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Why Does My Office Chair Squeak?

Office Chair

A squeaky office chair can be a nuisance to people around you. It is distracting to hear noises every time you make any movement. While a squeaky chair may seem minor, it brings numerous disadvantages. The main issue with a squeaky office chair is that most people don’t know how to fix it. So, why does an office chair squeak? 

Quick Answer

The first step to fixing a squeaky office chair is knowing why it’s squeaking. There are several causes of office chair squeaking, such as loose or rusty bolts and buts, weak joints, worn-out wheels, broken parts, etc. 

Note that even every office chair produces sounds. However, the noise level is relatively low, between 40 and 60 dB. But when an office chair squeaks, it makes the noise worse. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of a squeaking office chair. 

Reasons Your Office Chair Squeaks and How To Fix Them 

The noise of a squeaking office chair is so obvious that it cannot be inconspicuous. An office chair comprises many parts, and when these parts are not well installed or become faulty, the chair will produce a squeaking noise. 

In most cases, fixing the squeaking noise involves lubricating parts, assembling parts correctly, or replacing worn-out parts. Below are some of the most common reasons office chairs produce squeaking noise. 

Reason #1: Loose Bolts and Nuts 

Loose bolts and nuts are the most common reason an office chair squeaks. While coupling the chair, if the bolts and nuts are not tightened properly, those little spaces will cause the chair to squeak. Even if you tighten the bolts and nuts, they will become loose with time as you use the chair. 

The bolts and nuts loosen after a while because of the body weight shifts the chair has to bear. It’s normal because bolts wouldn’t stay tight for a lifetime. So, when the chair starts to squeak, inspect to determine which bolts and nuts are loose and tighten them. 

Reason #2: Rusty Parts  

Rusting parts can also cause an office chair to produce a squeaking noise. Rusting happens when there are lots of metal parts on the office chair. While office chairs are well treated to prevent rust, with time, the fine coating on the metal will start to fade away, and rusting will occur. 

You can tell parts of your chair are rusting by its color. For rusting to occur, there must be moisture and air. And when parts of your office chair start to rust, such as the bolts and nuts, it reduces the chair’s integrity and how much weight it can carry. You can prevent rust by inspecting the metallic parts of the chair from time to time. Covering metallic parts with spray paint after a while can also help prevent rust. 

Reason #3: Worn-Out Wheels/Caster 

Another thing to be on the lookout for is the wheels or caster of the chair. The wheels and casters are made of moving parts which, if worn out, could produce a squeaking noise. These parts wear out due to frequent use. Also, when you place a weight past the weight-bearing limit of the chair, you wear out the wheels and casters quicker. 

If the casters or wheels have a worn thread, thread crack, chipped thread, tread delamination, etc., all contribute to the squeaking noise produced by the wheels or casters. To fix this, you may have to replace the wheels or casters. However, you can prevent the casters’ degradation by frequently lubricating it and staying within the chair’s weight limit. 

Reason #4: Weak Joints

Weak joints are the most common reason an office chair produces a squeaking noise. The office chair is made of several parts put together to form the chair. As you use the chair, you put weight on different joints across the chair. While the manufacturer designs these parts durably, they will start to give out with time

If the joints get too weak, they create more movement than they did when they were new. This movement rubbing against other parts of the chair produces a squeaking noise. Parts like the seat, back, and armrest are notorious for producing squeaking noise when they get weak. 

Reason #5: Broken Parts 

If broken parts are on the office chair, the chair will not be as sturdy as it should be. In other words, other components that depend on the damaged part to be sturdy will move back and forth, causing the squeaking noise. 

To fix this, you need to replace the broken part. Because an office chair comprises different parts, you can easily purchase and install the broken part.  

Reason #6: Gas Lift Mechanism 

If the office chair you use has a gas lift, the squeaking noise you hear could be produced by it. The gas lift piston makes use of a pneumatic cylinder. In the cylinder, if the gasket on the piston shaft is damaged, it can cause it to produce a squeaking noise anytime you sit or stand up. 

To avoid this, you should continually lubricate the gas cylinder properly. Using lithium grease can help prevent this squeaking noise from arising. Do not try to fix the gas lift if you do not have sufficient knowledge or experience on how to go about it, as the gas in it could burst out with slight damage. 

Quick Tip

You should consider getting a replacement chair if the problem is more severe than worn-out nuts or faulty casters.


This article has enlightened you on why an office chair produces a squeaking noise. Also, remember that every chair has a different design. Hence, the process of disassembling or lubricating moving parts of the chair differs from one another. It is also advisable to take note of damaged areas so you know what to replace and what can be repaired. And if your office chair is primarily made of wood, take note of loose joints that are likely the culprit and use wood glue to reattach broken parts. 

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