There is a lot more technology that goes into recliner construction that most people think. We think of a recliner as just another chair. Well yes and no. The recliner comes with a hidden ottoman verses a chair. The recliner has some of the same construction as a chair, but with a mechanism. The recliner mechanism is like the motor of a car. Without it a recliner is just a chair. We are going to go through some of the construction of a recliner.
All recliners have a frame or support structure to hold the mechanism in place, offering points for attaching the upholstery and supporting you. Some frames are made of chip wood. Others are made of solid wood. Many are made with plywood. Some plywood frames are 5 ply and others are 7 ply. Ply being the number of boards glued together to create a board. Many manufacturers use a mixture of all three, chip wood, solid wood, and plywood. Most of the manufacturers’ products we offer use plywood. The inside the frame of a recliner is important to the life of the recliner. The more promotional a recliner is the more chip wood they seem to have in their construction. More expensive recliners use less chip wood, if any, and use mostly plywood. In our experience chip wood recliners seem to last half as long as recliners constructed of plywood. Structurally plywood is just a stronger product.
Most manufacturers also glue their frame together along with long industrial staples. When glue is added to the joints the product is more solid and will shift less in the joints. Many promotional manufacturers don’t glue their frames together and just staple them. This will cause the joints to move and possibly get out of align or break, shortening the life of the recliner. When you add a chip wood frame to this, staples coming loose can be catastrophic.
Seat and Back Support
Many manufacturers use different types of materials to support you. Some use rubber webbing. Others use steel springs. The most common support used is steel springs. Most manufacturers use a combination on steel seat springs and steel back springs. To cut production costs on recliners, some use rubber webbing for back support. The rubber webbing is just stapled to the frame. When a steel spring is used it requires a metal clip to hold it in place. Also, when a steel spring is used it has a bit of an arch to it that creates a bouncy feel. A strip of rubber webbing is only filling the void.
We put cardboard in its own category. Cardboard is usually used on the out side sides, inside the arms by the seat, and on the top of the arms. Almost all manufacturers use some cardboard in the construction of their recliners. Most of the time it is used as a flexible support pieced to firm up the fabric or give the foam some support. The cardboard is not necessarily a support item, but with out it some fabrics and foams would not preform as well as they should.
Additional Construction Items
Springs are critical to the operation of a recliner. Have you ever heard the sound of the spring returning to its unstretched position? It can make a strange sound. Some manufactures have found that putting a small piece of foam inside the spring cylinder will dampen or even eliminate this sound.
Springs are now being added to the cushion cores of some recliners. This eliminates the amount of foam used. Springs also return back to their original position quicker than foam. The addition of springs in the cushion has also created a seat cushion that will keep its same feel for a longer time than a foam cushion will.
Memory foam has also started to being used in recliner cushions. This gives the user a much more conforming feel. Memory foam will also reduce fatigue you can experience from sitting in the same position for an extended period. Memory foam cushions are designed to last longer than standard foam cushions.
Come Compare with Us
We have recliners on display that have been stripped down to their frames so that you can see exactly what you are purchasing. We are happy to show you the different types of construction used in them. We have recliners that have been deconstructed from manufacturers we offer and some we do not. We would prefer you purchase your new recliner from us, but if you do not, we at least would like to show you what you might be purchasing from someone else. We look forward to seeing you soon.