LifestyleWobbly Woes: Quick Fixes for Uneven Table and Chair Legs

Wobbly Woes: Quick Fixes for Uneven Table and Chair Legs

One thing that homeowners and business owners have to contend with over time is that their furniture becomes wobbly as a result of wear and tear. Tables and chairs are no exception to that rule. In general, there are two reasons why tables and chairs get wobbly – either the table and chair legs are getting worn down or the floor on which they stand is aging.

There are many options for homeowners and businesses when it comes to eliminating their furniture wobbles. Some solutions are better than others, depending on how the tables and chairs were put together to begin with. These fixes range in variety and address the wobbly table and chair legs. It is much more affordable to adjust or replace furniture legs than it is to try to redo an entire aging floor.

Tighten up the joints

The first thing to do when tables and chairs wobble is to tighten up all the screws and bolts. These can generally be found along the joints in the tables and chairs. For some furniture, screws and bolts do not hold them together, in which case, glue might need to be reapplied in order to stabilize the legs. Once all the joints are tightened, whatever wobble still exists can be addressed using some of the other quick fixes listed below.

Shims are your friend

If tightening the chair or table’s legs doesn’t seem to take the wobble away, one technique that can be used is shimming. This means that a thin sliver of man-made or wooden shim can be placed between the leg and the tabletop or seat of a chair, to help lengthen the leg and eliminate the wobble. It is also possible to just place the shim on the bottom of the leg, where it touches the floor, to get rid of the table or chair’s unevenness.

If it is necessary to make the shim a little more discreet, a sliver of cork from a wine bottle works wonders as a wedge to lengthen the leg. Along the same lines, self-adhesive rubber, plastic, or felt furniture bumpers can provide the same solution.

Trimming the legs

One option to evening out table and chair legs is to trim the legs. This is a bold move, as trimming the legs may have future implications if the furniture were moved to a different location and placed on a different floor. This is best done with a table saw that has a 1/16″ setting, so as to not take too much off the bottom of the leg.

Screw extenders

For tables and chairs where the legs are pretty far off and rather uneven, using screw extenders may be more practical than any of the aforementioned solutions. Screw extenders are used on the short leg to make it a little bit taller. A short lag bolt or stout screw can be used on the leg to lengthen it and make it even with all the rest. A hole will need to be drilled into the leg and the bolt or screw is then placed inside the hole. To prevent the bolt or screw from scratching the floor, a felt pad can be used as protection.

Replace the legs

When all else fails, or when time is of concern, one of the easiest solutions is to replace the legs altogether. This is generally easier to do with table legs than chair legs. There are a variety of options when it comes to replacing the worn-down legs. The best option is to look for replacement legs that are adjustable, making it easier to eliminate wobbles down the road. When time is of consideration, this may be the best solution for the long-run.

No matter how the wobbles are eliminated from tables and chairs, it is important to consider all the possible solutions before jumping into a project. This will prevent a homeowner or business from having to replace the entire table or chair, in the end, and allow for life-extension in the piece of wobbly furniture.


Tawanna Madden makes her living as an interior designer. She enjoys writing about her insights on the Internet. Her articles appear mostly on decorating and design websites.


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