How Do Recliners Come Apart? Your Simple Guide

How do recliners come apart? Understanding this is essential when you’re facing the need to move, transport, or simply fit your chair through a tight space. Recliners, with their bulky frame and mechanical complexity, can be daunting to dismantle.

However, with the right guidance, this task can be manageable, even if you’re not a furniture expert. In this article, you will learn a systematic approach to disassemble your recliner, ensuring you can do so without causing any damage.

How Do Recliners Come Apart

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you start, make sure you have the following tools:

Screwdriver (both Phillips and flat-head)

Adjustable wrench

Owner’s manual for specific instructions related to your model

It’s vital to consult your recliner’s owner’s manual for any specific disassembly instructions or tools required for your particular model.

Step 2: Locate the Release Mechanisms

Understanding how recliners come apart often starts with locating the release mechanisms. These mechanisms are designed to help you disassemble your recliner quickly and without much hassle:

Clear a workspace around your recliner, ensuring you have enough room to move and see clearly. The space should be free of obstructions that might impede your ability to reach all areas of the chair.

Begin by gently reclining your chair to reveal the underside, which is where most of the release mechanisms are located. Proceed with care to avoid any sudden movements that could catch your fingers or hands.

Once the chair is reclined, use a flashlight to illuminate the underside. A good light source can make a significant difference in spotting the mechanisms, especially in low-light conditions or if the chair’s color camouflages the parts.

Look for levers first; these will often be found near where the back meets the seat. Depending on the make and model of your recliner, the levers could be metal or plastic. They should be fairly conspicuous and built to be operated by hand.

If your chair uses screws or bolts to secure the back, these may be located on the rear of the chair. They might be concealed under fabric or behind a protective cover. Gently probe with your fingers or, if needed, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry open any covers.

After locating the levers, pull them to release the seat from the back. If there are screws or bolts, use a screwdriver or a wrench to loosen and remove them. It’s generally best to turn counterclockwise to unscrew.

Be patient as you identify and manipulate these mechanisms. Some recliners might have additional safety features such as locks or clips that must be released.

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If at any point you’re unsure, it’s wise to consult the owner’s manual that came with your recliner for model-specific instructions.

Step 3: Detach the Back from the Seat

With the release mechanisms identified, you are now ready to separate the back of the recliner from its seat, a pivotal step in understanding how recliners come apart. This stage requires a mix of careful movement and a bit of finesse:

Approach the levers with your hands, gripping them firmly. If your recliner uses levers, they will usually require a firm pull to disengage the locking mechanism.

Do this evenly and with steady pressure to avoid jerking the back too harshly which can damage the mechanism.

In the case of bolts or screws, fit your tool to the head of the bolt or screw and turn counterclockwise. Apply steady pressure to avoid stripping the head. Once the bolts or screws are loose, keep them in a small container or bag to prevent loss.

After the levers are released or the bolts removed, it’s time to separate the back from the seat. Stand behind the recliner for leverage and gently wiggle the back to loosen it. This motion helps to disengage any clips or hooks that might still be holding on.

With the back slightly loosened, it’s important to lift it straight up. This motion typically follows the path of the guide rails or posts that slot the back into the base of the seat. Pulling straight up ensures you do not bend or break these guide mechanisms.

If the back doesn’t come free with moderate effort, pause and recheck to ensure all mechanisms are fully disengaged. It’s not uncommon to miss a hidden clip or a bolt, especially if working on a recliner model you’re not familiar with.

Once free, carefully set the back aside in a space where it won’t get damaged or be in the way as you continue with the disassembly process.

Remember that patience is key in this step. Rushing could not only potentially damage your recliner but could also lead to personal injury.

Take your time to ensure that every component is properly disengaged, and the back will come off smoothly, readying you for the next step in the disassembly process.

Step 4: Disassemble the Base

After successfully removing the back of the recliner, the next step is to focus on the base—the foundation of your recliner’s functionality and support. This step will guide you through the process with precision and care:

Carefully turn the recliner over to access the base. This is best done by gently tipping the recliner onto its side and then easing it over so that it rests securely on the top of the seat and armrests.

Ensure that the recliner is stable in this position to prevent any movement that could make the task more difficult or pose a risk of injury.

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With the base exposed, locate the bolts or screws that secure it. These fasteners are typically found at each corner of the base and possibly in the center, depending on the design of your recliner.

Some recliners might have a fabric dust cover that conceals the frame; this may need to be peeled back or removed to reveal the fasteners.

Select the appropriate screwdriver or wrench that matches the type of bolts or screws on your recliner. Fit the tool to the fastener, and turn counterclockwise to loosen.

Be sure to apply even pressure and avoid using excessive force that could strip the bolt heads or damage the tool.

As you remove the bolts or screws, keep them together in a small container or bag. This is a crucial step—recliner assembly is specific, and losing a part can make reassembly difficult or impossible.

Labeling the bag with the step number and where each set of hardware came from can also be incredibly helpful for reassembly.

Once all fasteners have been removed, you can lift the base away from the rest of the recliner. If there is resistance, check for any additional fasteners you may have missed or for any cables that need to be disconnected if your recliner is equipped with electronic features.

With the base detached, move it to a safe location where it won’t be damaged or pose a tripping hazard.

How Do Recliners Come Apart

Step 5: Removing the Footrest

The footrest is an essential component of your recliner’s comfort and functionality, and removing it is the next step in the disassembly process.

Whether your recliner’s footrest is integrated or separate, the following instructions will guide you through the removal process with ease:

Extend the footrest to its fullest position. This will not only provide you with better access to the screws or bolts that hold it in place but will also help to reveal the full mechanism, ensuring you don’t overlook any parts that need to be removed.

Inspect the footrest mechanism closely. Use a flashlight if necessary to illuminate the area and identify the screws or bolts that secure the footrest to the frame. In some models, these fasteners may be hidden behind plastic caps or within the crevices of the mechanism.

Choose the correct tool for the type of fastener you need to remove. If screws are present, a screwdriver will be required; for bolts, a wrench or a socket set will be necessary.

Place the tool onto the fastener and turn counterclockwise to loosen. Apply steady and controlled pressure to avoid any damage.

Keep a firm hold on the footrest as you remove the last of the fasteners. This will prevent it from falling unexpectedly, which could cause damage to the footrest or your flooring and even lead to personal injury.

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Once all fasteners have been removed, gently detach the footrest from the frame. There might be a resistance if the footrest is designed with a gliding mechanism that slides out. In such cases, ensure you follow the natural movement of the mechanism to remove it without forcing it.

Set the footrest aside in a safe area, along with its fasteners which should be placed in a small bag or container.

Label the bag accordingly, ensuring that you will be able to easily identify which parts belong to the footrest when you are ready to reassemble your recliner.

Step 6: Organize and Store the Parts

Now that you’ve diligently disassembled your recliner, the final and crucial step is organizing and storing the parts safely. Proper organization is key to ensuring a smooth reassembly process later on. Here’s how to keep everything in order:

Begin by organizing all the parts you have removed from the recliner. It is helpful to group related components together—such as all parts of the footrest, the seat, the back, and the base. By keeping related parts together, you’ll have an easier time during reassembly.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to label each set of fasteners and parts. You can use masking tape and a marker to create simple labels or small bags with written notes on them.

Indicate where each part came from, such as “seat-back bolts” or “footrest mechanism.” This step is invaluable, especially if you won’t be reassembling the recliner immediately.

With everything labeled, store the fasteners in a secure container to prevent any from getting lost. A container with a lid is ideal, as it protects the contents from being scattered or lost.

If using bags, ensure they are sealed and then place them in a larger bag or box that can be easily identified as containing parts of the recliner.

For the larger parts like the back, seat, and base, find a safe location where they won’t be disturbed or at risk of being damaged. If you have the space, laying out the parts in the order they were removed can be a visual aid for reassembly.

Alternatively, stack them neatly in a manner that prevents wear or pressure on any components, especially fabric and cushioning.

Consider covering the larger parts with a sheet or blanket to protect them from dust and other environmental factors, particularly if you plan to store them for a significant amount of time.

Choose a storage area that is dry and out of the way to avoid any accidental damage or soiling. If possible, store the parts in an area that is not subject to extreme temperatures or humidity to prevent warping, rusting, or mold growth.

For more articles on recliners, click here: Recliners: Your Ultimate Guide to Comfortable Living

Conclusion: How Do Recliners Come Apart?

With these steps, you should have successfully dismantled your recliner. Remember to keep your owner’s manual handy throughout the process for any specific directions related to your recliner model. Disassembling a recliner may seem challenging, but with patience and the proper instructions, it’s a task you can accomplish with confidence.

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