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How to Fix a Wobbly Hydraulic Barstool

There is almost nothing worse than sitting down on your new or favorite barstool and feeling that disconcerting wobble. There is something about barstools over other types of seating that makes even the slightest movement feel like you might tip right over.

How to Fix a Wobbly Hydraulic Barstool

The good news is a wobble in most barstools, hydraulic or traditional designs, is often a simple thing to fix once you figure out the source of the problem. As you go over the list, there is a chance a wobble might be a combination of multiple issues.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes of wobbly barstools from bottom to top and how to fix them each in turn.

1. Uneven Flooring

For those with smooth vinyl or hardwood flooring around the bar area, this is likely not your source of wobble. But for those with slate flooring or with wide lippage (grout lines) between tiles, the floor itself may be the cause of your wobbly stool. This unevenness means the base of the stool is touching or not touching the floor at any given point.

While more pronounced on bar stools that have four distinct legs and uneven enough floor can cause wobble on solid bases as well. Since changing the floor is not likely an option, the easy and recommended fix is using a floor pad underneath the bottom of the base to even out the contact points.

2. Misaligned Protective Floor Guards

Many bases come with rubber protectors where the bar stool base comes into contact with the floor. Over time especially with heavy use or frequent movement, these floor guards can become uneven. Take a look at the state of the protective flood guards and make any needed adjustments.

Solid bases may have a rubber ring that has become misaligned, while legged stools may just need their adjustable contact points shortened or lengthened to match the other legs. Even if you don’t suspect this is the source of the wobble, it is good to give these a check. Damaged or misaligned floor guards can mean damage to your flooring if not addressed.

3. Looseness Between the Base and Column

Most hydraulic-style bar stools have a central column that runs all the way to a solid base. Depending on the construction of your bar stool, this column may be attached to the base by a series of heavy-duty bolts. If the contact with the floor looks solid, but you notice any movement at the contact of the center pole and the base while checking, it may be this connection point.

If you look at the bottom of the stool base, you will likely see a set of bolts. Tighten each, in turn, making sure to go over each bolt at least twice as adjustments on another may cause one to loosen slightly. When they all seem firm, recheck the bar stool when upright.

4. Gas Lift Column Bush

Hydraulic and gas lift bar stools all have a lining called a bush that sits at the footrest and gas lift column. It helps keep the movement of the bar stool smooth by preventing the metal of the top and bottom column from combining into contact.

While you should naturally expect some spring or movement from this piece, if it gets to the point of feeling unstable, as can happen with constant heavy use,  the bush may have fallen out of place. Once out of place, there is nothing keeping the columns appropriately aligned, resulting in a wobble effect.

Use a little bit of glue or silicone to reattach the bush, but only as much as is necessary. Excess adhesive runs the risk of oozing around the edges, which can restrict the movement of the stool once set.

5. Looseness Between the Seat and Frame

A mirror issue to that with the base column connection, our final check for the source of a wobble is the connection of the seat to the frame and column. This is super easy to check for. Make sure your column is steady, and if you can get the seat to move independently in a way it shouldn’t, this is your connection issue.

Ensure everything is aligned to the center column or supports to distribute the weight correctly. And just like before, tighten each screw in turn, making sure to go over each bolt at least twice as adjustments on another may cause one to loosen slightly. When they all seem firm, recheck the bar stool when upright.

It might seem odd that we didn’t start here since it is probably the easiest to diagnose. But whether you are dealing with a brand new barstool or one with years of use, it is a good idea to check all of these parts periodically. A noticeable wobble is an excellent opportunity to address any other concerns before they become problems as well.

6. Look for Durability

The best way to prevent having to troubleshoot a set of wobbly barstools is to choose durable well crafted furniture from the start. Whether you are looking for a hydraulic barstool like the elegant Cosmo, an artistic statement piece like the Merritt, or a style with a more traditional base profile, Johnston Casuals has a vast catalog to choose from.

Johnston Casuals has been making steel furniture for over 40 years for customers worldwide.  Every piece is as much a piece of art as it is functional. We’re proud of the fact that we truly make all of our furniture from scratch and are honored to be one of the last manufacturers of handmade furniture in America.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for something more traditional, sleek and modern, or a retro style. We have something for everyone, and each piece comes with a wide selection of choices for color and finish. Visit a dealer near you or browse our online catalog to start your journey for a dining room that will last a lifetime.

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