOT of noise.
To figure out where the noise is coming from, check the legs or wheels first.
But what do you do if the source of the noise is elsewhere?
You may need to take the upholstered pieces off your chair and to an upholsterer. This is also the perfect time to get new fabric for your chair if it’s been a while.
At the end of the day, it’s usually best to take your chair to a professional when it comes to these armchairs, as the source of the squeaks may not be visible to you.
This is especially true if this is your first time trying to fix one yourself.
Nowadays, this is the type of chair we rely on the most.
They give you the perfect position by giving you control over multiple factors, such as the chair back angle, chair height, and more.
However, this comes at a disadvantage. All these moving parts are far more likely to make noise than with typical chairs, particularly if you frequently adjust your office chair.
All these parts can rub against one another, creating friction and squeaking.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect for each component of your squeaky office chair.
- Reclining features typically start making noise immediately because of your added weight on the chair.
- Armrests are some of the weakest parts of your chair, which means they are prone to breaking or squeaking.
- Height adjustments also involve a lot of moving parts, which shouldn’t be much of an issue if you keep your chair at the same height all the time. But if you’re sharing it with someone else, the constant adjustments will end up making this noisy.
- The swivel wheels at the bottom of your chair can be made of various materials. Depending on your weight, the age of the chair, and your general use, these wheels can break down, crack, or just end up getting stuck, thus becoming a source of added noise and inconvenience.
Combine all these parts, and you have a lot to maintain just to keep your chair quiet. The same considerations apply for gaming chairs, as well.
It’s normal to start hearing squeaks from your chair soon after you first bring it home. This means that most of the time, it’s not an issue of old and rusty parts.
Wheelchairs typically have the same features and moving parts, so they can also end up squeaking.
However, manufacturers usually build them using sturdier materials and designs.
As you’ve seen, it doesn’t take much to fix a squeaky chair.
It just requires you to oil and maintains your chair parts. Most of the issues that cause all that noise are something that a lot of people can easily fix on their own.
You just need someone to guide you, along with basic tools and components, and you’re set!
We hope this guide gave you all kinds of information to make sure you won’t have to deal with that squeaky office chair again!
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