8 Tips for Fixing a Wobbly Bunk Bed


Fixing a Wobbly Bunk Bed

Fixing a wobbly bunk bed may seem difficult at first if you are unsure of where to start. Luckily, there are different tips and tricks to help you strengthen the bunk bed you have so you no longer have to worry about the wobble.

Read on to learn different ways to secure bunk bed to wall studs. Also, adding more support, using bed risers, and adding a dresser can reduce the wobble from a bunk bed.

How to Secure Bunk Bed to Wall

Securing bunk beds to walls can be like securing loft beds to walls. The main difference is that a bunk bed can be secured through both bed bases rather than just one.

Gather Your Tools

The following tools will be needed to secure the bunk bed to a wall using the studs:

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Stud finder
  • Lag screws and washers
  • Rachet set with hex sockets

When securing the bunk bed to the wall, you do not want any gaps. If your walls have baseboards, it will be best to remove the baseboards in the area of the bunk bed to get a snug fit to the wall. Added tools will be needed to remove sections of the baseboards:

  • Blade or Exacto knife
  • Pry bar
  • Plyers
  • Small piece of plywood

If removing the baseboards in the room is not something you want to do, you can place extra pieces of wood between the wall and the bed frame in the area the lag screws will be. This way, the bunk bed can still have a snug fit with your wall, and the baseboards will remain intact.

Once you have an even area of the wall to work with, securing the bunk bed to the walls will become a much easier task.

Place the Bunk Bed

While the bunk bed is still away from the wall, you can use the stud finder to find all the studs along the wall or walls the bunk bed will be placed. It will make your job easier if you mark the studs with a pencil above where the top frame of the bunk bed is so you can line them up with the studs quicker.

Bunk beds should be placed in the corner of a room. This way, the bunk bed can be supported by two walls instead of just one, adding more structure and leading to less of a wobble in the future. If the bunk bed must be placed on a single wall, this can still work. However, you should add more screws based on the length of the bed boards.

Secure the Bunk Bed to the Studs

Based on the size of the lag screws you purchased, you will use the drill bit needed. Use the drill and chosen bit size to drill through the bunk bed frame against the wall. The choice to start on the top bed or the bottom bed is up to you. Drill through the bed frames into the studs in the wall.

  • If you placed the bunk bed in the corner of a room, drill three holes along the length of each bed and two holes along the width of each bed.
  • If you placed the bunk bed along a single wall, space the holes out along the whole length of both beds.

Once the holes are drilled, take the lag screws and slide washers onto each screw. 

  1. Slide the lag screws into the pre-drilled holes through the bed base and into the wall behind it.
  2. Use your ratchet set with hex attachments to tighten the lag screws into the wall. 
  3. Once you have finished securing the bunk bed to the wall, give a slight tug to ensure no movement.

Use Metal Brackets

Securing a metal bunk bed frame to a wall can be different than securing a wooden bunk bed frame to a wall. Special drills are needed to drill through metal. If you own a drill that will go through metal, you will be able to cut through the posts and into the studs in the walls. If you have a conventional drill, there are still options to secure your bunk bed to studs in your wall using brackets.

Round U Brackets

Round U Brackets can also be called C brackets based on their look. Rounded U brackets are made to fit around pipes. Some metal bunk beds will have rounded pipe-looking frames.

By using a stud finder, you can easily line the metal bunk bed frame up with the wall. Using a pencil, you can mark where the studs are and mark where the holes are in the brackets. Pre-drill the holes for the brackets based on your chosen size. Then screw the brackets into place.

Square U Brackets

Square U Brackets will be made to fit metal bunk bed frames that have square post frames. Square U brackets can be attached to wall studs similarly to the rounded U brackets.

Finding the studs first is most important. Both types of brackets can be used for bunk beds placed in the corner of rooms or on stand-alone walls. The number of brackets you use will be your preference. You want to make sure the main posts have enough support or attachments to the wall to keep the bunk bed from being wobbly. If the bunk bed has a side rail that is against the wall, the brackets can be placed there as well for added support.

Use Furniture Hardware

Anti-tip furniture hardware that is used for bookcases and dressers can be used for a bunk bed also. The furniture hardware should be attached to the posts of the bunk bed and can then be attached to the studs in the walls for a stronger hold.

Quakehold! 2830 Furniture Cable

Each Quakehold! unit comes with five pieces that include:

  • Two end caps
  • Cable 
  • Furniture plate
  • Wallplate

The furniture plates can be attached along with the posts of the bunk bed frame, so you do not have to worry about any screws sticking out. 

After attaching the furniture plate and the wall plate, the top end cap can be attached to the cable. You then slide the cable through the holes of both the plates and attach the bottom end cap. The end caps can be applied tightly so children cannot get them apart.

Each piece is seven inches long, so you can attach four, one at each main joint of the bunk bed that is against the wall or all along with the posts from top to bottom. Screwing the wall plates into the studs will make the bunk bed sturdier.

Hangman Anti-Tip Kit 400 Pound Falling Furniture Device

Hangman also offers anti-furniture tip hardware that can be attached to studs in the walls as well. Each unit comes with:

  • Brackets (2)
  • Steel rods (2)
  • Clips (2)
  • 5/8 inch screws (2)
  • ½ inch screws (2)
  • Cable (1)

The Hangman brand is different because the metal cable attaches to each bracket with a pin in a line. A ½-inch drill bit will be needed to screw the bracket into the wall with the stud screws. The other bracket will be screwed into the bunk bed frame with the 5/8-inch screws. Even if your bunk bed is closer to the wall, this type of hardware will work. Each bracket set up according to the manufacturer will support 400 pounds. 

Add Extra Support to Bunk Bed Frame

The screws for a bunk bed should be checked every one to three months based on use. Checking the bunk bed for loose or stripped screws could answer why it was wobbly in the first place. Any stripped screws will need to be replaced. If tightening the screws does not fix the wobble, adding extra support to the frame will.

In woodworking, triangles can make square and rectangle structures stronger. Since a bunk bed is like two rectangular structures stacked on top of each other, extra support might be all that is needed. Extra pieces of wood can be attached to a wooden bunk bed to stop it from being wobbly. The sizes of the wood pieces that will need to be cut will be bunk bed dependent.

For this project, you will need:

  • Pencil 
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • New or extra wood that can be cut down to smaller pieces

Fix Everything Yourself suggests using wood that is at least ¾ inch thick for this project. This will help make sure the wood will not be too flimsy and will stand the test of time.

Measure the Wood Pieces for the Bunk Bed

You can buy new wood to match the color of the bunk bed, or you can use any extra pieces of wood you have lying around. 

  1. Line up the wood with the bedposts to a length where you will be able to add six screws to each of the four pieces. 
  2. Then angle the second piece of wood so it will sit between the bedpost and the main piece that extends the length of both beds.
  3. Take your pencil and mark the areas that will need to be cut. Measure out four straight pieces and six angled pieces. Cut the wood down if the pieces are too long.

In Fix Everything’s video, only six angled pieces are needed due to where the ladder for the top bunk is. You can also cut as many extra pieces of wood you think you will need. 

Attach the Cut Pieces of Wood to the Bunk Bed

You will want to add the pieces that attach to the bedposts first. Make sure when you line the wood up it sits evenly over the joint where the two beds are attached. Drill holes first through the wood piece and into the bunk bed frame. Make three holes above and three holes below the joint.

Then you will add the screws to hold the extra wood piece in place. Once you finished the first board, you can work on the other three. These pieces of wood have to be attached first before moving on to the angled pieces.

Next, you will drill holes into the angled cut pieces. One side of the angled cut piece will attach to the extra piece that has already been added to the bedposts, and the other side of the angled piece will attach to the bed base that runs the length of the bed.

Once all six pieces have been attached, you can give the bunk bed a slight tug. This will help you check the strength that has been added to the extra support.

Use Bed Risers or Levelers to Fix Bunk Bed Wobble

A wobbly bunk bed can be due to uneven surfaces as well. This can be from the bunk bed frame itself or possibly from the floor.

Bed Risers

Bed risers can be used to create an even balance from all four posts of the bunk bed. Utopia Bedding Adjustable Bed Furniture Risers is an example of this. These bed risers, when used together, can support up to 1,300 pounds. Using risers can also make the bunk bed posts more even since all four risers will be the same shape and size. This will make the bunk bed posts wider, which can make the bunk bed more stable.

The bed risers you decide to use will depend on the bunk bed you have. You will have to measure the thickness of the legs of the bunk bed and then decide how tall of a riser you would like to get. Since the top bunk is already higher, choosing a bed riser on the shorter side may be the best solution.

Furniture Levelers

Levelers come in different sizes and styles. The bed leveler will look like a wedge and can be inserted under a wobbly leg to stop the wobble. An example of a leveler is the YARKOR Table Shims. These rubber wedges have a non-slip surface. Once the leg or legs of the bunk bed is placed on the leveler, the bunk bed will even out.

You could also use four levelers for all four legs to make all the legs even. Since the levelers are a wedge shape, you can determine how high or low off the ground you would prefer.

Make the Bunk Bed Ladder Longer or Wider to Reduce Wobble

Some bunk bed ladders will already touch the floor, and some will not. Having a bunk bed ladder that is long enough to touch the floor from the top bunk, and one that will be on a slight angle can help reduce wobble. In a way, the ladder can be seen as a fifth leg for the bunk bed. The wider the ladder can be (without interfering with the bottom bunk), the wider the “fifth” leg of your bunk bed will be.

If you decide to replace the ladder on your bunk bed or build your own ladder, ladder hooks can also be purchased or built. Ladder hooks will allow the new ladder to be attached to the bunk bed and not slide along the railing of the top bunk.

Add a Dresser or Bookcase to the Bunk Bed

Adding a bookcase or dresser to the bunk bed will help increase the surface area. By increasing the surface area, the bunk bed will not be able to wobble due to the added weight and support. Dressers and/or bookcases can be attached to either end of the bunk bed.

If you can build a dresser or bookcase, you will be able to customize the look of the finished product. You could even attach two dressers, one on each side for each person sleeping in the bunk bed. Buying extra furniture or attaching furniture you already have will work as well.

If you plan on securing the bunk bed to the wall, keep your stud finder handy. The furniture you will be attaching to the bunk bed can be attached to studs in the walls also.

Build Your Own Bunk Bed

If the bunk bed you are trying to fix still has a wobble, you can always scrap the old one and build a new one. The nice thing about building a bunk bed by yourself is you can automatically start building based on where the studs in the wall are. Bunk beds come in all sizes and styles. Finding free bunk bed plans will also make your job easier.

Different plans will require different tools based on the look you are going for. However, generally, all bunk bed plans will require some similar tools and items, including:

  • Pencil 
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Wood screws 
  • Wood 

Most bunk bed plans will come with a cut list for the wood so you can have all the pieces cut ahead of time. This will also help speed up the process of putting the bunk bed together. If you do not own a saw, you can check with your local home improvement store. The store you purchase the wood from can possibly cut the wood to the sizes you need.

Conclusion

Bunk beds that wobble can be irritating and possibly dangerous depending on how bad the wobble is. Securing the bunk bed to wall studs will be the best way to fix the wobble. If drilling holes into walls is not an option for you, do not worry; there are other solutions, including adding more wood for support or widening the surface area.

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