Furniture Casters: Tips for Choosing and Installing Them

Let's see how and when it makes sense to mount casters under home furniture.

Furniture casters

We only realize how heavy the furniture in our house is the moment we have to move it for whatever reason.

Mounting casters under a piece of furniture can be the ultimate solution to prevent a lot of hassle and very likely "witch's strikes"; however, it is not always and in any case advisable to do so.

There are pieces of furniture, especially those that are not too large, that already when they are sold are equipped with casters; these are those pieces of furniture that are supposed to need to be moved with some frequency, one among all the television stand cabinet. Other furniture, such as bookcases, fortunately needs to be moved very rarely and only to clean the back of the cabinet and the wall that the cabinet covers.

It would, however, certainly be convenient to be able to move these pieces of furniture ourselves when we want to, even if only once a year, we just have to decide whether the work of mounting the casters and the cost of the casters themselves justify the benefit; these are personal choices that each person makes for his or her own home.

Fortunately, nowadays, there are casters of all types and shapes that can support both the lightest and the most massive and heavy furniture.

An overview of the casters available can be found on this site, for example: Casters Wheels on Amazon

A good furniture casters must have the ability, of course, to be able to rotate 360 degrees on its axis since a fixed wheel would have very limited usefulness.

Having established that the advantages of fitting wheels to furniture are definitely numerous there remains the aesthetic problem and the, shall we say, functional one.

As mentioned, a good caster should be able to rotate freely to allow the furniture to be moved in all directions, and it should also be equipped with a wheel stop brake to prevent the furniture from accidentally moving from its position when we do not want it to. Smaller, discrete casters, however, often lack wheel stops, and this is a problem.

A table, for example, is one of those pieces of furniture that one would like to be able to move often both to enable household cleaning and to allow guests to sit easily. If we place wheels under the table that are not equipped with wheel stops, small and unintentional bumps would cause our table to move in an undesirable manner.

When we choose to install casters under a large piece of furniture we will obviously have to place them at the corners of the furniture and, if possible, try to conceal them behind the feet that support the furniture; sometimes this is possible and sometimes not, depending on the furniture.

If we wanted to conceal the casters we would also have to consider installing a plinth around the entire perimeter of the cabinet. The result would be aesthetically pleasing, but the plinth, if it is fixed, would then not allow us to unlock the wheel stop easily when we need to move our furniture.

As you can see, we must always look for the right compromise between practicality and aesthetics. In any case make sure, even before installing them, that the casters can rotate freely without bumping into the plinth, if any.

A final tip concerns the height of the furniture casters themselves; make sure from the start how much the wheels will raise your cabinet. The cabinet should be off the floor by a few millimeters so as not to incur, especially when the casters are concealed by the plinth, a phantasmagoric and unnatural levitation effect.

So, in other cases, rather than conceal and achieve improbable effects, it is just better to remove the plinth of the cabinet all the way around and leave the furniture casters exposed, of course trying, where possible, to buy wheels that best match the cabinet itself.

And finally, let's come to the two main types of attachment of casters to the cabinet: there are casters that come with a plate and are simply attached with screws to the cabinet and those that come with a sleeve (threaded or not) and that, in order to be installed, require drilling a hole with a drill in the area where the pin will later fit.

We mentioned earlier that the casters should be free to rotate and not bump against a possible plinth, similarly we also need to make sure, when the plinth is not present and the casters are exposed, that the casters do not protrude beyond the cabinet itself: to make sure of this we rotate the wheels completely outward before fixing them with screws or drilling any holes.

The retractable caster wheels for sofa

Of all furniture, the sofa is certainly the one that most often needs to be moved, whether the sofa is placed under a ladder or in the middle of the room.

In the second case it will be more frequent to have to move it but, in both cases a thorough cleaning under the sofa is necessary from time to time.

Moving the sofa is always a struggle, which is why it is one of the pieces of furniture that benefits most from the presence of castors.

Always on the lookout for innovative products, we therefore came across an interesting retractable furniture castors that is produced by a Turkish company and allows for a sofa with a classic fixed foot, but only in appearance.

By lifting the sofa just a little bit, the recessed wheel, which is equipped with a snap mechanism, comes out of the foot and can be used to move the sofa with just one finger.

Similarly, pressing the sofa against the floor causes the wheel to click and snap back into its housing, leaving only the foot fixed.

It is an interesting and patented mechanism that has the only drawback of having to detach the original foot of the sofa to replace it with one, as close as possible to the original, equipped with a click wheel. The couch casters are swivel and thus allow it to be moved in all directions.

I leave a video of the product in question that best explains the mechanism.

Invisible recessed casters

Recessed furniture casters are yet another type of casters that can be used only under certain conditions, namely, where there is a solid wood cabinet foot.

In order to fix an invisible recessed wheel, it is in fact necessary to carve a slot inside the cabinet foot, by means of a milling cutter, is then to fit the wheel into it.

This is one of the best solutions from an aesthetic point of view, although these casters are not suitable for heavy furniture and, in any case, need some work to be applied.