How to Protect Floors From School Chairs & Desks

Written by peggy epstein
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When kids drag their desk chairs across the classroom, or when teachers rearrange classroom furniture, they usually give little thought to what's happening to the floors. Although it's inevitable that floors in schools will take a great deal of punishment, some of that damage can be avoided. For very little expense and not a lot of labour, classroom floors can be protected from the marring and scratching caused by the movement of furniture. In addition to protecting the floor, using protection on the legs of school furniture can also reduce classroom noise.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paring knife
  • Tennis balls for each chair leg
  • Nylon chair leg glides
  • Felt stair glides
  • Nail-on wood glides
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Peel and stick felt pads
  • Chair mats

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  1. 1

    Cut holes in tennis balls with a sharp paring knife; the holes should be just small enough to fit tightly when the tennis ball is slipped onto the bottom of the chair or table leg. Although the look of the tennis balls is not aesthetically pleasing, this simple method will protect the floor even when furniture is dragged or pushed across the surface. Using tennis balls in this way is an inexpensive solution, and, as a bonus, this method can dramatically reduce noise levels.

  2. 2

    Snap nylon chair glides onto existing, worn-out chair glides. Nylon glides will protect vinyl composition tile, the most common floor covering in schools, from marring and scratching. Nylon chair glides are easier to install than tennis balls and last longer. However, this is a more expensive solution. Since they are designed to snap onto existing glides, their installation is quick and simple.

  3. 3

    Cover existing worn-out chair glides with felt snap-on glides. Felt glides are less expensive than nylon glides and, because of the felt's texture, provide better protection with more noise reduction. An additional benefit of felt glides is that worn-out felt can be replaced with new felt that just sticks to the bottom of the previous pad.

  4. 4

    Remove the worn-out glides with a pair of pliers and use a hammer to install nail-on furniture glides onto wooden furniture. Nail-on glides will nail into existing holes made by the worn-out glides.

  5. 5

    Clean the bottoms of chair and desk legs with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol. Remove the covering from peel and stick felt protectors and stick them to the furniture's legs. Peel and stick felt pads provide an economic alternative to snap-on felt glides, but the stickiness is not permanent, so replacement will be necessary.

  6. 6

    Place a chair mat under each chair at computer workstations and under the teacher's chair. Chair mats not only provide protection to hard floors, but also prevent premature carpet wear.

Tips and warnings

  • Check the bottoms of chair and desk legs frequently to catch worn floor protectors before they have a chance to cause damage.
  • Felt glides do not work on carpeting.
  • Chair mats are manufactured for specific uses, a carpet mat will not work on a hard floor and a hard floor will not stay in place on carpeting.

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