You may have noticed that some rocking chairs will move forward or from side-to-side when you rock in them. This phenomenon, known as “walking,” is a common problem. It happens when one of the chair’s rockers is smaller or more worn down than the other, or when there’s not enough friction between the chair and floor. Fortunately, there are several ways that this problem can be solved.
The best and most permanent way to stop rocking chairs from moving across the floor is to fix the chair’s defective rocker. Turn the chair over and plane the bottom of the larger rocker to match the size of the smaller one. This way, the rockers will be even and should therefore stay in place.
A more temporary fix for the walking problem is to fasten one screw eye to the back of the chair’s bottom rung and another to the baseboard directly behind the rocker. Then tie a piece of stout cord between the screws to hold the chair in place and keep it from moving forward.
If you lack the tools necessary to do the above, another simple solution is to glue a strip of material such as rug padding or felt onto the bottoms of the rockers. This should stop rocking chairs from sliding around on smooth surfaces, as it creates more friction between the rockers and the floor. Make sure the material you use is evenly spread out over each rocker and that there are no bubbles, otherwise your rocking chair might give you a bumpy ride.
Following these tips should help to stop rocking chairs from walking and instead let them rock on.
This post was first published in 2012 and has been updated.