Protecting Your Floor from Rocking Chair Wear
If you have a rocking chair and any type of hard flooring, you may had problems with the chair leaving marks or scratches on the surface. To prevent this from happening, you can choose from getting a stationary rocker or placing thin strips on the bottom of the rockers. Of the four different method presented here, none require more than an hour or so and aside from replacing the rocker, there is no significant cost involved.
A stationary rocker, commonly called a glider rocking chair, is balanced on a floor pedestal that never moves so it won't cause any damage to your floors. The problem is that most rocking chairs are not easily converted to a glider style so you would most likely have to buy or build a new rocking chair. This is a sure way to avoid marking the floor, but it may not be the most acceptable, especially if you have a family heirloom or other rocking chair that can't be replaced or modified.
Rugs and Runners
If you have an antique rocking chair that is marking the floor, try using a small rug or carpet runner beneath the rockers of the chair. The rug may have a tendency to crawl out from under the rocker during use but it is the only way to protect the floor without making any physical modifications to your antique rocker. Avoid a thick nap rug as pile carpeting can inhibit the rocking motion of the chair. If possible use a flat rubber runner or a larger oval rug on which the chair can be centered.
Another way to protect the floor is to put rocker covers on your rocking chair. Many crafts and furniture stores have covers available that will work. The cover can also be made from crochet or knitting, or can be crated in place by wrapping light fabrics around the rockers. As long as the wrappings are tight and fastened securely at each end, this method may be the most aesthetic choice as it allows you to put some personal creativity into the chair. A similar but less creative method is use purchase strips of rubber hose from the hardware store, cut them in lengths to fit the rails, and then slice them once lengthwise. Open the hose and slip it over the rocker rails. Use superglue or a clear epoxy to fix the ends in place, and trim them to conform to the rockers.
Cut two strips of inner tube that are as wide as the rockers, and 2 inches shorter. Use an epoxy cement to bond the strips to the rockers. Apply the epxoy to the bottom of the rails and then stretch the inner tube strip just enough to fit the rails. Lock the tube in place with C-clamps. Alternatively, cut the strips wider and longer, and then trim them in place after the glue has fully dried. Be sure the material is lightly stretch to remove air bubbles and creating a thinner coating.