How To Fix A Leaning Recliner: Causes And Step-By-Step Fixing Guide

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: May 13, 2021

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The comfort that comes with a reclining chair can’t be over-emphasized. A simple act of reclining the backrest and raising the footrest brings a little piece of heaven on earth to your living room. However, after using the chair for some time, the little heaven may not be so heavenly anymore due to the recliner leaning on one side.

Sigh! Don’t you hate such buzz killers?

When your recliner leans on one side, it not only become uncomfortable but may trigger and agitate backaches.

So, what do you do in such an event?

Your first instinct would be to call a professional to fix it, or worse, dispose it off. You don’t have to do that.

You see! Most times, when a recliner leans on one side, the cause could not be so severe. It could be something you can fix in a matter of minutes.

In this article, we’ll guide you on how to fix a leaning recliner. We’ll also highlight some of the causes of your recliner leaning on one side and share some tips on how to avoid the leaning problem.

Let’s start with the investigative part. Shall we!

Table of Contents

What Are the Possible Causes of A Leaning Recliner

Fix A Leaning Recliner

Unlike regular couches, recliners have several moving parts with their own strengths, weakness and lifespans. It’s therefore important to make a diagnosis before you do anything else. Here are some of the possible causes of a leaning recliner.

  1. Faulty/ Weak Reclining Mechanism

A faulty reclining mechanism is the most common cause of a leaning recliner. A faulty mechanism means that the sliding frame that allows the backrest to lean backward and forward is not functioning. This may sound like a huge complication that needs professional help, but it’s the easiest to fix.

  1. Poorly Made Recliner Frame

Sometimes recliner leans to one side due to engineering mishaps by the manufacturer. Usually, this kind of malfunction is felt on the very first time you sit on your new recliner.

In such cases, you can replace the recliner. But that depends if it comes with a warranty and if it’s in effect. You can also opt to repair it yourself.

  1. Uneven Floor

If one leg or peg is elevated or lowered than others, your weight will be unevenly distributed, causing a strain to one side of the frame. With time, your recliner will start leaning on one side. Although there are replacement parts to fix this problem, it’s wiser to relocate the recliner to an even surface.

  1. Uneven Padding

An unevenly padded chair is a cosmetic problem that may give you the impression that your chair is broken. It’s also known to agitate back pains instead of relieving them like a regular recliner is supposed to. Luckily, you can quickly fix this problem by rearranging the padding or replacing altogether. To know more Read this ultimate recliner guide for lower back pain.

  1. Loosened Frame

This is yet another common problem with recliners. After months/years of reclining the chair back and forth, the reclining mechanism is likely to loosen up. Your recliner will then start producing some irritating creaking sounds whenever you sit down.

Tools Required to Fix A Leaning Recliner

You need to be equipped with proper tools for the job if you’re fixing your leaning recliner. You may have some of the tools already, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t fret. You can purchase them in your local hardware store. They include:

A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Fix A Recliner That Leans on One Side

As earlier mentioned, fixing a leaning recliner is relatively easy. Nevertheless, you’ll still have to strictly follow the instructions if you want to get the job done. here are the guiding steps:

Step 1 Put the chair in a position that allows you to access the wooden panel. Now loosen the locking of the panel or the footrest (depending on the faulty part). Make sure to keep the screws safely, as you’ll need them once the repair is done. Preferably in a plastic bag)

Step 2 Remove the upholstery to reveal the frame. You will have a better view of the parts that need to be repaired.

Step 3 Check if there are any rusty joints and spring and lubricate them. Before lubrication, place an old newspaper or piece of cloth around the working area to catch any oil drops. You should also wipe the excess oil and confirm that the frame no longer squeaks.

Step 4 With your screwdriver, fasten all the loose joints. You should, however, be extra careful while securing joints near the springs. You might release the tension from the coils causing them to shoot off.

Step 5 Examine your recliners and joins for any cracks. Any cracks will call for immediate replacement.

Step 6 Unfasten any broken parts that need replacement and clean the area that part was. Before installation, refer to the user manual and carefully follow the given instruction. After installation check to confirm that the part is well fastened.

Step 7 In case of any broken or disconnected wooden panels, apply the wood glue to the area. Alternatively, use a metal brace for extra support. If the damage is too severe, consider a replacement.

Step 8 Ensure that all the parts are well fastened and functioning before covering up the mechanisms with wooden panels and put the upholstery back.

Fixing Springs, Screws, And Padding

If you notice a spring that needs replacement, identify the attachment point to the spring. Be extra careful when dealing with heavy-duty springs as they usually have high recoil.

Sometimes, the contact point between the screw and the wood may be loose. To fix this, fill the space with wood fillings till the screw fits snugly.

For uneven padding, you only need to change the cushions, and your recliner will be as cozy as you expect.

When Do You Contact A Professional?

As earlier stated, the cause of your recliner leaning on one side may be simple, and you can fix yourself. Other times, the problem may be too complicated for you to fix, hence calling a professional. You should contact a professional when:

3 Tips on How to Avoid Having A Leaning Recliner

Now that you are aware of some of the causes of your recliner leaning on one side, you should be proactive. How? By taking deliberate measures to avoid such problems in the future. Here are some tips:

Parting Shot

There you have it, the step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaning recliner. However, if you can’t establish a problem or cannot repair it, we suggest that you contact a professional.


  • 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.

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