Shared Knowledge

"La-Z-Boy Recliner - User Review"

27 January 2010



Summary: not impressed with quality of La-Z-Boy at all. Expensive and should be better made.



About 10 years ago, decision was made (not my decision by the way) that we needed La-Z-Boy recliners for the living room, sort of a his and hers thing. So we up and go to the local La-Z-Boy store and during a sale, we pick out 2 leather recliners. Even on sale, I gulp several times at the price but as "we" need them, go ahead and buy.

So today, have spent better part of day, repairing and improving undercarriage of my La-Z-Boy. Sat down in it couple nights ago and hard this crack, wood split. Sure enough, one of the supports that a rocker spring is attached to, split at one end and no little split either.

Ok, take rotating platform off bottom of chair and then unhook springs from support structure. What? Can not believe the poor quality of workmanship of the structure. And upon examination in my workshop garage, discover that the support is not square at all as no effort made to assemble square and some joints with glue and others not. And, structural design is not right either. I not a structural engineer but I can "see" what is going to bear load and what forces, like shifting in the chair, is going to put on certain joints. Well, I have to tell you, not sure La-Z-Boy employees a structural or mechanical engineer.

Let me see:

- Rocker wood held onto main structure via wood dowels and glue. Glue of course provides no structural strength, just holds piece in place, so load of person is actually put on these 2 wooden dowels. Ok, I guess but would have been better to mount nice 2 inch think piece on top of another 2 inch piece.

- As mentioned above, support structure is not square. Does it matter all that much? Well, don't like it when it could have been square and sure it was designed to be square but assembler did not care and thus not square. Now I have had a squeak whenever I rock since day one and wonder if it because wood that rocks on upper chair supports is not square to the upper supports?

- Now I am a big man, meaning I weight 250 pounds and admittedly that is a lot for any chair to hold but the La-Z-Boy just was not designed or implemented to hold such a weight without there being impact on the under structure. For example, every one shifts in their seat and thus the load is shifted as well with more being on one side than the other. And what did La-Z-Boy do to counteract shifting forces on the under structure? They glued in a small wooden wedge between the platform structure and the rocker arm and oh, forgive me, they used wire nails to hold in place. Well, guess what I found, both wedges have moved considerably because they can not support the shift forces of my body.

So what have I done? Well I have replaced the splintered rocker arm piece and both glued and nailed it into place. I have removed the other rocker arm (not glued at all) and glued and nailed it in place. And to help with lateral forces, I have constructed wooden cross pieces that go between the rocker arms and the platform support structure such that forces shifting left or right are limited and I mean like, not possible.

So the undercarriage construction and design sucks. Well the "leather" is not much better. Yes, it has held its color well but it is cracked and worn through in several places and we have used leather soap and cleaner regular like.

Perhaps I am just moaning about another expensive item that I think should be designed and implemented better. What could it cost additional to get the base square and be designed to hold a 250 pound man without something breaking. I can repair but you?



Ron - Shared Knowledge Home