Note* - Many recliner issues are connected and can be solved through different methods. On the side bar will find some of our other guides that could help you with your repair issues.
A Beginner's Guide to Fixing Leaning Recliners
Recliners are designed for relaxing and comfort, all you need to do is lay down and feel your muscles relax. 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 leaning 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 figure out why your 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/Fault Reclining Mechanism
A fault reclining mechanism is the most direct cause of a broken recliner. This simply means that the sliding frame that allows the recliner to lean backwards and forwards 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 the 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 to strengthen the frame by removing the upholstery.
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.
This is common among older recliners, the design of their frame means that the reclining mechanism will eventually loosen over time. You will immediately notice it 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. For now, try looking for similar models and seeing if you can get part replacements from them, if you can't find any for your own.
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 issue.
Necessary Tools to Fix Your Recliner
In order to fix a recliner that leans to one side, you will need to equip yourself with a few tools. You can easily buy these at a local hardware, but you might already have some at home 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
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.
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.
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.
Use the screwdriver to fasten loose joints. However, be careful when unfastening joints nearest to springs as you might release tension from the coils.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Repair a 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.
Once you have fixed your leaning recliner, the rest of the process will involve checking it for any issues, here and there. 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. It is mainly involves checking for loosened screws, weakened mechanisms, and cracks in the frame.