Our homes sometimes have a design that makes it difficult to move furniture. Most often these are rather narrow doors. The solution in this situation is to disassemble and relocate. As a rule, there are no problems with sofas and beds: there are a lot of articles with step-by-step instructions regulating the whole process of disassembly on its components. But when it comes to a recliner, everything is a little more complicated. 

Due to the low prevalence of this convenient furniture, there’s still not enough information. If the decision is made to move the recliner from one room to another or to disassemble it and reupholster, the algorithm of actions has to be developed independently.

Important moments when disassembling a recliner

Things you may need:

  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Plastic bags (for bolts)
  • Marker
  • Seam ripper
  • Utility knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric drill

Here’s a piece of advice from the reclinerfaq.com expert: first of all, it is necessary to examine the recliner and determine the type of attachment. There are two main options, rarely a combination of them. The first one is hidden under the upholstery, the second one is easily accessible. In the latter case, we proceed directly to the study of fasteners.

In the most difficult case, we try to assess where the tightening mechanics are. That’s where you will have to remove the outer layer of fabric to get access to it. Some manufacturers foresee the need for the owner to disassemble the furniture and make the outer layer in such places easily removable. For example, with zipper or velcro. 

Anyway, the next thing you have to do is remove the recliner’s seat cushion if it is detachable. Then lift the recliner up and forward so the back faces straight up into the air. 

Remove the staples that hold the fabric/leather to the bottom of the frame. 

Then remove any screws or bolts you see that hold the back and the footrest of the recliner’s sea.

Find the rear locking levers. Check the frames on the sides of the recliner seats for them. You are supposed to see a metal lever pointing in a downward position, or a few levers on the frames between the seats. If there is nothing similar in the design, try to carefully cut through, without damaging the upholstery. Quite often the upholstery is not sheathed around the furniture details but is fastened from the wrong side to the brackets. This option can save quite a lot of time.

Now let’s study the fasteners. The following designs can be met here: 

  • Base bars. These are most typically on couches and sofas. But recliners have them too. You have to turn the recliner over and look under it to locate the base bars. Unfasten the base bars’ bolts with an electric drill.
  • A drywall (confirmat) screw is a typical furniture screw, reminiscent of a self-tapping screw, but with a notch in its head. It can be unscrewed in a similar way but with a special wrench.
  • Eccentric screed. There are different shapes and sizes. Most are removed with a regular screwdriver, preferably with a large diameter. There are also screwdriver tips for this purpose which you can try to replace with the largest drill. It will be much easier to cope with the process with the help of an electric tool.
  • A screed for sectional elements is also a common type of fastener. Removing it shouldn’t be a problem. As it is a bolt at one end and a bushing with a hat at the other. There are often recesses on both sides for a cross or usual screwdriver.
  • L-shaped – a familiar element from childhood. Here you just have to unscrew some screws.

Attention! Use a suitable tool for successful disassembly. If the connection is not too easy, the WD-40 or its analog, e.g. CC-1000, can be used.

Set the recliner upright and examine its backrest fabric. This is often the last thing to put in place, so, consequently, it should be the first one to come off.

Remove the cloth from the seatback’s front. This may also include cutting through the stitchings, or it can be stapled to the back of the recliner, so adjust accordingly.

Get the fabric off of the armrests, starting where they meet the seat. It can be stapled, stitched or glued, so be careful before removing.

Loosen the fabric covering the sides of the recliner and pull it off in one piece along with the fabric covering the armrests of the recliner.

Cut through the stitching at the bottom and sides of the fabric covering the recliner’s footrest and remove it all in one piece.

Things to avoid when disassembling

It is inadmissible to make rough and vigorous movements – such approach may damage furniture elements, tear its coverings or fasteners.

If the disassembly is made for repair or upholstery replacement it is forbidden to leave a part of the furniture not disassembled. By the way, it’s best to take pictures of the frame, base, and other relevant features in order not to get confused. 

If your recliner is too bulky you better have a helper to hold it as you remove the screws.

In case of disassembly of the recliner for transferring to another room, it is strongly recommended not to do it partially (except for small-sized models that can be “split” in two parts), leaving the parts of the furniture joint, just loosening the fasteners and bending the parts to make the construction “slimmer.” This is often done and ends in a breakdown.

Get a few plastic bags for your bolts, screws, and other hardware to keep it organized. Also, label each piece with masking tape and a marker as you take it off of the recliner to make it easier to reassemble.

There are certain nuances depending on the type of chair:

  • Double-seat models, more like a sofa or a couch, have almost the same principles of disassembly.
  • L-shaped models are better to be disassembled starting from the backrest which is present in the vast majority of recliners of such design.

Make sure to treat your recliner with care when disassembling it to avoid tearing of the upholstery. 

Author’s bio: Benjamin Taylor shares the best of the DIY and decorating tips that he can, and tries to get as many friends as possible! He loves networking with other decorating professionals to expand his knowledge and try some new techniques.