Rubber Vs Polyurethane Castor Wheels: Which Should You Roll With?
T Tracey Williams

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Castor Wheels: Which Should You Roll With?

Dec 20, 2022
When choosing castor wheels for your warehouse equipment, it’s important to secure the right specification to meet your precise needs. Selecting the wrong type of castor could have implications for productivity in the workplace, pose safety risks, or increase your repair costs.

When considering which type of castor wheels you need, there are different factors to consider, including size, fixed/swivel action, and tyre material. Rubber and polyurethane castor wheels are the most common choices, but what is the difference between them?

Rubber castor wheels

Rubber castors fall into three broad groups: natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and elastic rubber, which is a combination of natural and synthetic. Rubber compounds can be manufactured to different levels of hardness to match the intended application.

Pros and cons:

Pros of rubber castors Cons of rubber castors
Superb grip
Smooth movement
Will not cause damage and wear to soft floors
Superior cushioning
Non-slip in wet conditions
Quieter than polyurethane castors
Less durable than polyurethane
Wears more quickly than polyurethane
Black rubber can leave marks on flooring
Polyurethane castor wheels

Polyurethane (PU) castors are manufactured from a unique material that combines the elasticity of rubber wheels with the strength and durability of metal wheels. Consequently, polyurethane is a popular choice for castors in a variety of industrial and commercial settings.

Pros and cons

Pros of PU castors Cons of PU castors
Good traction
High load-bearing capacity
May become brittle in certain circumstances
May cause wears to soft flooring surfaces

Choosing the right castor wheel for your floor surface

While rubber and polyurethane are both suited to many floor surfaces, it’s important to match your chosen castor to your exact requirements. For example, if protecting the floor or keeping noise levels low are your priorities, rubber castor wheels would be a better choice.

The type of flooring and the presence of debris will affect the amount of force needed to move trolleys.

For uneven floors, select castors with a soft, high thickness tread and a wide diameter.

For smooth floors or heavy loads, choose castor wheels with a rigid tread, or heavy-duty castors.

Need advice about which castor wheels you should purchase? Speak to Rolltek International today.

If you need professional advice about which castor wheels will best suit your business, please get in touch with our experts on 01788 229400or email

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