How to Remove the Back of a Recliner

How to Remove the Back of a Recliner

Recliners are one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture you can have in your home. They provide a perfect spot to relax, unwind, and watch your favorite TV shows or read a book.

However, there may come a time when you need to remove the back of your recliner for various reasons, such as moving it through a narrow doorway, cleaning, or making repairs.

Removing the back of a recliner might seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it can be a manageable DIY project. In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to remove the back of a recliner, providing tips and precautions along the way.

Types of Recliners

Recliners come in various shapes and sizes, each with a unique design and mechanism. Before you start removing the back of your recliner, it’s crucial to identify the type you have. Here are the three most common types of recliners:

Manual Recliners: These recliners feature a simple lever or push-back mechanism, allowing you to recline the chair with manual effort. They are relatively easy to disassemble compared to motorized recliners.

Motorized Recliners: Motorized or power recliners are equipped with electrical components that control the reclining feature. Disassembling these recliners requires a bit more care and knowledge to handle the electrical parts safely.

Wall Hugger Recliners: Wall hugger recliners are designed to save space by moving forward as they recline, making them ideal for small rooms. The disassembly process for wall hugger recliners may vary depending on the model and manufacturer.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you start removing the back of your recliner, gather the necessary tools and materials. Having the right equipment will make the process much smoother. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver (Phillips and flat-head)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Allen wrench or hex key
  • Plastic bags or containers for storing screws and small parts
  • Soft cloth or towel
  • Work gloves
  • Helper (optional but recommended for heavy or motorized recliners)
  • Electrical tape (for motorized recliners)

Now that you have all the necessary tools and materials ready, let’s proceed with the step-by-step guide on how to remove the back of a recliner.

Step 1: Prepare the Recliner

Begin by preparing the recliner for disassembly. Here’s what you should do:

  • Place the recliner in an open and well-lit area where you have enough space to work comfortably.
  • Make sure the recliner is fully reclined, and the footrest is extended. This position will make it easier to access the back of the recliner.
  • Disconnect the recliner from any power source if it’s an electric recliner. This is a crucial safety step to prevent accidental movement during the disassembly process.

Step 2: Locate the Fasteners

Examine the recliner to identify the fasteners that hold the back in place. These fasteners can be screws, nuts, or bolts, depending on the recliner’s design. Common locations for these fasteners include the sides, bottom, and rear of the recliner.

Step 3: Remove the Screws or Bolts

Once you’ve identified the fasteners, use the appropriate tool (screwdriver or wrench) to remove them. Here’s how to do it:

  • Carefully unscrew or unbolt each fastener. Make sure to keep track of all the screws and bolts you remove, placing them in your container or plastic bag.
  • Some recliners may have covers or caps concealing the fasteners. Remove these covers before accessing the screws or bolts.
  • Depending on the design of your recliner, you might need to use pliers to hold the nut or bolt in place while you turn the screw on the other side.
  • If you encounter any resistance when removing the fasteners, be patient and gentle to avoid damaging the recliner. Lubricating the fasteners with a penetrating oil can help if they are stuck.

Step 4: Detach Any Cables

If your recliner has any electrical components, such as heating or massage functions, you’ll need to disconnect the cables. Here’s how to do it:

  • Carefully unplug any electrical connectors, ensuring you remember their original positions for reassembly.
  • If your recliner has control cables, take note of how they are attached and remove them.

Step 5: Gently Remove the Back

With all the fasteners and cables detached, you can now remove the back of the recliner. Depending on the recliner’s design, it may lift off easily, or you may need to gently wiggle and pull it free. Here are some tips:

  • Enlist the help of a friend or family member to hold the back of the recliner as you remove it. Some backs can be heavy and cumbersome.
  • Be cautious and gentle during this step to avoid damaging the recliner or the back.
  • If the back is stuck, check for any hidden fasteners or clips that might still be holding it in place.

Step 6: Store the Back Safely

Once you’ve successfully removed the back, place it in a safe and secure location. It’s essential to protect the back from any potential damage during the time it’s separated from the recliner. A clean, dry area where it won’t be exposed to moisture or accidental impacts is ideal.

Step 7: Reassemble the Recliner (Optional)

After you’ve completed the necessary maintenance, cleaning, or repairs, you can reassemble the recliner by following these steps in reverse order. Make sure to reconnect any cables, reattach the back securely, and tighten all fasteners.

Also read: How To Adjust Recliner Chair

Safety Tips and Considerations

Disassembling a recliner requires caution and safety awareness. Here are some additional safety tips and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Read the Manual: If your recliner comes with an owner’s manual, consult it for specific instructions on disassembly and reassembly.
  • Inspect for Hidden Fasteners: Recliners may have hidden or hard-to-reach fasteners that are not immediately visible. Take your time to locate and remove them to prevent damage.
  • Keep Children and Pets Away: Ensure that children and pets are kept away from the work area for their safety.
  • Avoid over-tightening: When reassembling the recliner, be cautious not to overtighten screws or bolts, as this can damage the wood or metal components.
  • Use Lubrication: If any fasteners are stuck or difficult to remove, use a penetrating oil to loosen them up. This can make the process smoother and prevent damage to the recliner.
  • Protect Your Flooring: If you are working on a hard surface floor, consider placing a protective covering underneath the recliner to avoid scratches or damage to the floor.
  • Take Photos: If you’re concerned about remembering the order or placement of parts, take photos at different stages of disassembly to use as references during reassembly.

Also read: How To Clean A Leather Recliner?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I remove the back of any recliner?

In most cases, yes. However, the method may vary depending on the recliner’s design. It’s essential to identify whether your recliner has a push-on back or a bolt-on back and follow the appropriate steps.

Q2: Do I need any special skills to remove the back of a recliner?

No, you don’t need special skills, but some basic DIY knowledge and tools are required. If you’re not comfortable with DIY tasks, consider seeking assistance from someone with experience.

Q3: Can I disassemble my recliner without professional help?

Yes, you can disassemble your recliner without professional help, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines. Most recliners are designed for easy disassembly.

Q4: Can I reattach the back of my recliner after removing it?

Yes, you can reattach the back of your recliner following the same steps in reverse. Just make sure all the screws, bolts, or clips are securely fastened to ensure the backrest is stable.

Q5: Are there any specific precautions I should take when removing the back of a recliner?

Yes, always wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from potential hazards. Be gentle when handling any fasteners or clips to avoid damage.

Q6: When might I need to remove the back of a recliner?

There are various reasons to remove the back of a recliner, including moving it through narrow doorways, cleaning, making repairs, or replacing damaged parts.

Q7: Can I wash the fabric or upholstery after removing the back of the recliner?

Yes, you can clean the fabric or upholstery of your recliner after removing the back. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure you don’t damage the material.

Also read: 10 Benefits of Reclining Chairs


Removing the back of a recliner may seem like a challenging task, but with the right tools and a clear understanding of your recliner’s design, it can be a manageable DIY project. Whether you have a push-on back or a bolt-on back recliner, the process involves some basic steps and precautions to ensure a safe and successful removal.

By following the steps mentioned in this guide, you can easily remove the back of your recliner to address various needs, such as cleaning, making repairs, or moving it to a new location.

Just remember to take the necessary safety precautions, such as disconnecting the power source for motorized recliners, and keep track of screws and small parts to ensure a smooth reassembly process.

Your recliner will be looking and feeling brand new in no time, providing you with the ultimate relaxation and comfort you deserve.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

How Far Does a Recliner Need to Be from the Wall

How Far Does a Recliner Need to Be from the Wall

Choosing the perfect recliner involves more than just considering its comfort and...

Manual vs Power Recliners

Manual vs Power Recliners: Pros, Cons, and More

When it comes to choosing furniture for your home, comfort, and style...

Sleeping Positions for Back and Neck Pain

Sleeping Positions for Back and Neck Pain

Back and neck pain are common complaints that affect millions of people...

How To Stop A Recliner From Sliding On Carpet

How To Stop A Recliner From Sliding On Carpet

Recliners are a symbol of comfort and relaxation, offering a cozy spot...