The best repair for this type of situation is a good ounce of prevention…
which we will discuss in a moment, but the truth is many beds never have enough support to begin with and especially when larger people are using them. Cracking, breaking, or splitting out are common failure in wood rails with down hooks. These down hooks slide down into vertical slots where horizontal receiving pins are located within both the footboard and headboard. The failure comes when too much weight is applied to the side rails. Another possible failure can be where the receiving pins in the headboard or footboard are not encapsulated by enough wood and fail, in either case repair is usually not an option.
How to prevent wood rails from cracking or splitting
The way to prevent such an issue is with supports like the ones offered from Glideaway MFG. If the wood side rails are new or still in good condition we use their BB8 steel cross supports they utilize heavy angle iron and have multiple adjustable legs in king or queen sizes. With enough feet and proper installation such a support is strong enough to hold even a soft sided waterbed one of the heaviest beds sold. For everyday use under average weight couples and lighter weight loads we recommend their G-FORCE support system which utilizes less steel and fewer feet. Both systems span the width of wood rails and lay where wood slats typically go. They screw firmly into place and help take load weight off of the down hooks and tranfer it to the floor safely and effectively.
What if my wood side rails have been lost or cannot be fixed?
It happens to the best of us and yes they do get lost especially in the case of moving companies. In the case of queen size beds we replace the wood rails with Glideaways all steel frame system. They call it their 62CS hook rails with an adjustable center support. It literally replaces the need for wood rails which are often covered by bedding and bed skirts anyway. Steel side rails and universal down hooks replace the wooden sides. The strong center support bar with adjustable feet keeps wide boxsprings supported properly and meets all warranty requirements.
For twin and full size models we use Glideaways number one for beds that have a headboard and footboard. These use the same rolled steel frame as the queen previously mentioned but not center supporting legs. Instead it utilizes a connecting wire that keeps the rails from spreading and looking like an old whiskey barrel.
If you choose to not use specialty frames as mentioned above and instead use wood slats this can be done. However we recommend that you utilize wooden board cut a minimum of 1”x 4”. In addition add at least a vertical center support from the center of each slat going down to the floor, this will act as a leg and offer strength that will keep the box spring from sagging. Repeat on each of the 5 slats.
Can the wood side rails be repaired?
Repairing solid wood or laminated side rails can be a hit or a miss undertaking and it is one that we do not recommend attempting. Have this done by a professional. We have seen people glue or scab the broken / cracked area only to have it fail or fall and do more damage to the bed.