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How to Take the Back off a Recliner

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Do you need to take the back off your recliner? Maybe you need to move your recliner to a different room. Maybe you’re packing up and moving out. Either way, it can be a little intimidating to begin with. If you’re not sure how to start, this article will help you out.

In this article, I’ll break down how to remove the back off your recliner. The majority of recliners have a similar mechanism. All you’ll have to do is remove the clips or screws that hold the back in place. Let’s get into it!

How to take the back off a recliner

Across the majority of recliners, you will be doing a similar thing. Even if your recliner has some slight differences, this guide will ensure you know what to do. Model-specific vocabulary is in the guidebook that comes with your recliner. If you don’t have this anymore, don’t worry, I’ll still be able to point you in the right place.

Step One – Roll the chair forward

Your first step will be pushing the chair forward. If you tilt it forward, you will expose the back. It will be balancing across the back and the arm rests. When in this position, you’ll be able to access the parts that hold the back in place.

Step Two – Remove the upholstery

Along the back towards the bottom, you should find some fabric clasps. These come in a few different shapes and sizes. You could have plastic loops that hold the upholstery in place. You could also have some velcro patches. Whatever form they come in, disconnect the upholstery from the back.

Once you’ve done this, the upholstery should be loose. Fold it back over the recliner, exposing the back completely. Now that the back of the recliner is visible, you’re ready for the next step.

Step Three – Find the securing mechanism

Now that you’ve exposed the back, take a look on the sides towards the bottom. You will find a point of contact where the back secures to the base. This is what you will need to disconnect to be able to remove the back.

Depending on what form of connector you have, this step will also change. If you have metal tabs, you need to turn them until you feel the back come loose. Once they are loose, press the tabs forward while you pull the base of the recliner away. This will separate the two parts

If you have thumbscrews, you will be able to disconnect them by turning them. Most of the time, you will be turning counterclockwise. If manufacturers have screwed the back into place, you’re going to need a screwdriver. With a screwdriver, remove the screws that hold it in place. Make sure to keep them somewhere safe.

Whatever form of attachment you have, once you have removed it, you’re ready for the next step.

Step Four – Remove the back from the base

Now you have disconnected the back of the recliner from the base, you can remove it. Pull the back upwards and away from the base. Some recliners will come loose easily. Other recliners may need a bit more force.

If the back of your recliner is getting stuck, you should give the recliner a little shake. The movement of pulling the back and shaking it should loosen it up. Lift it gently away until it comes off completely.

At this point, you will have separated the back and base into two parts. You’re then ready to move the recliner!

Do all recliners have removable backs?

Most recliners do normally have a removable back. You can often buy recliners in parts, which you can then assemble when it gets to your home. They do this so you can fit your recliner through any doorways you may have.

This is especially helpful with those putting a recliner into their RVs. If you’re not too sure whether your recliner has a removable back, check the specifications. Manufacturers will specify if the recliner comes in parts or as a finished whole.

If you’re buying in-store, you can always ask someone who is working there. Alternatively, if you take a look at the back, it will be fairly obvious if you can remove it or not. IF it is one piece without any grooves, it’s probably not removable. However, if there is a seam or connectors, you will be able to separate the parts.

Can you take the back off of a La-Z-Boy recliner?

La-Z-Boy Recliner

Absolutely! La-Z-Boy recliners come in parts, meaning you can split them back up into segments. Here’s the process of how you take the back off:

Step One – Make the back accessible

First of all, you want to roll your La-Z-Boy recliner onto its front. This will expose the back so you can then work on it. From here, you want to detach both sides of the upholstery. There will be strips near the bottom that will come undone.

Once undone, you will have exposed the back. Make sure the upholstery is completely out of the way, you don’t want it getting stuck.

Step Two – Disconnect the back

Where the base meets the back, there will be a point of intersection. There will be two of these, one on each side of the La-Z-Boy recliner. Find these, there you will see two small levers.

Pull these levers and push the back upwards. This movement will separate the back and the base. Once separated, you can continue to pull the back to free the back completely. Your La-Z-Boy recliner will then be in two distinct parts.

If your La-Z-Boy recliner has screws, you’ll need to remove these first. Remove the screws with a screwdriver at the points of intersection. Once they are gone, you will be able to push the back up and away. This will similarly free the back.

Again, if your back seems still or stuck, make sure to wiggle it as you remove it. This will loosen the back and help it to slide away freely.


Removing the back of a recliner is easy if you know how. First, you’re going to need to expose the back of the recliner. You’ll then detach the back from the base where the supports are. Finally, pushing the back away from the base, you will separate the two pieces.

Removing the back of your recliner should only take a few minutes. At most, you’re going to need a screwdriver. But, normally you can do this with your bare hands and a spare minute or two.

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