Living Room

How to Remove The Back of a Recliner

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You’re planning to move your precious recliner chair to a new space, and you have to remove its back for easier and safer room-to-room movement. It’s also possible that your recliner has a problem, and you have to take its back off to fix it. Whatever the cause, disassembling the back of a recliner isn’t too complicated.

With the right instruction, you can do the job correctly and quickly. That’s the reason you should follow this guide on how to remove the back of a recliner.

Let’s go into the detailed steps!

Types of Recliner Backs

By and large, there are three common types of backs, namely catch (or locking tab), locking lever, and bolted bar.

  • For catches, you can use a screwdriver to remove the tabs that keep the back in place.
  • If your recliner’s back is a locking lever, you need to flip the brackets that lock the back.
  • For the bolted bar back, you simply lift the panel that covers the bolts and unbolt them.

How to Take The Back Off a Recliner

Taking the back off your recliner is a safe way to move your furniture from place to place. Besides, it would be best to carry out some measurements to protect your furniture from any damage.

The most important thing is to measure the size of the recliner. In so doing, you can understand how you’ll fit it into a new location better without collisions, particularly when you intend to transfer it to a smaller space.

Another measurement to take is the size of the doorway and hallway of the new room. You have to make sure your recliner can pass through the door easily.

Catches or Locking Tabs

remove the recliner back

Catches snap or lock themselves in place automatically and hold the recliner’s back adequately when you slide your back. You can conduct the removal with a screwdriver or manually. It’s highly advisable to use a flat screwdriver, though.

First, use the screwdriver to release the tabs. After sliding it on, the back of the recliner is usually loose. You need to detach the fasteners of the back brackets, then tighten them.

If it’s still loose, you may use the screwdriver to keep the tabs stay properly in their slots after you install the back.

Remove the back by firmly grasping the locking tabs and pressing them in a forward direction. When you pull the bottom half of the recliner’s back, you’ll unlock its mechanism.

Lift the back up and off the recliner. You need to rock it gently back and forth in order to slide the back off the chair’s brackets.

Bolted On Backs

remove the back that has bolts

Unlike locking bars, bolted on backs are not a common type of back. If you have a recliner with bolted bars, you’ll see manufacturers secure its back by attaching it to the ‘post’ of the seat. This process makes it steady and sturdy.

To detach it, you simply unbolt the back by lifting the panel to expose the bolts. Here’s a detailed guide to taking off the back of a chair with bolted bars:

  • Turn over the recliner to find the bars, usually base bars. You would see them bolted from the end of a base to another.
  • Once you’ve located the bars, use a drill to unfasten the bolts one by one. The drill should get a proper bit to it.
  • You’ll need another help from someone to remove the last bar. They would hold and stabilize the chair for you while you’re uncovering it. Thus, the components won’t get damaged, roll away, or damage other objects.

Locking Levers

locking lever

Many recliners come with locking levers, too. While in the back, they’re usually at the sides of the recliner. There, the brackets slide onto the metal posts, which are connected to the seat, and keep secured.

To remove the recliner back, you need to slide them to the locking lever. If you want to lock the back into the initial position, simply flip it.

The process of detaching the back with locking levers should go through these steps:

  • Access your recliner’s back by pushing it forward to uncover the back
  • Raise the panel to expose the rear locking lever and locate the velvet strips adhering to them. Then, unfasten it to find the snap attaching the fabric to the frame’s base. Many chairs have a detachable back panel, so you can lift it to make the inner frame face up.
  • Next, lift the upholstery and check the frame on either side of the recliner’s seat to locate the position of the locking levers. You should find them on the two sides of the chair, in the back.
  • Loosen the locking levers using a flat screwdriver or your fingers (in a pinch)
  • The metal levers point downward around the top and back of the arm, joining at two sides of the chair’s main body.
  • If your recliner has a center console, the locking levers’ position will be between this console and the seats. If the recliner doesn’t have fabric or detachable strips that expose the frame, look at the seams between the console and the swats to check if there’s any strip present.
  • Once you’ve located the levers, use the flat head screwdriver to loosen each one by one. Or you can raise a lever and release the seatback.
  • After you unlock the leavers, turn the chair back to its initial position and remove its back from the frame. If your recliner’s center console divides the seats, you need to lift them and console out of their housing.

So, the removal has been successful. You can transfer your furniture to a new location. Transportation now should be easier and free of damage.

How to Reinstall The Back Of a Recliner

The reinstallation involves performing the opposite of the removal procedure, so it’s not really difficult.

First, it’s better to take pictures or record the detaching process, particularly when you remove the parts of the chair, like the frame, base, and other relevant photos.

This way, you won’t lose track and forget some stages that you encountered. Plus, you can install all the opponents in the correct order. Also, taking photos helps you compare the final result and know that how your recliner should look after reinstalling.

Second, you should keep all the parts you’ve removed from the chair, like bolts, screws, and other hardware, in separate plastic bags. Of course, you don’t want to mix them together. If one gets missing, it’ll take you forever to look for the needed tool.

To attach the back to the recliner, you need to line up the back brackets over the brackets on the recliner’s bottom half. Achieving perfect alignment is, indeed, a frustrating task as each set of brackets slides in differently, depending on the producers.

Next, you keep the screws secured in place. Then, use the screwdriver to propel the lever and tighten them.

After that, you slide the chair’s back to its previous position. Then, you finish the job by adding screws, adjusting levels, or fixing tables to ensure you’ve locked and secured the back properly.


Attaching and detaching the back of a recliner is not really a simple task. However, by following this simple guideline, you can carry out the procedure with ease.

It’s essential to know how to remove the back from your recliner when transporting it to a new place. This way, you can protect your chair from damages and last it longer.

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