How to Fix a Recliner that Leans to One Side

Having a recliner is one of the greatest things in your life. It provides such a comfortable place for you to unwind and relax. However, it is something that can go wrong, such as leaning to one side. 

You may assume fixing a recliner that leans to one side could be a daunting task, and you need to fire a pro. Most often, you can get the job done on your own and save a bunch of money. 

In this post, we will show you what causes a leaning recliner and how to fix it in a simple way.

Possible causes of a leaning recliner

There are a few reasons that could cause a chair to lean to one side, and some of them you may have never thought about them before. Without further ado, let’s explore what they are.

Uneven padding

Sitting in the middle of the chair is good for our back, but some of us just can’t keep in the correct position while sitting in a recliner. If we always put our weight on one side, the padding will become uneven with time. If this is the issue, add more pillows to the upholstery.

Broken reclining mechanism

This is the common reason why a recliner starts to lean to one side. When any parts in the mechanism become loose or crooked, it might affect the balance of it and the whole chair will follow.

Loose framework

Each part of the chair will get tear and wear including the framework. As time goes by, the framework will become loose, causing it can’t support as much weight as it can before. You may hear some squeaky sound and the recliner chair will become leaning gradually.

Wrong design

Some reclining chairs start to lean to one side on the first day. The wrong design causes structural issues and the chair can’t keep balance.

Uneven floor

It is possible that the cause of a leaning recliner is not in the chair itself. The floor can go uneven or has crooked form. You could check it by moving the chair to different spots.

Fix a recliner that leans to one side: a step-by-step guide

You may have noticed that the main reasons that lead to a leaning recliner are focusing on the frame and mechanism, so we will show you how to deal with these problems here.

Prepare the materials

During the repair procedure, you need to use some tools and oils, we enumerate below:

  • Rags or plastic cloth
  • Screwdrivers
  • Lubricating oil
  • Wood Glue
  • Pry Bar

Start to fix

Step 1: Put the chair upside down so that you can access the mechanism easier. Depending on the design of your chair, you may need to remove the upholstery so that you can see the frame clearly. Remember to store all the screws and bolts in place and take photos while you unfasten them so that you can put them back correctly.

Step 2:  If you have a la-z-boy recliner, the unbalance of tensions may cause the chair to lean. Therefore you should adjust the spring tension on each side. Make sure the footrest is closed and locate the thumbwheels at the end of the recliner springs. 

Rotate the thumb wheels and adjust the spring tensions accordingly. Whenever you feel the tension on each side are equal. Flip the chair back and have a test. If you still think the chair is uneven, you could repeat the process again.

Step 3: If there are no thumbwheels, you should check the conditions of the springs and see if they become loose or detached. You should replace it with the new one or put the hooks back into its original places using a pry bar.

It is possible that the contact points between the metal parts and wooden parts turn to be loose. If it is the case, you need to use wood glue or even some wood to fill the holes, ensuring the frame would support the body weight properly.

When the spring is attached to the metal part, see if there is any problem with these metal plates and replace it.

Step 4: Sometimes, the wooden frame may be really damaged. Instead of buying a new chair, you could opt for adding a metal brace so it can hold the construction. 

This video may give you some idea:

Step 5: Cover the chair with rags, newspapers, or a towel. Spray the lubricating oil to all the moving parts, screws, and bolts. 

Step 6: Let the oil sit for a few minutes and remove all the excess oil. Use the microfiber cloth to clean up the rust and other dust.

Step 7: Follow the pictures we talked about before, fasten all the parts, and put the chair back.

There is a general guide for fixing a leaning recliner. It is important to examine the parts carefully and decide whether to replace them with new parts or not.

How to prevent a recliner become leaning

For those who don’t want to put up with a recliner that leans to one side, you should follow some rules while maintaining your chair.

Give your chair a thorough check to see if there are any defects before accepting your new chair. If you feel like the chair is leaning or hear some squeaky sound, just return it.

Doing regular cleaning and checking is also crucial for preventing your recliner from leaning. Use the lubricating oil to avoid some metal parts getting rusty.

Correcting your sitting position is both good for your chair and your health. Don’t lean your body to one side while sitting in a recliner.

Final thoughts

This is a guide to tell you how to fix a recliner that leans to one side. There could be a few reasons that cause it and luckily, most of them you are fixed on your own. Examine the recliner spring, connection points, and screws and bolts, you are likely to find the cause and fix it in a short time.  

Photo of author
Rachelle is the founder of Best Chair Finder. She is a fanatic of home improvement, and as an engineer, she knows well about each chair's mechanism. You can find her story on the About page.