Easy Fixes for Uneven Table Legs

Kriss Szkurlatowski/stock.xchngThere are two causes of a wobbly table: uneven legs and an uneven floor. Legs Wear, warpage on any table part or simply from not being straight can cause uneven legs. The floors may be uneven due to the fact that they are not always perfectly flat. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter if your table is uneven. You don’t want it to be fixed by removing the legs. These simple DIY solutions will help you get rid of uneven tables.

Tighten It Up

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First, make sure the legs and all of the hardware and glued joints on the table are tight. This could solve uneven table legs. Even if the problem is not solved, it’s important to ensure that everything’s in place. This could affect the relative heights and positions of the legs. Also, unevenness can be caused by a rickety or sloppy table. After all joints are tightened, move the table around to evaluate the problem. This will allow you to determine the best way forward.

Rotate the Table

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We’ll start with the easiest solution first. This may seem obvious but you can often fix wobble by turning the table so that the four legs meet at the same place. Round tables can be adjusted infinitely, while rectangular and square tables cannot be moved at all.

Shimming Techniques

Slipping some kind of shim under one of the legs is another classic solution to uneven table legs, but several techniques work better than the makeshift shim of a folded napkin or matchbook used with restaurant tables. Most basic: a clear plastic wedge designed just for this purpose. These small, discreet wedges have little ridges to keep them in place. You can make your own wedges using cedar shims or cardboard pieces.

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A wine cork disc can be used to make a discreet and permanent shim. You can use a large kitchen or wood saw to cut the disc. Hot-glue your disc to the “shorter” table leg. This principle can also be used to attach rubber furniture bumpers, self-adhesive felt and plastic furniture bumpers. You can also fine-tune plastic shims or cork with sandpaper if needed. Shimming is the best way to go with metal legs. The following solution is usually not possible.

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Screw Extender

If the table’s stance is too far off for a shim and you need a sturdy, permanent fix, you can extend the “short” leg with a short lag bolt or even a stout screw:

Drill a pilot hole directly into the center of the leg and parallel to its length. Because the leg is likely hardwood, the hole size should be at least twice as big as the bolt’s shank (not threads). You should drive the bolt in carefully so that the bolt doesn’t damage the leg. Set the table in position, and turn the screw in or out as needed for a perfect fit, just like a height-adjustable leg on an appliance. To prevent any scratches from the floor, place a felt bumper underneath the bolt head.

Do you not have the time or desire to do this yourself? You need a trustworthy handyman to do the job.

Updated December 13, 2017

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