Note* - Many recliner issues are connected and can be solved through different methods. Below you will find some of our other guides that could help you with your repair issues.

A Beginner's Guide to Fixing Leaning Recliners

A recliner is primarily designed for relaxation and comfort. All you need to do is to lie down and feel the comfort flow through from backside down to your legs. However, a recliner that leans too much to one side is uncomfortable to sit in and can even be bad for your posture. If you cannot put up with a broken recliner, then the next step is to learn how to fix a recliner that leans to one side. Fortunately, this is something that you can do with a few basic tools and a bit of knowledge.

What is Causing Your Recliner to Lean?

Before anything else, you must find out the reason why the recliner is leaning to one side. Like every piece of furniture or appliance, recliners have multiple moving parts with their own strengths, lifespans, and weaknesses. If one of these parts breaks down, then the functionality of the recliner will be affected.

Broken/Faulty Reclining Mechanism

The most direct cause of a broken recliner; this simply means that the sliding frame that allows the recliner to lean back and front is broken or has faulty parts. Fortunately, this is also the easiest fix you as you can either realign the frame or replace the broken parts.

Poorly Constructed Chair Frame

This is not caused by wear and tear but is a result of poorly implemented design or engineering from the manufacturer. The good news is that poor manufacturing can be directly felt the moment you sit in the recliner for the first time. With this, you can have the recliner replaced (if the warranty is still in effect) or do some minor repairs yourself.

Uneven Floor

If one peg is more elevated or lowered, this will affect weight distribution which puts considerable strain on the frame. Repairs and replacements are possible but it is highly recommended that you relocate the recliner so that it can stand on an even surface.

Loosened Frame

Common among older recliner models, the design of their frame means that the reclining mechanism will eventually loosen over time. This is immediately noticed once the recliner starts emitting creaking noises whenever you sit down. There might be parts that are compatible with older models as you learn how to fix a recliner that leans to one side but, it is recommended that you buy a newer, more durable model in the future.

Uneven Padding

This is more of a cosmetic problem than a structural one but it might give you the wrong impression that your recliner is broken. Also, it might agitate pain in your back as opposed to relieving it. A simple change or rearrangement of the padding will often solve the problem.

Necessary Tools to Fix Your Recliner

As you find out how to fix a recliner that leans to one side, you will also need to equip yourself with a few tools. You can easily buy these at a local hardware or have some at home already if you’re handy with some minor fixes.

Screwdriver – This is used to unlock panels and joints bolted together by screws. It comes mostly as a set of drivers meant for using to unlock screws with varying heads and sizes.

Wood Glue – This adhesive is meant for rejoining broken wood panels or stiffening wooden joints. Applying it evenly on wooden surfaces in the recliner will fix problems like loosened wood legs along with dents and cracks along the recliner’s wooden panels.

Pry Bar – A thick metal rod with a flattened end on one part and a curved one on another, the pry bar is designed to help you force several unbolted parts open. However, great care should be used when using this as you don’t want to further damage the recliner. Know first if a panel is meant to open before prying it with the bar.

Oil - Either applied via drip or spray, you will need this to lubricate rusted and creaky joints.

Step-by-Step to Fixing Your Recliner


Step 1

Loosen the screws locking the wooden panel below, as well as the footrest (depending on the affected area). Make sure that you keep the screws in one place as you will need them once repairs are done.


Step 2

Remove the upholstery covering the panels that hide the frame. Once the frame is bare, you will have a better view of what needs to be replaced or repaired.


Step 3

If the joints and springs are creaky, you can apply or spray oil on the area to lubricate it. Catch oil drips by placing old newspaper around your work area. You must also wipe away excess oil and constantly check if the frame still squeaks whenever you move it.


Step 4

Use the screwdriver to fasten loose joints. However, be careful when unfastening joints nearest to springs as you might release tension from the coils.


Step 5

Check for hairline cracks along the frame or in vital parts like joints. This is a telltale sign that they need to be replaced as soon as possible.


Step 6

When replacing broken parts, unfasten them first with the screwdrivers and clean the area. Refer to the recliner’s manual as well as the new part’s manual when installing it. Check that everything is fastened correctly.


Step 7

If the wooden panels are broken, you can apply wood glue over the area and provide support by installing metal bracing. If the damage is too severe, you might want to replace it with a new one.


Step 8

Check every joint to see if they are functioning properly and all parts are fastened well. Then, cover the mechanism with the wooden panels and replace the upholstery.

Repairing Broken Reclining Chair - Video

The video below, explains in detail, how to fix a broken recliner. The instructions are very helpful and in depth. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Final Thoughts

Once you have learned how to fix a recliner that leans to one side, the rest of the process will involve regularly checking the recliner for any signs of problems. If they should ever pop up, you can always repeat the process until the problem has been addressed. When you have the tools and knowledge on how to fix a recliner that leans to one side, you can then handle any repairs that need to be addressed.