How to Adjust a La-Z-Boy Recliner Mechanism

Updated December 21, 2016

A La-Z-Boy recliner allows you to recline in a variety of positions. Whether it's a recliner rocker or a stationary recliner, each La-Z-Boy has three adjustable positions for your feet that you control with the external handle. Each chair provides an infinite number of positions for your back. What many owners don't know is there's another recliner adjustment mechanism under the seat that allows you to adjust how easy or difficult it is to recline the back of the chair.

Close the leg rest portion of the La-Z-Boy. Stand behind the chair as you push it forward onto its arms.

Look underneath the seat for a pair of wing nuts or thumb screws set either on the side or toward the centre of the seat. Turn both of the nuts or screws one-quarter turn clockwise to make it harder to move the back. Turn the nuts or screws one-quarter turn counterclockwise to allow less tension on the chair's reclining mechanism.

Turn the chair back onto its legs. Sit in it with the foot rest up. Test the reclining tension.

Repeat the process as necessary until the tension adjustment is just the way you like it.


Taller or heavier people might prefer the tension tighter, while smaller people often prefer a looser recliner adjustment. Try to take into consideration the seating requirements of all the people who use the chair.


Do not loosen the wing nuts or thumb screws completely. Doing so may release the tension springs, which might make the chair unstable to use.

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Denise Brown is an education professional who wanted to try something different. Two years and more than 500 articles later, she's enjoying her freelance writing experience for online resources such as and other online information sites. Brown holds a master's degree in history education from Truman State University.