Chair Glide FAQ

"I'd like to order some of those whatchamacallits... you know those things for the bottom of the chair legs?"

You may be wondering, what the heck is a “glide,” anyway? Most simply put, glides are the rubber or plastic “feet” that protect the metal base of your chair from the floor and the floor from the metal base of your chair. Perhaps the confusion arises from the sheer number of glides there are available. Each and every chair seems to have a different variation, and each and every company produces glides differently. Glides are much like a fingerprint: very few chairs have glides in common.

When Is It Time To Replace?

Look for these three main signs of wear and tear:

  • “Can you hear something?” Though many chairs have a tendency to make noise as they move with or without glides, the sound a chair makes as it's moved across the floor serves as a good indication. Can you hear the metal on your chair base touching the floor? You may want to flip a chair in a heavily trafficked area of the restaurant over to take a peek.
  • How thin are your glides? Though not universally true, many glides become thinner from constant friction as time passes. Much like a tire or the treads on your shoes you can actually see the wear that's happening on your glides. Keep an eye on them: though glides don't wear out quickly they certainly don't last forever. The thinner the glide the less protection your tile floor is getting from the metal base of your chair.
  • Are your chairs even? Another indication of a need for replacement is a feeling of unbalance when sitting in the chair. Do you feel like you're leaning too far in one direction? Though glides won't impact the overall stability of your chair it's best to keep this in mind if your seating seems to move a little more freely than before.

Chair & Glide Pairings

Like a fine wine with a gourmet cheese, pairing glides and chairs is an art form in and of itself.  Our team of buzz experts are here to guide you through…

  • Met Chairs: Internal glides & Over-Cap Glides (this applies both to bar height & standard height) – black
  • Melissa Anne: Grey “rocker” glides. Heavy duty.
  • Madison: (also fits Lehigh, Lafayette) Clear “rocker” glides.
  • Stella: Grey, front glides are rounded on one side, back glides are square.
  • Julep: (also fits Taylor chairs) clear, circular, plastic.
  • Lipse: Come in pre-packed sets of four.

How does one take an old glide out of the chair leg...

In theory glides should slide out of the bottom, but due to the nature of a glide (constantly moving, being pressed into the base of the chair, wearing down over time) they can frequently prove a bit difficult to remove.

  • The best way to remove a “stubborn” glide that doesn't seem to want to come off the base of the chair is with a rubber mallet. Our field service department recommends tapping from the top toward the floor (and always away from yourself, of course!) to gently loosen the glide.

...and then install the replacements?

As mentioned above, glides can be easy to replace but due to the fact that they need to be snug in the base of your chair installation can often require a bit of finesse.

  • Using the same rubber mallet you employed to tap the old glides off the base of your chair legs, carefully line up the replacement glide and tap into place with the mallet.
  • Depending on the age of your chair, it may be necessary to file down the metal a bit prior to replacing the glides. This should be considered on a case-by-case basis: your Customer Service Representatives and Field Service contacts at ISI would be happy to help you determine whether this is necessary.  
Have any more glide questions? Your ISI Customer Service representatives are always buzzing to answer them for you!

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