Conserving floor space, convenience and fun are some of the attractive features of having a bunk bed. Children and adults alike use bunk beds and find them to be cosy, built-in niches to cuddle up into. Purchasing and assembling your own bunk bed is a straightforward, two-person job--once you get the heavy box into the room.
Tools and Parts
Lay out all the parts--the boards, bed frames, mattress slats, screws and bolts. Make sure everything is there, and if not, contact the company so that it can send you what's missing. Grab an Allen wrench set or use the one in the package for its screws, and a Phillips screwdriver. You will also need wood glue, and have a hammer on hand, just in case you need to tap a few pieces into place.
Assembling the Frame
Assemble the bunk bed as close to its permanent location as possible. This will save you a lot of manoeuvring later on. Attach the two sides of the bed frame to the headboard and footboard using very long screws. Put wood glue between the connections to prevent bed-frame squeaking. Do this first for the lower bed. Once the lower frame is secure and sturdy enough to stand on its own, start assembling the upper bed. Unless you have a few people to help you, assemble the upper bed on the floor instead of on the frame of the bottom bunk.
Mattress Support and Railings
For both beds, screw in place the mattress support slats inserted across the two sides of the bed frame. The holes are usually pre-drilled, but if not, follow the suggestions for how wide to space your mattress support slats. Attach the centre slat first perpendicular to the bed frame--this will give the frame stability and support. Attach the next slats one at each end of the bed--at the footboard and at the headboard. Then evenly space and attach the rest of the mattress support slats.
Bunking the Beds
For one-piece bunk beds--beds that cannot be separated--the beds are already bunked. For two-piece, separable bunk beds, insert the large dowels into the holes located on the top of each post on the lower bed. It may not be a good idea to put wood glue in these holes if you intend to separate the beds at some point. Tap the dowels into place, and then align the holes at the bottom of the upper bed's posts onto these secured dowels. Push the upper bed down until all posts are secured.
The Ladder and Rails
Some bunk beds have removable ladders that simply hook onto the side of the upper bunk bed's railing. Others are secured to the bed framing with screws. Assemble the ladder by laying down the two ladder railings and lining up the ladder's treads with its screw and/or dowel holes. Pour wood glue into the holes, insert the dowels and screw each tread into place on both sides. Affix the ladder to the bunk bed with screws or hook it into place.
Line up the guardrails and screw these into the posts of the headboard and the footboard on both sides. Do not use wood glue, because one day you may want to disassemble the bunk bed arrangement and use the beds as two side-by-side twin beds.