Steadying an unsteady headboard
October 30, 2011 9:39 PM   Subscribe

How to secure my headboard in a more sturdy fashion.

I just bought a king-sized headboard for a king-sized bed. Just the headboard, no footboard or siderails. I have a metal frame on which the bed rests. The board was a closeout from a company going out of business, so no help will be available there.

I have modification plates, which the young guy who delivered the headboard said I would only use one. So I attached the headboard to the corner bracket on one side and used the modi-plate on the other. The issue is that on the modi-plate side, the headboard is still pretty wiggly. It is not as securely fastened because the board is about 4-6 inches too long and the plate has to make up for the difference.

I am looking for ideas for making the headboard more secure, or if you have used these kinds of plates before, do you have any specific tricks for using them?
posted by oflinkey to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
I've never had luck attaching a headboard to a metal frame. Assuming it works with the geometry of your space and the conditions of your lease, your best option is actually mounting the headboard to the wall and pushing the bed frame up against it. It will appear to be attached to the bed, and will not budge, no matter what kind of gymnastics you are performing in the sack. Ahem. Not that I would know anything about that.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:57 PM on October 30, 2011

I agree with Rock Steady. Attach it to the wall. Even if you attach it securely to the frame, every time to bed moves the headboard is likely to scuff or dent the wall.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:08 PM on October 30, 2011

Response by poster: I'm have you attached boards to the wall?
posted by oflinkey at 10:12 PM on October 30, 2011

Given that the slots in the plate allow for plenty of lateral movement, I'd try putting one on each side and see if that will work.

Also, are the bolts good and tight and were you given appropriate sized washers to go with everything? Try putting a washer on both sides of the frame/plate sandwich and then tighten the nut and see if that helps.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:54 PM on October 30, 2011

Agreeing that attaching it to the frame will always result in a wobbly headboard, because there's effectively just one point of attachment around which the board can rotate. The headboard is meant to be part of a bed with side rails and a footboard, and even that setup can be wobbly.

To attach to wall — it really depends on the construction of the headboard, but you'll want to screw something like 2x4's vertically to the wall, into studs or masonry, whatever is there. These will space the board out from the wall and the baseboard. Place them where they won't be visible from the side of the headboard. Then attach the headboard to those verticals. You might have to screw another spacer to some part of the headboard so they can meet. You could use glue (but that makes it hard to remove), or mounting brackets (inquire at the hardware store). The main thing is to have it solidly attached with screws, brackets or glue along at least one foot vertical distance to avoid wobbling.
posted by beagle at 6:23 AM on October 31, 2011

The best way to attach a headboard to the wall is a french cleat. DIY or storebought (in this case Rockler) equivalent flush mounting brackets.

If you are going to attach to the bed, it should be at multiple points going vertically up the bed foot and corner. Its almost impossible to stabilize with only one bracket.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 7:42 AM on October 31, 2011

Seems like a french cleat would work best if your headboard didn't have legs. Then it hangs on the wall just like a cabinet. Pretty tricky to get everything lined up and square, especially if the floor is uneven.

When I connected mine to the bedroom wall, I attached a strip of 2x2 scrap to the wall, then used angle brackets to connect the headboard to the cleat.

Not as elegant as a french cleat, but easier to install.

What I could really use is an elegant way to connect a standard steel bed rail to a wood bed frame leg...
posted by notyou at 8:17 AM on October 31, 2011

The headboard we mounted to a wall was flat on the back and fairly thin and light, so we just screwed it into the drywall -- I'm not even sure we got it into studs -- with nice long screws. Some kind of cleat seems to be the best option, but it does depend on the construction of the headboard. I could see a sleigh bed type headboard being very hard to wall mount. Maybe post a little more info about it or some pics and we can give you ideas?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:15 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I will have to look at the back of the headboard again. It does have legs, and I remember it not being as flat as the front. There is a strips of wood across the back which run vertical, binding the planks that make up the front. They are only about 1.5 inches wide, so I am not sure that they would support a bracket. The good news is even with the froo at the top, the headboard would sit flush against a wall, and my floor is as even as floors get.

Thank you all!
posted by oflinkey at 10:48 AM on October 31, 2011

Response by poster: There are strips of wood...sorry.
posted by oflinkey at 10:49 AM on October 31, 2011

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