The common image of a bed is a headboard, footboard, and rails; but the configuration of beds evolved throughout history. According to the website Fine Woodworking, modern beds have seen standardised into four main sizes: King, 76 inches wide by 84 inches long; queen, 60 inches wide by 80 inches long; full, 54 inches wide by 75 inches long; and twin, 39 inches wide by 75 inches long. Bed rails connect a headboard to the bed by either hooks or bolts. If your headboard doesn't match the installation method of your rails, adaptors are available.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Bed bolts
Lean the headboard against the wall where the bed will be positioned, with the notches, holes or inserted metal posts facing out. Whether your bed rails are wood or metal, hook-on rails feature one or more hooks on each rail end. Typically, metal rails consist of two hooks.
Position the bed rails on the floor in front of the headboard with the hooks at the top and the inside of the rail facing toward the centre of where the box springs will be placed. Most metal bed rails are L-shaped; the bottom of the L is where the box springs rests, usually supported by wood slats or metal bars of varying kinds stretched between the two bed rails. If you have bed rails intended for adding a headboard and a footboard to a bed, there will be hooks at both ends of the rails.
Lift the left bed rail. Bed rails have casters -- wheels -- or legs to support the rails. Notice the hooks on the rails point down. Notice that the headboard has holes, notches, or metal posts inserted horizontally in the headboard or leg of the headboard.
Tilt the hook end of the rail at a slight downward slant. Slide the hook over the notch, hole, or metal bar in the headboard. Straighten the bed rail as the hook glides into place.
Lift the right bed rail. Tilt the hooks at a slight downward slant. Slide the hooks into the headboard. Straighten the rail as the hook fits into the headboard.
Place the headboard against the wall. Place the bed rails in front of the headboard. Bolt-on bed rails are usually used on beds with metal headboards, but are also seen on wood headboards. Bolt-on rails connect to the headboard with brackets through which a bolt is inserted and screwed to the headboard.
Position the bed rails so the support slat is facing inward. Bed rails are often shaped like an L. The bottom of the L supports the wood or metal slats which support the box springs. Bed bolts measure from 1 to 4 inches long and insert into metal plates, lined holes, or predrilled metal holes in the headboard.
Lift the left bed rail up toward the holes on the left front headboard. Bed rails have legs with or without casters. Align the slots on the brackets at the end of the rail with the holes on the headboard.
Insert a bolt through the top slot and into the headboard. Use a wrench to tighten the bolt. Slip the bottom bolt through the slot and into the headboard. Tighten the bolt with a wrench.
Lift the right bed rail toward the holes on the right front of the headboard. Align the slots on the bed rail brackets with the holes in the headboard. Insert a bolt through the top slot of the rail bracket. Tighten the bolt with a wrench. Insert the bottom bolt through the rail bracket and into the headboard. Tighten the bolt with a wrench.
Tips and warnings
- Bed rail adaptors are available online, and at furniture, hardware and home improvement stores. Adaptors allow you to use bolt-on bed rails with a hook-on headboard. Hook-on bed rails cannot be adapted to fit a bolt-on headboard, but you can purchase different bed rails to fit the headboard.
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