Are Office Chair Bases Universal?

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are office chair bases universal

Are office chair bases universal? The short answer is no! The base is the essential part of the chair that carries the load. It also seems to be the part that gets damaged and needs to be replaced more frequently.

Office chairs should be comfortable, durable, safe and have excellent ergonomics. If you can bring all these aspects together in one product, you have a winner.

The selection of the correct base is of the utmost importance to provide much-needed stability to the chair. When this detail is neglected, it may come back to haunt you.

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Although most office chair bases seem universal, they vary in diameters between 23 and 28 inches with the larger diameter being more stable. The number of spokes may also vary, ranging from four to six.

When buying office chairs, it is important to base your decision on reliable information about features and quality.

When buying good quality, it benefits the general well-being of employees that spend many hours per day sitting down in front of a desk.

To avoid breakage and accidents resulting from poorly designed bases, made of inferior materials, read through this article to make an informed choice.

Today, we will take a look at different materials used for bases as well as their pros and cons. We will also look at the effect of wheels fitted to the base versus the stable standing chairs and briefly touch on the development of a universal base.

Range of Materials Used for Office Chair Bases

The base is a vital part of the chair and can be made of various materials.  The most common ones are plastic, steel, wood or aluminium. 

Plastic Material

Plastic is a type of polypropylene and is usually not very reliable as it can be damaged easily.  The base may snap when the user’s weight causes stress on the structure. 

These types of bases are not even reliable for people of average weight.  The plastic base may be less expensive, but will have a shorter duration and will have to be replaced much sooner. 

When a strut is added to the base during the moulding process, it becomes more durable but also more expensive. High-grade nylon, a type of plastic,  may even be superior to aluminium with the ability to flex without cracking or breaking.

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Steel Material

A steel base seems to be a more obvious choice for people of larger size. The main advantage is the strength of both the spokes or any other part of the base. 

So, are all office chair bases universal? The production of a steel base is more complex and more expensive than plastic or aluminium and should thus be purchased only when necessary. 

The exception is when a company or business prefers executive chairs with a steel base as part of their business culture.

Wood Material

When the base has the appearance of wood, this part is most likely only decorative as it may be hiding a steel core. Wood is usually very stylish, but on its own, it will not be durable or strong enough to carry much weight.  

Taking care of the wood is an additional responsibility to ensure longer-term durability and keep it looking good.

Aluminium Material

The aluminium chair base is the most popular option on the market.  In an office setup with people varying in weight from small to fairly large, this type of chair can usually accommodate the range of people most effectively. 

These bases are reasonably priced, they will last longer and because it is lightweight, they can be moved around more easily. 

The production time for aluminium chair bases is relatively short when great quantities of the product are ordered.

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Are Office Chair Bases Universal with or Without Wheels?

Most of us picture the office chair with wheels, while we slide along in our designated office space and easily twirl around when needed.  We seldom think about whether it is a good or a bad thing for our bodies or for the office environment.

Would it surprise you to learn that there are benefits to stationary chairs?

Restricting the movement of employees can actually improve productivity. Movement is associated with playfulness and can distract from productivity and focus. 

The moving wheels can cause injuries like rolling over toes or the chair falling over when wheels or casters break. 

The floor surface or carpets of the office get damaged by the continuous rolling of the wheels.  

Moving wheels over carpet surfaces can even create static electricity that interferes with technology.

Development of Universal Chair Bases

While there are still numerous varieties of office chair bases available on the market, some designers attempted to develop a universal chair base that will fit most office chairs. 

This design has a 6-way star shape and is made of heavy-duty, durable high-grade nylon and will fit almost any chair.

When it comes to the maintenance of office chairs, this may solve many problems. If a four-legged chair provides 71% stability and by adding a fight spoke, it goes up to 81%, a six-legged chair should be extremely stable.

What Can We Conclude?

If a company values its employees, it will value their well-being and provide the best office chairs they can afford.  When a durable, safe and super supportive base is chosen, it benefits both the company and employees when it provides maximum comfort.

Companies want to avoid injuries as well as the consistent replacement of broken chairs. The type of chairs you choose can even impact productivity and the working culture of the company.  You may choose to keep your chairs stationary while your company moves forward.

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The Way Forward

Many factors like your budget and the type of business you run will determine your choice of the type of office chair you are looking for. 

Determine your requirements. Start at the selection of the correct base and then also consider the other important features like ergonomics, comfortable seating and armrests.

You want your chairs to be safe and comfortable and for them to last! Always buy the best quality you can afford.

Shop around! Buy a chair that in the long run, in the unfortunate situation of breakage, can be repaired.  Know where to find repair parts for maintenance.

So, on the question, are all office chair bases universal, let your chairs reflect the type of business you run:  stable, safe, and reliable with products that last almost forever!

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