How to Replace an Armrest on an Office Chair


Next to the wheels, the armrests of an office chair get the most wear. You might not notice it while you are working, but your arms are constantly moving on and off and back and forth over the armrests. This constant mild abrasion eventually causes the plastic or upholstery armrests to wear. Armrests can be replaced with a few basic tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Office chair
  • Replacement armrest or arm pad (depending on chair design)
  • Screwdrive or hex wrench (depending on chair design)

Replacing Arm Pads

  • Lay the chair on its side with the arm to be repaired facing up.

  • Remove the 1/4-inch bolts or screws from under the top of the arm to pull off the arm pad.

  • Insert one of the 1/4-inch bolts or screws through one of holes in the chair's arm and position the new arm pad so that the screw or bolt fits into the proper mounting hole of the pad. Turn the fastener so it engages the pad. Do not tighten it at this point.

  • Insert the other screw or bolt through the second hole in the arm rest and into the mounting hole of the pad. Turn it to engage the fastener in the mounting hole.

  • Tighten both bolts or screws.

Replacing Single-Piece Chair Arms

  • Remove the two bolts or screws that attach the chair arm to the underside of the seat and take off the old arm.

  • Position the new chair arm so that the holes at the bottom line up with the mounting holes in the base of the chair.

  • Insert one of the screws or bolts through one of the holes in the chair arm and into the mounting hole in the underside of the seat. Turns it to engage the fastener in the hole. Repeat with the other screw or bolt.

  • Tighten both fasteners.

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  • Photo Credit girl on the office chair image by Dmitri MIkitenko from
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