Six Hacks to Fix a Wobbly Hydraulic Bar Stool

Wobbly Hydraulic Bar Stool

Hydraulic bar stools are popular pieces of furniture for entertaining in the home, but over time you may have found that your bar stools have incorporated a slight wobble. There are many reasons why this annoyance may have occurred, and usually the solution is an easy and inexpensive fix. 

Read on to figure out how to better evaluate why your hydraulic bar stool has started to wobble. Then, you can determine which of the six hacks below can help fix the problem. These six hacks are easy, time-saving, and usually do not require a lot of tools. A simple Allen wrench can usually help solve the problem of a wobbly hydraulic bar stool. 

Check for Uneven Floors First

The first problem to check when fixing a wobbly hydraulic bar stool may not be the stool at all, but your uneven floors. Older homes in particular with traditional tiles may have an uneven floor surface that is making hydraulic bar stools wobbly. This is because old tile flooring is prone to have tiles that do not line up accurately like new homes. 

When your floor tiles do not line up precisely, it will trigger your bar stool’s base to rock back and forth. If you have a newer home, the problem may not be an uneven floor surface due to tiles, but could be because you have a textured floor that is causing the uneven surface. Some new homes have slate flooring that causes this issue. 

Your textured floor is probably not challenging for a stool with a base like the uneven tiles would be, but it could be problematic for bar stools with four legs since they will have a difficult time balancing on your textured floor. So, how do you fix this problem since you probably do not want to spend the money replacing your flooring? 

The inexpensive solution to uneven or textured flooring is to purchase a stylish matt to put underneath the stools. This solution works with both flat based and four-legged hydraulic bar stools in that it will create a flat surface that supports both types of seating. That way you do not need to relocate your bar area or replace the flooring below. 

Fix Damage at the Base of the Bar Stool 

If you or your guests tend to drag the hydraulic bar stools across the floor from one area to another, the protective ring or pads that are located on the underside of the base could be damaged and cause your stools to wobble. The cause will depend on what type of hydraulic bar stool you have, whether it is a domed base or flat based design: 

  • Domed base—the protective rubber guard may have come loose or buckled
  • Flat based—the protective pads may have pulled off 

Whether you have a domed base or flat based design, the solution to the damage underneath the base is pretty simple: 

  • Domed base—push the rubber ring back up into the round base
  • Flat based—use adhesive to stick the pad back onto the base 

Although these solutions are simple, that does not make them any less important to complete immediately. This is because the protective rubber rings and pads are there for a reason—they are meant to protect your floor from damage. Therefore, you need to fix them right away so that you do not damage your flooring, which is an expensive fix. 

After you fix the protective rings or pads, make sure you tell your family and friends to pick up the stools when moving them in lieu of dragging them across the floor. That way, you will avoid any damage to the rings and pads going forward and also maintain the condition of your flooring for years to come.  

Look for Damage Between the Base and Column 

If you, your family, or your friends rock on the stools or get up and off your hydraulic bar stools frequently, this overuse may cause the bolts that connect the flat base to the central column to come loose. This will end up causing movement between the base and the column and, in turn, cause your bar stools to become wobbly. 

You can simply tighten these bolts that are in between the flat base and column either using an Allen wrench or using metal adhesive to fix the bolts back into place (although the second solution is permanent). 

If you have a domed base, this cause is a bit rarer in that excessive movement will damage the underside of the base and column. However, excessive weight or rocking could cause a domed base and the welds to break. Unfortunately, the fix for a domed base is not as easy as the flat base. 

When the welds on a domed base break it may cause your bar stool to sit unevenly and become wobbly, and the solution is to replace the base or the entire stool. However, because this cause for domed base bar stools is so rare, you probably will not need to replace your stool.   

Loose Bush Between the Footrest and Gas Lift Column

Hydraulic bar stools all have a plastic lining called a “bush.” This mechanism lines the footrest and the gas lift column and its job is to make sure the movement is smooth and even. However, if your bar stool gets used quite a bit, the bush may come loose from the column, which will cause the bar stool to wobble. 

If the inner lining of your bar stool comes loose from the column and the bush is no longer keeping your bar stool in place, you can use silicone or glue to secure the bush so that the hydraulic column can move up and down smoothly and the seat does not scratch the inside of the column. 

Loose Bolts on a Wooden Bar Stool

If you have a wooden bar stool and the bolts or screws are not tightened evenly when you assemble the stool, it could cause the bar stool to wobble. This is because many wooden bar stools are sold unassembled and then can end up being prone to assembly error. The bolts also may loosen over time and simply need to be re-tightened. 

The solution to this wobble problem is simple—just tighten the bolts and screws with an Allen wrench. If you have tightened the bolts and your bar stool is still wobbly, you will need to complete the following steps: 

  • Loosen each bolt in your bar stool
  • Realign the frame and the seat
  • Tighten the bolts evenly 

The three steps above should fix this issue of a wobbly wooden bar stool. Make sure you complete the three steps on the floor in which you will be keeping your stool so that you do not have to move it. In addition, make sure you position the bolts where they should be before tightening them so that they are placed in the correct spot. 

Tighten Screws on the Underside of the Bar Stool

A seat on a hydraulic bar stool is connected with screws to the column, but if these screws have come loose, it could cause the seat to wobble on top of the column. You can simply check the underside to see if the seat has come loose from the frame. Similar to the other causes of a wobbly bar stool, this solution here is simple. 

You just need to tighten the screws that are located on the underside of your bar stool’s seat to stop it from wobbling. However, you will need to make sure the seat is centered and aligned with the stool’s footrest before tightening the screws. That way the seat will be even and not make you lean when sitting on the stool. 

Once you check the seat and make sure it is centrally aligned, you can tighten each screw one at a time with an Allen wrench and check to make sure they are all firmly in place. This should stop your bar stool from wobbling in the future. 

How Do You Stop a Swiveling Bar Stool? 

Finally, you may want to stop a bar stool from swiveling, particularly if you have children and they are swiveling back and forth and damaging the surrounding furniture. Believe it or not, you can do a few simple steps to stop a swiveling bar stool: 

  • Turn your bar stool upside down so you can find the swivel plate. This connects the base to the seat and looks a lot like two plates on top of each other with a swivel device between them
  • Drill a hole through the top and bottom plates and insert a screw to hold them in place
  • If there are screws or brackets on the base, you can tighten them to stop the bar stool from swiveling. If your bar stool does not have this option, then…
  • You can try to fit a wedge between the rotating pole and the stand and gently hammer it in to lock the plates into place
  • Wrap some tape around the pole and the wedge so that it remains in position 

Although swivel bar stools are popular in restaurants and bars, they could be annoying in the home and luckily there are some easy hacks to stop the swiveling. 



Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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