How to Remove the Back of a Recliner?

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Last updated: August 31, 2023
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It is moving day, and you are wondering how to remove the back of a recliner chair? If you have this type of chair, you know how tedious it can be to remove and reinstall its parts. Luckily, almost all of these appliances work likewise. Also, most of them come with options to easily detach the back. Some models have thumbscrews, while others have clips and locking tabs. Whatever alternatives they come with, you must review your furniture to ensure that you can use those methods.

To help you in your procedure, we have come up with this walkthrough. It contains all the necessary step by step guide that you can use to remove the back of a recliner. By following the instructions, you easily carry out the procedure and transport your furniture in the easiest way possible.

Recliner back types

How to Remove the Back of a Recliner?

How to remove the back of a Catnapper or Lazy Boy recliner? Depending on the model and manufacturer you choose, your recliner chair can have one of these three types of backs. Once you identify it, you will know which method to apply.


How do catches work? When you slide back on the back of your recliner, they lock themselves or snap automatically. It gives you less work when you want to remove and subsequently reinstall.

Locking tabs

Concerning locking tabs, they are safely locked into place and adequately hold the back of your recliner. If you want to remove them, you must use other people’s help and a screwdriver. While they grip the chair, you conduct the removal with your tool.

Bolted on backs

Apart from catches and locking tabs, you can find recliner backs with bolts. In these instances, manufacturers hold the back by tightening them to the posts of the seats. The process makes them sturdy and stead. To detach them, you have to lift the panel that uncovers the bolts, unbolt them and remove the back.

Locking levers

Some recliners have locking levers too. You can find them at the sides of the recliner, in the back. If you want to remove them, you have to slide the brackets of the recliners to the locking lever. To lock it back into its initial position, flip it.

Sometimes, removing the back of your old recliner is impractical. As a result, you might want purchase a piece of new furniture. If you are looking for a new recliner, our experts recommend the Lane Home Furnishings Rocker. It features luxurious upholstery along with excellent weight capacity. You might also want to check the Esright Massage Recliner Chair. It is friendly, comfortable, and relaxing. Also, you can remove its back without too much difficulty.

Take the measurements and prepare the tools

Doing this protects your chair and makes it easy for you to move it from one place to another. The first thing you need to do is to take the measurements of your recliner’s size. It helps you know how you will install it in the new house or new room.

Also, the measurements help you know whether your recliner will correctly fit in your new location. If your chair is more prominent than the new space in which you want to set it, then you will difficulties making it fit.

We recommend you measure the doorway to your new room. It will help you know how to move and if the recliner will pass through the door.

What comes next is the preparation of the tools you will use to conduct the removal of the back of your recliner. Having the right tools depend on the type of recliner back that your furniture has.

Recliners with locking levers

If you have a model with locking levers, here is how to remove the back of your recliner Trusted Source 3 Ways to Dismantle a Recliner Sofa - wikiHow There’s no need to worry if you need to move your bulky recliner sofa through a tight space. Most reclining sofas can be easily disassembled for stress-free transport. :

  • First, you must access the back of your recliner chair or sofa. To do that, push it in front to expose the back.
  • Lift the panel that uncovers the locking levers and find the strip attached to them. Then, strip it to locate the snap.
  • The next step consists of locating the rear locking levers. We previously mentioned, they are found at the sides of your recliner, in the back.
  • The locking levers are usually made with metal. To loosen them, you can use a screwdriver. Once you have detached or opened each lever, put the recliner back to its initial position and detach the back from the frame.

You have successfully removed the back of your recliner. Now, you can transport your chair or sofa from your old location to the new one. The transportation is easier, and you protect your furniture in the best way.

Recliners with bolted bars

This is how to remove the back of a recliner with bolted bars:

  • If your recliner back has bolted bars, to remove them, turn the recliner over to locate the bars. Once you have seen them, unbolt them one by one using a drill. Make sure that the drill has a proper bit to it.
  • To remove the last bar, you need the help of a third party. While you uncover it, the other person must use his hands to hold the chair firm. It prevents your tools from getting damaged or rolling away.

Recliners with locking tabs

When it comes to recliners with locking tabs, the tabs lock up automatically into place like we previously mentioned.

  • If you want to remove the back, first use a screwdriver to release the tabs.
  • After sliding, the back is usually loose. What you have to do is detach the fasteners on the back brackets. Then, tighten them.
  • Concerning the removal of the back itself, hold firm on the locking tabs. The pressure you apply must occasion a pressing in a forward direction of the tabs. This, in turn, leads to the unlocking of the chair’s back mechanism.
  • Then, you can lift the back off the recliner to slide it away.

Install it back

The reinstallation of the back of a leather recliner consists of performing the previous procedure in a reverse way.

  • First of all, we recommend you always take a picture of the process as you detach the back. It helps you not forget the different stages you have encountered. Also, it makes it easy for you not to lose track; plus, you can easily put back everything in place. Finally, taking pictures makes it possible for you to know what the final results must look like once you are done reinstalling.
  • Secondly, keep all the tools that you have removed from your recliner. If one gest missing, it might be difficult for you to attain your desired results. You don’t want to mix your stuff. You can store them in different bags.
  • Align the brackets of the recliners back. Once you have achieved an adequate alignment, roll your sofa or chair forward.
  • Add the screws in place and push the lever with a screwdriver and tighten them. Once you are done, roll your recliner back to its initial position.
  • Try the installation to make sure that it is adequately set. It helps you detect any twisting.

Is it necessary to use a recliner slipcover?

If you have been using the recliner for many years, you know how fragile they can get. Over time, they can deteriorate in quality. For this reason, we recommend you purchase a slipcover for your furniture. It helps you preserve the materials of your sofa. Generally, it is easy to install.

Depending on the model you choose, a slipcover stretches to the shape of your recliner.

You will also love it because it is very affordable and budget-friendly. You will not need to spend much money to purchase it.

Final thoughts

Knowing how to remove the back of a recliner makes it easy for you to transport your furniture from place to place. Additionally, it helps you protect your sofa by preventing any damage to it and ensuring that it lasts longer. We hope that our step by step guide has been helpful and that you will find the right answers that you need concerning your recliner.


3 Ways to Dismantle a Recliner Sofa - wikiHow
There’s no need to worry if you need to move your bulky recliner sofa through a tight space. Most reclining sofas can be easily disassembled for stress-free transport.

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