Unlike casters, furniture glides, also called floor glides, are wheel-less furniture leg attachments that allow furniture to sit or be moved across the floor with minimal friction and scratching. Furniture that remains stationary and does not require casters use smooth-bottomed furniture glides as an ideal alternative. Types of furniture glides include adjustable glides, single prong glides, table glides, chair leg glides and swivel glides.
Furniture glides have uses in numerous industries including education, furniture, commercial settings, manufacturing, automotive and woodworking, serving applications such as chairs, tables, computer desks, dressers and school furniture. These glide products work to neutralize the friction between the furniture and the flooring by acting as a buffer. Furniture glides are able to facilitate furniture movement over various flooring materials without damaging either the floor or the furniture. Furniture glides are a simple construction, consisting of a base attached to a stem, which together are fastened to furniture legs. The base can consist of a screw or nail to be mounted into the furniture leg, or it can consist of a cap that the furniture leg is fitted into. Stems can consist of materials such as hard rubber, soft rubber, plastic or nylon formed into smooth-bottomed caps. Thick surface protector pads may be added on top of furniture glides for additional protection. Furniture glides and pads are also offered in various shapes, such as rectangular, round, square and triangular.
There are several benefits that come from using furniture glides rather than casters
, such as cost-efficiency, durability and flexibility. Because casters can be more expensive than glides, it can often be economical to invest in glides instead of casters. However, failure to carefully pair a glide with its application can result in floor damage or damage to the equipment mounted on the glide. In such cases, the initial investment in a caster could result in net savings in the long run. In some cases though, furniture glides offer better flooring protection when compared to heavy duty metal casters that sometimes leave dents in the flooring. However, casters are generally more wear-resistant and offer a better range of all-around motion. Because of the variability of a caster or glide’s performance in different contexts, careful considerations about a caster or glide’s application should be made in advance of a purchasing decision.