How to replace bed slats

Written by emily patterson
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Bed slats lay across the bed frame, holding the box spring in position and preventing it from sagging. The slats may sag or break over time and need replacing. Replacing bed slats that are broken or sagging will help extend the life of the box spring by providing support. Bed slats may be purchased from the same store where the bed frame was purchased, or new bed slats may be cut from lumber.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Pre-made bed slats or ¾ by 3 ½ lumber
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Safety glasses or goggles

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  1. 1

    Remove the linens from the bed. Remove the mattress and box spring from the bed frame.

  2. 2

    Remove the old bed slats. Some bed slats are attached to the bed frame with screws. Use a screwdriver to remove the slats.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance between the left and right bed rails.

  4. 4

    Mark and cut the new bed slats to fit between the bed rails. Cut enough slats to space them 3 inches apart. If the previous bed slats are screwed or bolted into position, use the same position for the new slats.

  5. 5

    Install the new bed slats on the rails. For beds with screws or bolts attaching the slats to the slat rails, pre-drill holes for screws or bolts. Pre-drill sthe crew holes slightly smaller than the screws. Pre-drill bolt holes the same size or only slightly larger than the bolt.

  6. 6

    Place the mattress and box spring in position. Place the linens on the bed. Inspect the slat rails to be sure they're still firmly in position. If they're loose, tighten the screws or install new screws to resecure the bed slat rails.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear proper eye protection such as safety glasses or goggles when cutting wood and/or drilling holes for bed slats.

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