You have heard a lot about a broken office chair base and how to fix it. But little did you know that office chair arms are most susceptible to breaks and cracks. They get broken due to excessive weight put on them or increased mobility.
In that case, replacing the office chair is not always a solution. Instead, you can perform some simple repairs to fix the broken office chair arm.
The solution to the problem starts with its identification. So, keenly observe your office chair mechanism to see what’s the problem area. If the arms are not working properly, you need to get them fixed.
To help you with that, we have written a detailed article on how to fix broken office chair arms. In this article, we have explained some common defects of the arms along with their possible repairs such as fixing cracks, replacing broken office chair armrests, conditioning leather arms, etc.
Why is My Office Chair Arm Loose?
Well, there can be many reasons behind loose office chair arms. The most apparent of all, your office chair has become so old that its parts including the arms aren’t working properly.
Your office chair armrest can also become loose if the screws of your office chair have become loose or the chair gas lifts aren’t working well. Faulty office chair gas lifts are the most common reason behind squeaky office chairs.
Similarly, dirt and dust is also major reason behind wobbly and squeaky office chairs (we have already discussed how to fix a squeaky office chair. In all these cases, if your office chair is in good working condition otherwise, you should mend the broken or defective parts rather than replace the wobbly office chair altogether.
Materials Required to Fix Office chairs Arm
Once you’ve identified the reason for your broken office chair arm, it’s time to fix them. For this, you can either take your office chair to any furniture repair store or you can do the entire thing at home. If you’re doing this job at home, keep reading.
To fix your broken office chair arms, you will require the same home tool kit that is used to repair any wobbly office chair. Other than that, you will need:
- Duct tape
- Epoxy Resin/ Glue
Once you have arranged all the necessary tools, it’s time to start fixing the broken area on your office chair arm.
Fixing the Broken Office Chair Arms
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix broken office chair arms:
Removing the office chair armrest
First of all, you have to remove the arms from the office chair to repair any sort of defects. Flip the office chair on its side so that the armrest is exposed to you. It would enable you to fix the cracked arm in a better way.
Locate all the screws/bolts on the arms so that you can unscrew them to remove the armrest. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the bolts and keep the removed bolts in a proper place so that they are not lost as you have to reuse them.
Once you have removed all the bolts, carefully remove the armrest from your office chair by slightly pulling it.
Cleaning the armrest
In case you have adjustable chair arms, you can easily remove the build-up dust and debris from them. Carefully observe the adjustable arm mechanism to pinpoint the dirt and remove it with a dry cotton cloth or a damp cloth.
Office chairs with the highest-grade chair fabric don’t generally come with plastic arms. But, if your office chair has plastic arms, you can easily wash them for cleaning purposes. After washing, make sure to dry your office chair completely either with a dry cloth or a hair dryer. Never dry armrests by putting them under sunlight as it may damage them.
Fixing the Cracks of Broken Office Chair Arm
Mostly, office chair arms are made of plastic materials, so they are the first part of the office chair that gets cracked. If your office chair armrest is made up of hard plastic and it gets broken, you cannot repair it. But if the plastic is repairable and your office chair armrests have mild cracks or splits, you can repair them in simple steps.
- Glue the cracked parts:
Put the glue between the cracked or broken parts and clamp both parts together until they are completely fastened. Wear gloves to keep your hand clean as the glue is very sticky and it may stick to your hands. In case, you’re using epoxy, wipe off excess epoxy from the crack.
- Hold the broken pieces together:
Use rope, duct tape, or wire to hold the broken pieces together until the glue dries. Once it dries up and all the parts are completely fastened, remove the excess wire, rope, or duct tape. However, if it is still not secure, apply more glue and duct tape again until the affected area gets in place.
- Reinstall the armrest back into the chair:
Finally, it’s time to reinstall the armrest back onto the chair. Set the armrest in its required place and properly align the screw holes of the arms to those of the chair. Don’t tighten the bolts before ensuring that they are correctly aligned as properly aligned bolts help in evenly shifting the pressure and protecting the armrests. Once you are satisfied, fasten all the screws.
Epoxy is a very effective adhesive and it works well to fix the crack of mild level very easily, but it’s not a permanent solution. If the crack is serious, you have to replace the chair armrest and this method is also explained in the coming paras.
Repairing the leather armrest
Exposure to heat or sunlight leads to wear and tear of leather. For repairing a leather armrest, you have to carry on the same steps of removing and cleaning the armrest mentioned above. After that, put the leather conditioner on a cloth and then apply it on the damaged area in a circular motion.
Allow the leather to completely dry out. It’s better to do a spot test before applying leather conditioner to the armrest. Leather conditioner would nourish the fibers of leather and prevent it from becoming brittle or stiff. It would increase the lifespan and shine of leather and prevent it from damage as well.
Replacing the armrest
If the crack is deep, then you have to replace the armrest. Take the measurements of your previous armrest and search for new armrests online or in a furniture store. Make sure to search for armrests of the right size because not all office chairs have the same arm measurements.
Once you have bought the armrest, it’s time to get them attached to your chair. Align the holes on the armrest with the holes present on the chair base. Place back the screws/bolts on their respective holes and tighten them with a help of a screwdriver. You can sit on the chair to check if the arms are attached the right way or not.
Repair foam armrest
Foam armrests can also be repaired easily at home. Foam on the armrests often gets despised due to uneven pressure. So firmly press the armrest in such a way that it gets back to its original position.
You can also stuff the armrest with new foam if you feel close. For this, first, remove the old foam from the armrest. After that take new foam and cut it according to the size of the armrest. After putting it into the armrest, use spray adhesive or a good quality fabric glue to fix it in its place.
If all of the above-mentioned fixes do not work out, you can try some short-term fixes such as using a large strong rubber band or rope to tie the armrests to their required place. This would not be visually pleasing but can save you money and time
Conclusion – Final Thoughts!
In sum, broken chair bases, broken wheels, and broken office chair arms are all common things in office chairs. Keep a check on your office chair mechanism to see whether there is an issue that needs to be fixed.
Most office chairs go through the issue of squeaky or broken arms, so you don’t have to worry if your chair has also got this issue. You can easily fix your squeaky office chairs at home especially when their squeakiness is caused by arms.
However, if the damage is beyond repair, there is no other option than to get new office chair arms, in case your office chair has adjustable chair arms.