Author Topic: How to improve bed by replacing the slats? (Read 76602 times)

Vilx-

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How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« on: July 11, 2013, 01:04:42 PM »
The construction of my bed is quite similar to the one in this picture:



The only difference is that mine doesn't have any metal parts - it's all wood..

The slats however are practically the same. They also exhibit the same problem of slipping out now and then. On top of that, they tend to creak and every now and then one of them breaks. A replacement set of slats for one side of the bed costs around $30-$40 and lasts for about a year or two.

I'm getting fed up with this, so I'm wondering what I can improve. I've come up with several ideas and would like to hear your opinions, counter-ideas and maybe even experience if you have any to share!

  • I could get the slats as wide as the bed, instead of two halves. That way they wouldn't slip. I suspect that it would even be cheaper to get them as raw materials in a home improvement store and then cut them to the appropriate length myself (I have a saw and I'm not afraid to use it!). However I don't think it would help much with the creaking and breaking. What is the sturdiest material that I could make them from?
  • I also thought that I could get MORE slats and space them closer. That way the the same weight would be spread across more slats and the creaking/breaking should be reduced. In the extreme case I could basically fill the entire space with slats that have no space between them. That would be sturdy, but I'm worried that mold or other nasty stuff would start to live between the slats and the mattress, since there would be essentially no ventilation. Currently I don't have any, but I don't know what would happen if I reduced the spaces between the slats.
  • Maybe I could get a metal grid (like a wire fence or something) and nail it to the bed frame (since it's all wooden, this is an option). That wouldn't break and if I used enough nails, it would probably stay in place quite well. The ventilation would be superb too. I'm not sure if it would creak or not though. Also, would it start to rust eventually and stain the mattress? Are there stainless grids? Could plastic ones do?
  • Maybe I could get metal slats? I've never seen anything like it but I could probably order them made in a home improvement store. It's basically just a bunch of metal bars with a few holes at the ends. But how much would that cost? And what about rust and creaking?

brand new stash

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 02:07:45 PM »
Those look like Ikea bed slats. My daughters have those on their beds, and they have withstood a lot of jumping on the bed over the last few years. Do you have the center support (the metal piece in the picture). I think that adds a lot to the stability. I wouldn't worry at all about ventilation...it's not as if anything is venting through your mattress anyway.

jambongris

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 02:09:34 PM »
Looks like an IKEA bed frame. Mine has the same slat set-up and I had the same problem where they fall out occasionally. I got them to stop falling out by just wedging stuff along the middle beam between the pairs of slats so that they were forced towards the side rails and there was no longer any give. They haven't fallen out in over two years now. I used cardboard but you can probably find all kinds of things laying around the house that would work.

I can't help you with your other problems though. In the 6 or 7 years that we've had this bed frame it's never creaked and none of the slats have broken.

worms

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2013, 03:35:31 PM »
You could replace or supplement the slats with a large sheet of chip board, screwed to the edges of the frame or even better screwed onto the top of the slats.

Frankies Girl

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2013, 07:25:38 PM »
When I got my last bed frame, it came with 2 of these things:

http://qualitysleepstore.com/products/metal-frames.html
Scroll down to almost the bottom and they are the ones called Headboard / Footboard Adjustable Side Rail Cross Supports. They're also called Adjustable Side Rail Cross Supports. (link is what they looked like, but not where I got them)

I loved them, and asked the delivery guy how much they were as my sister needed something like this (gave her my old bedframe that would constantly fall off the rail, and he gave me an extra one he had on the truck for free. There is no creaking or anything since the little feet are adjustable, the metal is what is supporting the most of the weight. Mine screwed into the bed's side rails, but there are some that just slot into the sides where the slats would lay. (screw in are better stability and probably will keep the supports more secure)

There are also a three-bar support like this one:
http://amazon.com/X-Support-GS-3XS-Bedding-Support-System/dp/B004OT0S2I

I'd suggest checking at a mattress outlet or looking around online (or Craigslist) to see if you can find a couple for cheaper.

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EK

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 09:40:28 PM »
The same thing happened to the bed in my guest room (my poor guests!!)... My dad was able to fix it for me by widening the long pieces attached to the bed that support the slats. He just cut some pieces of wood to size and attached them to the bed. I think he added little metal brackets below the new pieces to support them. Since the supports are wider, the slats can't fall through anymore!

GuitarStv

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 06:06:04 AM »
Use a box spring on top of the slats to spread the weight evenly. This should prevent breakage (unless you're jumping on the bed). Creaking is probably caused by a warped board. Those boards are just stapled on to the piece of cloth, so you can get a length of standard 1x3 or 1x4 at the lumber store, cut it to length, and then staple it in place of a broken or warped board that's causing the problem. Probably cost you about three bucks.

Hotstreak

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 09:10:50 AM »
You could replace or supplement the slats with a large sheet of chip board, screwed to the edges of the frame or even better screwed onto the top of the slats.

+1

I have 2 sheets of chip board set over the top of my slats. They help distribute my weight, and in 4 years of relatively abusive use I have never had one break. I also have slats that go all the way across (Home Depot cut the boards for me when I bought them). It is all held in place by the metal frame (helped by 1 screw on each corner).

The only issue I've had is moisture build up. Having the mattress flesh against chip board created a bit of a wet spot, and a tiny bit of mold grew. I recommend cutting some 1" holes in the board to vent, or at least making sure to lift the mattress regularly.

Greg

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2013, 10:41:04 AM »
This is partly the slats bowing, and partly the sides moving slightly outward. If you somehow connect the sides together, say with one central set of slats screwed into the metal, or with a tension cable (think gate anti-sag hardware) from one metal sill to the other, it would probably help a lot.

Matte

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2013, 01:17:23 PM »
Chip board

Micheal

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2013, 11:11:28 PM »
If the boards sit in a channel then cut pieces to fit in between the gaps that will keep the boards from sliding and falling out. The creaking is caused by a warped board or the ends rubbing together in the center. I would get slats cut to fit across the whole length of the bed frame. Make sure that they don't fit super tight though you want to leave room for expansion and contraction. Also check that the center strut is level with the sides of the bed, if it's off too much high or low, it might be what is causing the constant breakage.

Nudel

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 07:29:34 PM »
This is partly the slats bowing, and partly the sides moving slightly outward. If you somehow connect the sides together, say with one central set of slats screwed into the metal, or with a tension cable (think gate anti-sag hardware) from one metal sill to the other, it would probably help a lot.

Thumbs up on this.

Had this problem on an IKEA bed. I wound metal wire across from right to left in a few places, parallel to the slats. There is plenty of room for the wood slats. It's been great.

frugalfather

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 12:40:03 AM »
I have replaced mine with full sheets of 3/4" plywood cut to size so that one solid piece.

marty998

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 02:33:06 AM »
I have nothing constructive to add to the above posts (think you may already have your answer).

The thread just caught my attention because I thought it read "how to improve in bed" by replacing the slats.

My bad...good to see there is an innocent explanation.....carry on, nothing to see here.

:)

Self-employed-swami

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2013, 09:08:03 AM »
DH replaced our slats with a 2x4 frame. It worked much better.
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AlmostIndependent

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 09:58:14 AM »
DH replaced our slats with a 2x4 frame. It worked much better.

I replaced mine with 2x4s and plywood. Threw a couple screws in to hold it all together, works like a charm.
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Tel

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 07:54:33 AM »
I had a bed very similar to this, the slats didn't fall through but they were too unsupportive/cheap.

Also a lot of your creaking is most likely from the frame as much as the slats. Here's what I did.

Firstly I purchased these for $14 AUD,

http://maxilock.com.au/

They're Australian so I don't know what you could get over there, but you want something that attaches your siderails to your head and foot board with some tension, not just suspension like most cheap brackets.

Secondly, I replaced all the slates in my bed with 13 pieces of 89mm x 19mm boards from my local hardware store and cut them to size.

Thirdly, I screwed them all down. I used self tapping screws with lagging. The lagging section is important and should be greater than the depth of your slats. This allows the slats to be pulled down hard against the bed frame instead of just suspending between the screw and creaking. You'll need at least 39 so buy a pack of 50.



I used a cordless drill, and started from the top of the bed, on the left side of the slats, screwed it down, moved to the middle, screwed that down, then to the right. Then I repeated that 12 more times, and I labelled the slats 1-13 and marked the right side with permanent marker so for disassembly all the holes would match up. Also make sure your bed frame is dead square before you start and recheck after a few slats.

Best of luck.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: How to improve bed by replacing the slats?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2013, 07:36:27 PM »
DH replaced our slats with a 2x4 frame. It worked much better.

I replaced mine with 2x4s and plywood. Threw a couple screws in to hold it all together, works like a charm.

He screwed ours together too ;)
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