how to fix a recliner footrest

How to Fix a Recliner Footrest: A Complete Guide

If your recliner is malfunctioning, then you have come to the right place. In this guide, you shall find all that you are looking for.

A recliner is a piece of furniture that can be used while watching TV, taking a nap, and even while reading a book. After your bed, this is probably the most comfortable place to take rest in your house.

But just like every other furniture even your recliner will sustain damage after years of use. If any part of your recliner would malfunction, it has to be the footrest. This is the part that tends to malfunction more than any other part.

If you want to learn how to fix recliner footrest, then we have got your back. In this post, we have laid down the steps you need to know.

What Causes Recliners Footrest to Malfunction?

Before we move onto the steps, let us first learn the reasons that cause it in the first place. 

Here are some of the main reason of defecting your recliner.

  1. When you have an old recliner, it increases the chances of having a loose footrest. You may either have to repair it or replace it.
  2. When the mechanism of the footrest is affected due to rust. This can happen based on the humidity of the area where you live.
  3. When you slam the footrest too hard once or more, it can start to malfunction.

Steps To Repair Recliner Chair Footrest That Feels Stiff


The footrest of your recliner should be working smoothly. In case, it feels stiff, you straight away know that it has some issues. This can happen due to a lack of lubrication or loose screws and bolts. However, this problem can be fixed by following the steps given below.

Tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Lubricant oil
  • Screws or bolts
  • Towel cloth

1. The first you need to do is turn your recliner upside down. This will help you to get a better view of the footrest and what’s happening down there.

2. You need to check whether there are any loose bolts, screws, or pins. If you notice any such thing, then you need to either tighten it or replace it with new ones.

3. Once you tighten the screws, it should fix your problem. However, you are still advised to apply some lubricant in the bushings of the footrest. This will promote smooth movement.

4. Before you start applying any lubrication, keep the towel cloth with you so that you can clean yourself. You should also use a larger towel below the recliner to prevent any damage caused to the floor. In case, you don’t have a towel, you can use a newspaper as well.

5. You need to apply the lubricant in every bushings and joint that you see. This will help you get rid of rust and dust. Not just that but it will also get the part working correctly.

6. Once you are done applying lube, you should check whether the parts are working fine or not. After that, you can put and tighten all the screws together.

7. Clean the excess oil or grease using a clean towel cloth. This should get your recliner ready to use once again.

In case, the stiffness is still there, then it may be caused due to some broken parts inside. In that case, you should call an expert or take your recliner to a repair shop. If the recliner is still under warranty, then you can get it fixed free of cost. It is better to get it fixed by professionals, instead of causing more damage to your chair.

Steps To Fix Broken Recliner Chair Footrest That’s Stuck (Ratchet)

Another kind of footrest problem is ratchet. If your ratchet stops working, you will have a stuck footrest. But the good news is that there is a solution available to this problem. 

You can either replace or adjust the piece based on the severity of the issue. To fix this problem, you need to follow the steps given below.

Tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement ratchet (optional)
  • Ratchet

1. At first, you need to turn your recliner upside down just as you did in the previous method.

2. In the next step, you need to start disassembling the parts that are preventing you from reaching the ratchet. You will have to loosen a few screws and bolts along with the bar and arms.

3. Once you remove all the required parts, you should be able to see the ratchet carefully. Before you proceed, check how the ratchet is working. Depending on the severity of the problem, you will have to replace or repair it.

4. In case, you have to replace the ratchet, you need to take it out. This should take you just a few seconds. All you have to do is unscrew the bolts and pins to get it out.

5. Now take the new replacement ratchet and install it in the required place. Tighten the screws and put back everything that you took out. Make sure that you place back all the parts correctly.

6. Once you are done with all the steps, you should have a new recliner footrest that doesn’t get stuck anymore.

Ratchet makes an important part of the footrest. The main function of the ratchet is to manage the position of the footrest.

If the problem is not solved even after replacing the ratchet, then it is not related to your footrest. In this case, it is better to call for professional help.

Steps To Fix a Recliner Chair Footrest Adjusting Mechanism

Steps To Fix a Recliner Chair Footrest Adjusting Mechanism

Another common problem that could arise with the footrest of the recliner is the spring that adjusts the piece in the right position. The spring can get loose or break after several days of use. In this case, the adjustment feature will start to malfunction.

This can make it hard to move up or down. But luckily, even this problem can be fixed. All you have to do is follow the steps given below.

Tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement springs
  • Wrench

1. Again, you have to turn your recliner chair upside down. This will give you a better and closer look at the footrest and reclining mechanism.

2. In this step, you need to look for a spring-like piece. This is the piece that helps connect the bushings to the arm of the footrest to the bushings. This spring must have some issue or have broken because of which there is a problem in the adjustment mechanism of the footrest. Sometimes, it can also happen due to a loose screw.

3. Take a screwdriver and unscrew the springs.

4. You need to get the spring out so that you can install the new one in its place. Once you replace the spring make sure that everything is tightened properly.

5. After you are done with all the steps, check the mechanism of your footrest. If it is working smoothly, then your problem is solved.

The adjusting mechanism is important because it helps the recliner stay in different positions. If it stops working correctly, then you may have any problems with your chair. But with the help of these steps, you should be able to fix the problem at once.

Safety Issue That You should Follow

When working with a recliner chair you should be careful. The chair is heavy and can be difficult to deal with alone. You don’t want it to fall on your leg while turning it upside down. This is why you are advised to have someone with you while fixing it. You will not only get a helping hand, but it will make the process easier for you as well.


We learned that the footrest of a recliner can have different types of problems. These problems can arise for various reasons but that’s not the point. The good news is that you fix these issues. It can be either repaired or replaced.

You just have to know how to fix a recliner footrest perfectly that works. There is no need for you to call for professional help as you can DIY it easily.

This guide has enough information for you out. Hopefully, this will help you to get your recliner chair fixed.


4 thoughts on “How to Fix a Recliner Footrest: A Complete Guide”

  1. I have Morris Chair recliner that cintues to have loose screws in it he foot rest. I tighten them and the remain and then ina day or they are loose again. Not all of the Screws. Just some. What’s a fix? Thx

    1. If your screw is loosening continuously then the problem is not on the screw. The place where you are putting them got loose. You need to try to fix them.

    1. Maybe you have an uneven footrest or it is leaning to one side. To Fix it first start by flipping over your recliner. This will allow you to examine the mechanism that attaches the footrest to the recliner. Make sure that all the screws are securely in place, and none are loose. If any screw is missing or not tight this may be causing the footrest to scrape the floor while closing. Just tighten all the screws.

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