When buying a height-adjustable desk, there several crucial things you need to keep in mind. One of them is a wobbling desk. You can't work efficiently with an unstable desk. But this problem is so common that most people think all standing desks wobble.
But that's just a misconception. Wobbling is a problem that's caused by a number of factors, and they can be fixed. In this article, we are looking at the top 9 reasons your standing desk is wobbling and how to correct them.
1. Base Structure
The base of your standing desk is the first thing you need to check if your desk is wobbling. What kind of base configuration are you using? There are two major configurations in the market – upside-down U and cross support designs.
The 'upside down U' base configurations lack the cross-support feature and are usually unstable. With the columns standing on their own, the weight distribution at the base is very poor. That's what causes them to wobble. Keep the columns tight to reduce movements and fix the problem.
2. Loose Hardware (bolts and screws)
Standing desks are manufactured in various parts that are later assembled. From the desktop to the frame, you need to keep these parts firmly in place to prevent instability. So if your desk is wobbling, you need to check for loose hardware.
Tighten all screws and bolts to restore the stability of the desk. In most cases, the movement of the desktop as you adjust the height causes the screws and bolts to loosen. But if the desk is still new and unstable, it could be an assembly error.
3. Multiple Moving Parts
The configuration of standing desks varies depending on the user's needs. To make these desks more comfortable and effective, the manufacturer may add more features to accommodate user needs. One of the common moving parts added to these desks are the expandable cross support.
What additional moving parts do to the desk is reducing its stability. If just one of the bolts or screws loosens, the desk will start wobbling. So, when looking for a stable desk, go for less moving parts.
4. Poor Fitting Glides
This is a common problem with less expensive standing desks. Glides are simply bearings that fit in the columns to serve two main purposes. First, they provide a smooth adjustment between the aluminium and steel columns by acting as a lubricant. Second, they fill in the gap between the metals, creating the upright columns.
If the glides are poorly fit, then you will have a problem with desk instability. So, you need to check whether you have the right glide size. If yes, check whether they are properly installed. If not, call a standing desk specialist to repair to fix the wobbling problem.
5. Glides On One Column End Only
As mentioned above, glides are very crucial in standing desks. These bearings make the desk's height adjust easily by reducing friction between metallic frames. But where they have been placed in the column determines the stability of the desk.
For a stable desk, the glides should be put on the top and bottom of the column. But there are inexpensive desks that have glides on one end of the column. The aim is to cut the cost of manufacturing. These desks end up with compromised stability hence the wobbling.
6. Decreasing Column Overlap
The issue of column overlap is very common in old and some inexpensive standing desks. A standard height adjustable frame has two tubes in every column. One of the tunes is longer, and the difference in size is the overlap space. Again, in a standard desk, the overlap is usually five inches.
If the overlap begins to decrease due to a wrong setup or malfunction, the desk will become unstable. If one column overlap decreases by just half an inch, the desk will be susceptible to wobble. So, keep checking the state of the column overlap to maintain a sturdy desk.
7. No wedge System
If you go for a desk without the cross support, then it must have the wedge system. The cross support keeps the frame sturdy by creating a stable bottom. If it is not there, then the wedge system can help keep the columns stable by reducing movement.
If you invest in an 'upside down U' model, it should have the wedge system connecting the frame to the desktop. This system will greatly improve the stability of the desk by reducing any wobble below 45 degrees. The wedge system works great for inverted columns.
8. Assembly problems
Sometimes the wobble may have nothing to do with the factory faults but the installer. Standing desks is a bit complicated to assemble, especially when you have many accessories and moving parts. That's why it is recommended that you work with a specialist for the assembly work.
If the assembler did not tighten the bolts and screws, you would have stability issues. If you did DIY and the desk is still wobbling, hire a specialist to check it and fix the problem. Otherwise, you might be looking for a problem in the wrong areas.
9. Uneven Floor
The other thing that might make the desk susceptible to wobble is the uneven floor. Sometimes, the floor may not be even. If one side of the columns is standing uneven floor, then the desk will be unstable.
So, before you even start working on the desk, check for the uneven floor. Even a quarter-inch of an even floor can cause the standing desk a lot of wobbling. If the floor is the problem, move the desk to another corner or hire a contractor to fix it.
It's very common to have a standing desk wobbling, but it shouldn't. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of what could be causing the problem. Some of the causes are pretty simple to fix, as shown in this guide. But working with a specialist guarantees a sturdy standing desk.