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Whenever we notice that a table or a chair has a slight wobble, many of us think that it’s not much trouble with living with a shaky table. Although it could be an inconvenience to replace it, you don’t want it to stop you from having a good time. Or worse, accidentally spill a hot drink over yourself. That’s when you know it’s time to fix the wobbly table.
Tip: Use a wobble shim for a quick fix
A quick fix to any wobbly table, with no major structural table issues, is to add a shim underneath the offending leg. You want to identify the leg that is a bit too short. However, if you flip it over and notice that the table leg itself is wobbly, you will be looking at repairing the leg.
There are a few tips and tricks that you can use to DIY repair the table at home. In this article, you will learn top tips on how to fix a wobbly table.
How to fix a wobbly table – 4 DIY methods
Before getting into the details of the tips, here are some of the common reasons why a table wobbles. It’s mostly only because of two factors — either the legs of the table are uneven, or the floor that it’s kept on is not flat.
When it’s the floor that isn’t flat, just moving it to another part of the floor that is flat should do the trick. You can also add a small stylish wedge to help with this.
By holding one leg down, rotate the table around until you find the surface to be flat, and the table doesn’t wobble again. Now, if the reason is that the legs of the table are uneven, then you can follow any of these top 3 DIY tips.
Before you start
First, you need to examine which leg (or legs) is the culprit. You will need a flat surface to do this inspection— for placing a table on an uneven surface could point you to the wrong legs.
So if you are wondering how to fix a wobbly table, the first thing to do is find a super flat surface to place the table on and give each leg a slight shake to see if it wobbles or not. Use a leveling tool to help.
Experts recommend a large piece of marble for you to make this inspection. If not, any flat surface would do.
Once you identify the leg that is shorter, it’s time to fix it.
It’s good practice to then flip the table upside down and immediately tag the legs that need work with a bit of painter’s tape. Sometimes you may be distracted, such as by a pet or a kid, so you don’t want to lose track of the correct leg. You can use a piece or tape or a zip tag or any other form of marking of your choice. The idea is just to not lose track of the leg that needs fixing.
So once you identify the faulty leg and you have also tagged it, you are ready to fix it.
Method 1: Tightening the screws/bolts
Sometimes, the reason for wobbly legs is as simple as loose screws or bolts. All you will need is a wrench or a screwdriver to fix them. Place the table upside down on an even surface. If the legs are screwed down, all you will need is a screwdriver to tighten the screws. You might need an Allen key.
Once you are through, place the table right side up again and check if it wobbles. Based on which leg still wobbles, put it back upside down and tighten the screws until you get it right.
In case the legs are fixed to the tabletop with bolts, then you will need a wrench to tighten them. Repeat the process until you see that the legs have stopped wobbling.
Method 2: Working with a table that has glides on
Once you have tightened the screws/bolts, that should mostly do the trick for the legs of the table to be steady again, so it shouldn’t wobble anymore. However, despite doing your best to tighten them, if you still see a slight wobble you can try a couple more tricks. For this you will need a little more than a screwdriver or a wrench, but worry not, it’s a piece of cake.
Here is a simple way to fix the wobbly leg. Many tables come with legs that have metal or plastic glides on them. All you have to do is remove the glide on the wobbly leg with a chisel. Make sure not to hurt yourself while using this tool— do not place your hand anywhere near it. Place one hand on the leg to hold it down, away from the top, and with the other hand, hold a chisel and gently tug at the glide and push it up on all sides until you remove it.
These glides are hammered down with a nail— so what you can do is simply insert a washer into the glide through the nail and hammer it back onto the leg the way it was. Depending on whether it’s a slight wobble that you are trying to fix or a crazy wobble, you may use two or three washers or one really thick washer. Once you have hammered the glide back in place, flip the table the right side up and check again, and tada! You should see that the table does not wobble anymore.
This is a simple method on how to fix a wobbly table without bringing it any further damage. You’d hardly notice the washer because it’s secured in place underneath the leg with the glide covering it, so it’s as good as new again.
Method 3: Working with a table without glides
One of our suggestions is to shorten the rest of the legs to make all the legs even again. To do this, use a wood shaving tool. Though shaving the other legs short might fix the problem of length, you may be hesitant to do this on expensive tables.
So rather than causing the table any possible damage, there’s an easier solution. Some people use wobble wedges, or books to place underneath the shorter leg — but these, while effective, are also temporary.
There’s another simple method that’ll do the trick without having to modify the table in a big way— and that is using a hot glue gun. All you need to do is once you have the table flipped upside down, shoot hot glue in place of a glide. You may need an inch or two of the glue, depending on how wobbly the table is.
Flip it the right side up and shove a piece of parchment paper underneath the legs in question so that the glue doesn’t rub off on the floor. Repeat the process and the application of hot glue as needed until the table is not wobbly anymore.
And there you go! These are some simple methods on how to fix a wobbly table at home using unimaginably simple tools. Try it right away.
Method 4: Replacing the table legs
For some types of tables, you can simply replace the legs with brand new ones. The benefit of this is you can make it a DIY project with new style of table legs, like the modern hair pin table legs. Another thing to consider is how tall you want your table to be.
FAQs on How to Fix a Wobbly Table
What causes table to wobble?
A table could wobble either because the legs of the table are uneven or that the floor underneath the table is not flat.
How do you fix an unbalanced table?
If a table wobbles because of legs that are uneven, you need to find ways to adjust their height so that they are all even again. There are simple tricks for this right from placing rubber wedges, to tightening the screws/bolts of the legs. If the table wobbles because the floor beneath it is not flat, simply move the table around until you are able to level it on a flat surface.
If you are wondering how to fix a wobbly table, you have a few options. You could add a table wedge to the shorter leg. Or you could tighten the screws or bolts if that is the problem with loose legs. If you still find the legs to be wobbly, you can adjust the height of the legs by inserting a washer into the glide and hammering it back onto the leg.
Another option is to create your own custom-made plastic glide with a few applications of hot glue.