How to Disassemble A Recliner: Pro Guide

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: March 19, 2021

Disclosure: This site is reader-supported & contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more

Are you moving to a new house, and you are wondering how to pass your bulky recliner through the narrow door or how to transport it? Good news! You can easily disassemble your recliner for stress-free movement.

You see! Most recliner models have detachable seatbacks. Some models have locking levels, while others have removable bars bolted to the base.

Either way, with the right tools and easy to follow guide, you can easily disassemble the recliner. You also need a friend to help you as there is some lifting required.

Here’s two easy methods on how to disassemble a recliner.

Table of Contents

Method 1: Releasing the Locking Levels

1. Tilt the Seat and Lift the Upholstery Strip

To tilt the recliner, lift it forward such that the back faces upwards. Most recliner sofas have a detachable back panel: lift the panel to expose the inner frame.

Inside, look for velcro strips or snaps that have secured the fabric to the frame’s base and unfasten them. after unfastening, lift the upholstery panel.

2. Locate the Locking Levers

At each side of the sofa’s frame, look for the locking levers. Around where the back and the arm join, at both sides of the sofas main body, you will see a metal lever that points downwards. That’s the locking lever.

If your recliner has a center console, the levers should be between it and the seats.

Where do you find the levers if your recliner’s back panel detachable?

Easy! If your sofa’s back panel isn’t detachable and it has no velcro strips, stick your hands in the seams at the back of the sofa on both sides. Move your hand within the seams to locate the locking lever. If your sofa has a console, look for the lever between the console and the seats.

3. Release the Seat Back

Using a flat-head screwdriver, loosen and raise the levers, then release the seatbacks. If you don’t have a screwdriver, use your fingertips to pinch and loosen the levers.

After loosening the levers, return the seat to its upright position and slowly detach the frame’s back.

If your recliner has two seats divided by a console, detach each seat individually and then lift the console out of its frame.

Method 2: Removing Bolted Bars

1. Locate the Base Bars

Turn the sofa upside-down such that its back faces towards the ceiling. Check whether there are base bars under the sofa. You will see two or three bares bolted or screwed from one end to the other.

2. Unfasten the Bolts

Look for the heads of the screws or bolts that have secured the base bar. Using a drill with the appropriate bit, fasten each bolt or screw from the base bars.

Mostly, base bars are secured with square Robertson screws. You will therefore need Robertson drive bits to unfasten them.

3. Get Some Help

It would be best if you got someone to help you remove the recliner’s base bars, especially the last bar. When you remove the final bar, the console and the individual seats come apart freely. Therefore, the help will help prevent the parts from rolling away and damaging other objects or getting damaged.

How To Dismantle A La-Z-Boy Recliner.

The La-Z-Boy recliners have a locking and removable back feature that allows you to detach and assemble the chair back together. Here is a step-to-step guide on how to disassemble.

The above procedure applies to both power and manual units except for the power recliners whose backs are connected with the wires. In such situations, you should first disconnect the wire before you embark on removing the back.

Tips That Will Make Reassembly Easier

1. Take A Lot of Pictures

If you doubt your mechanical abilities, take a picture at each step of disassembling. The pictures will act as a manual for you during reassembly.

It’s also advisable to take pictures of the base, rear upholstery panel, the fame, and other important parts. That way, you will know how the recliner is supposed to look like after reassembly.

2. Keep Bolts, Screws, And Other Small Hardware Separately In a Plastic Bags.

Before you start the disassembly, make sure you have plastic bags or small containers. Put the hardware in the bag as soon as you remove them.

It would be best if you had a separate bag for each base bar hardware. That way, it will be easier to sort the bolts, screws, and nuts. Also, label the bags/containers so you’ll know where to find what during reassembly.

3. Get an Extra Hand.

Most recliners and thus needs a lot of manpower to tilt. After detaching the bars, the sofa parts get loose and may come scrambling down and get damaged or hurt you. It would therefore be best if you found someone to help you.

Bottom Line

You now know how to disassemble a recliner. You are now free to move it or reupholster it safely without damaging it. For more tips on how to move your recliner safely, read our pro guide here.


  • Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith is the founder of CozySeating, is a father of 2, and an engineer from one of the leading furniture stores in the country. Due to his 10 years of experience, he has proved to be the best person to offer advice to clients regarding different seating furniture based on their needs and performance. Besides, he is a specialist in product reviews and always keeps up with the current trends in the market.

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments