How To Make A Desk Sturdier

To quickly correct a wonky table or desk, simply wedge some folded paper or card under the leg that appears to be shorter than the others.

This will provide a temporary fix, but for more detailed options, read on:

Is there anything more annoying than sitting at a desk that feels wobbly and not sturdy?

As I’m writing this, there’s a very slight wobble to my desk that’s creating minor irritation so I can only imagine how I’d feel if it got worse.

Fortunately, there are some tricks and tips you can use to make sure that you don’t have to sit at a wobbly desk for much longer.

Whether you’re in a pinch for time and need a quick fix or have a little more to dedicate to getting your desk stable once again, you’re in the right place. So let’s get started.

Why Is My Desk Wobbling?

If you’ve been having problems with an unstable desk then it can be very annoying. But before you start pulling out your tools and trying to fix the problem, it pays to know why there’s an issue in the first place.

Below are some of the most common reasons that a desk isn’t as sturdy as it should be.

The Floor

It might seem like an obvious point but if your desk isn’t placed on a flat, level surface then it’s never going to have the stability you expect from it.

One of the most common reasons that a desk isn’t sturdy is because the floor isn’t level. So, before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to check this.

Uneven Desk Legs

If you have purchased a flat pack desk then the chances of there being any difference between the size of the legs right out of the box is unlikely.

The legs are usually made in bulk and a machine will be set to create precisely the same measurements for each one. However, it isn’t impossible so it’s worth checking.

If you have a homemade desk, regardless of how experienced the woodworker is, he or she is only human so there could be a slight difference in the size of one of the legs. If this is the case, it can lead to pretty annoying stability issues.

Loosen or Weak Desk Components

Generally speaking, desks are quite strong pieces of furniture but over time, joints, screws and other components can come loose.

What’s more, depending on the quality of the desk, the frame itself might not be very strong and could require reinforcements to make sure it stays sturdy and free of those annoying wobbles.

If you’ve purchased a flat pack desk, make sure that you go over all screws at the end and tighten them to their max!

How Can I Fix My Wobbly Desk And Make It Sturdier?

Some of the issues we have discussed above can be solved quite simply. For example, if your desk is not on a level surface, moving it elsewhere could provide you with the stability you need. However, there are some other, more innovative methods you could use. Let’s take a look.

Extending A Short Desk Leg

If you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck with a desk that has a short leg then the only way to permanently improve its sturdiness and stability is to extend the leg.

You might think that this would involve some serious desk surgery but it’s not as scary as it first seems.

To begin with, you’ll need to measure the gap to get a clear idea of just how short the leg is. When you have done this, you’ll be able to cut a piece of wood to the same height and attach this to the leg.

You can do this using screws or wood glue but be sure to finish things off to conceal the joint.

What If My Desk Has One Leg Longer Than The Others?

It’s not quite as common as having one short leg but it’s also not unheard of for a desk to have one longer leg.

While you could use the above tip to extend the three remaining legs, it’s much simpler to give the long one a trim.

Be sure to take precise measurements before going anywhere near the desk with a saw. When you’re ready, it’s best to remove the leg you’ll be working on and secure it in a vice before cutting.

Tightening and Reinforcing The Desk

If your desk has lost its stability because of loose screws then you’re going to have to get out that screwdriver and tighten everything up.

It sounds like a lot of work but it’s not as much hassle as you might think. If you’ve got a powered screwdriver or a screwdriver bit for your drill then happy days!

The only real pain with having to do this is that you’ll have to empty the desk in order to turn it over to access the screws. You could crawl underneath but in an age with a focus of being kind to your back, I’m not about to recommend this.

Your desk should have metal or wooden reinforcements at the corners. But some cheaper desks may not have these.

This is a massive no-no when it comes to sturdiness so if there aren’t any in place, it might be worth creating some makeshift ones as this will not only improve the desk’s stability but will also improve the overall structural integrity.

Where screws are not used and the glue has come loose, it is still possible to fix this. Make sure that, after reapplying wood glue, you use a clamp and ratchet to fully bring the joint together and secure it until completely dry.


A wobbly, unsteady desk is something that nobody wants to have to put up with but is there a way to fix it?

Provided you can locate what is causing the problem, getting your desk back to a state of stability is quick and easy.

Some of the most common causes are uneven floors, too short or too long desk legs and loose joints. Fortunately, all of these things can be dealt with using things you’ll already have in your tool kit.

How To Make A Desk Sturdier

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