Replacement Legs Revive Your Sofa, Ottoman
New Legs Give Your Couch a New Look
Many sofas and ottomans have legs that screw on and off, making them easy to replace. The feet on your couch may be damaged, or you might want a new style or finish to coordinate with other items in the room. You might also find that your furniture is either too high or too low; replacing the legs with a different size will allow you to adjust the height without replacing the entire piece. (I don't consider myself much of a DIY decorator, but this is a project even I can manage!)
Amazon.com carries many replacement sofa legs and feet, including selections with different finishes and different mounting types. I've collected a sample of choices, listed by size (shortest to tallest). All are wood, ensuring that they're sturdy enough to support your furniture, and have hanger bolt mounts, the type most commonly used in the U.S. (With this type, a 5/16" screw-in bolt secures the leg to your furniture.) All the choices are from the manufacturer Leg Daddy, which has consistently received good reviews from purchasers.
And don't miss my step-by-step replacement guide! It appears at the bottom of this article.
When I purchased my first loveseat, I made a quick decision about the leg color and chose a metallic look. I regretted my choice as soon as the furniture was delivered; the gold paint drew way too much attention. I suffered with them for years, not knowing that I could simply replace them with more appropriate ones.
Legs with a single screw on top (hanger bolt mounts) are easiest to install; ones with separate screws (screw mount style) are more difficult to attach.
Our new couch uses screw mount feet, and they were so much harder to attach! I'd been spoiled by the traditional hanger bolt mounting style that you can pop on a minute without any tools (or DIY expertise). The people who delivered the couch didn't have the right tool to attach the feet, and neither did we! My father ended up doing it later.
Longer sofa legs like the ones shown below can add height when they're installed in place of shorter feet. Swapping out sofa feet and replacing them with longer legs is especially helpful for aging or injured homeowners who have difficulty rising from low sofas or chairs. (Anyone with back problems or bad knees will definitely appreciate a higher seat.)
My grandparents put "lifts" under their couch, but since lifts aren't attached to the furniture, they can be unstable and cause accidents. (They're an even higher risk for moving when they're placed on wood floors, which can be slippery.) More than once, my grandparents' couch slid off the lifts, and it was only luck that no one was hurt. If my grandparents had been on or near the sofa at the time, they could have been seriously injured.
Wood Sofa Legs: 7 - 8 inches
Be sure to order the right number of legs!
Some replacements are sold in pairs, while others are packaged in sets of four.
Unfinished Furniture Legs
If you can't find replacements with the finish you need, you might consider the unfinished options available on Amazon. You can stain and seal them yourself to get the precise color you want, or simply bring them to a local furniture refinisher who can show you a variety of choices or create a close match to an existing furniture finish. We took a cabinet drawer with us to a local refinisher and they were able to help us select an option that would coordinate well with that piece.
The unfinished choices are also more decorative than most of the stained versions that are available, so they complement more formal living rooms.
The Replacement Process
The preparation process: getting ready to buy
1. Carefully tip your furniture and rest it on its side or back. (Depending on the type of piece -- a sofa versus an ottoman, for example -- you may need two people for this step.) Be particularly careful if you have wood floors; you may need to lift the piece to avoid creating any scratches or gouges on your floor. (Trust me on this one! We made this mistake, and it's an expensive one to fix.) You might also consider putting down a drop cloth if your furniture is leather, since it could get scuffed or scraped.
2. Measure the height of the existing legs to determine what size you need. If you like, you can adjust the height of your furniture by ordering longer or shorter replacements.
3. Unscrew one leg to ensure that they can be removed: gently turn counter-clockwise until it comes free. Measure the width of the screw to determine if you need the standard size (5/16") or another width.
4. Re-attach the leg by aligning the screw with the hole, inserting it and gently turning until you encounter resistance. (Don't overdo it or you'll have difficulty removing it later!)
5. Turn your furniture upright again.
The buying process
6. Look for replacements that meet your height requirements and have the proper screw width for your furniture.
7. Be aware that your choices may be very limited if you have a particular color in mind. You may want to consider unfinished legs, since that will give you more options.
8. Double-check the quantity to see how many pieces are included before you order; many replacement legs are sold in multiples of two.
The replacement process
9. Once your order arrives, immediately inspect the legs for damage. You want to be sure they're in good condition before you move the furniture!
10. Put the furniture on its side or back.
11. Gently unscrew the existing legs and put them aside. (If they're still in reasonably good condition, you might consider donating them to a Habitat for Humanity store or other charity shop. Or you might save them in case your furniture becomes stained or you simply want to replace it -- you can put the old ones back on before disposing of the piece and keep the new ones in reserve for future use. You might even sell them on eBay and make a few dollars!)
13. Align and screw in each new leg, turning until it feels snug.
14. Return your furniture to its upright state and original position.
If you're a visual learner, here's a video that demonstrates some of the key steps of the process for you.
I hope this article has helped you with the process of buying and replacing furniture legs and feet. Happy decorating!
© 2014 C. A. Chancellor