Wouldn’t it be nice to occasionally move your bed outdoors onto the deck and watch the stars? If your door is big enough, and your carpet’s not too deep, casters make it easy.
Casters also let you easily relocate the living room furniture against the walls to clear a dance space. Or slide a table or trash bin or shelf under a counter or out of sight.
Types of Casters
A caster is a wheel that can be connected to the underside of an object so that you can roll the object around. The wheel itself is part of a housing bracket or “fork” that lets you attach it to the object, generally using screws.
Casters come in two main types: Those with rigid forks let you move an object only backward and forward in a straight line. Swivel casters are much more versatile, having a joint above the fork that lets the wheel spin almost 360 degrees, letting you move things around corners or in any direction.
Common materials for casters include stainless steel, rubber, aluminum, plastic and nylon. The harder the material, the less disturbed by dirt casters will be and the less dirt they will accumulate, so you might even consider industrial offerings such as heavy-duty cast-iron phenolic wheel casters.
Another advantage of using industrial casters is that their housings are usually made by laser-cutting into a block of metal, whereas other casters may be welded and thus less strong. Also, the style that industrial casters provide is a widely admired look.
Tips for Shopping for Casters
You’ll want to determine the maximum amount your piece of furniture or another object weighs when it is fully loaded, so you know the load-bearing capacity you need. You also need to know how much weight particular casters can support and make sure you use enough of them and distribute them appropriately.
Casters with larger widths and diameters tend to be easier to roll and to push over doorways and electrical cords, since they do a better job of distributing the weight. Remember, you will want to be sure to use casters with an easy-to-use braking mechanism built-in so your furniture stays put when and where it should.
Mobile furniture can transform the way you use your house, giving you flexibility and spaciousness where none existed before. Indeed, a little out-of-the-box thinking — and some casters — can turn your bed into a stargazer’s haven.