Casters are small wheels that are added to furniture so it can roll across a floor instead of being dragged. They are most common on chairs so they can be pulled in and out of a table or desk easily without damaging the floor. There are different types of casters and they can be made of rubber, plastic or another material. While they are effective at protecting the floor, there are also alternatives.
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Felt can be applied easily to the feet of a chair to prevent scratching damage on a floor without the need to use casters. It is best to then pick up the chair when moving it, but the felt will slide easily across almost any floor type and prevent the feet of the chair from doing any damage to the flooring material. The other advantage of felt pads is that they are not readily visible since they are hidden from view under the chair legs. They need to be checked regularly to ensure the adhesive is still holding. If a pad slides off without notice, the bare chair foot could damage the floor.
A protective mat is usually made of a hardened clear plastic and protects the floor or carpet from a chair that is in frequent motion, such as an office chair or one at a computer desk. The protective mats are not immediately noticeable since they are clear. The mats are relatively inexpensive to replace when needed. You can either lift or slide the chair back and forth as needed since the mat is scratch-resistant and is not likely to be damaged.
Carpet or Throw Rug
Carpeting can protect the floor from damage and prevent the need for casters but a chair being dragged across the carpet fabric will result in wear to the material over time. If you use carpeting, it is a better long-term plan to lift the chair when moving it. A throw rug is another option if you don't want to carpet an entire room. Unlike the protective mat, the throw rug can be used as decoration that does not cause an eyesore in your home or office space. A throw rug could become bunched up easily, depending on the material, and can suffer damage from dragging, but it will protect the floor underneath and eliminate a need for caster usage.