How to Hang Shelves, Bookshelves, Mounted Shelves, and More

hanging shelves

If you have a smaller home, one of the best ways to maximize your space is to install shelving. Whether you choose a bracketed option, a floating shelf, bookshelves, or something else, this investment can serve as a decorative display in any room.

When you decide to install a shelf, the product must be level, sturdy, and correctly placed.

The most challenging part of hanging a shelving unit is to position the screws correctly. Since most commercial products come with a pre-mounted bracket, you must measure where to install these anchors so that the shelf can hang appropriately.

If the wall screws are installed with precision, the shelving unit won’t display appropriately.

Steps to Follow When Hanging Shelves

Before you decide to hang a shelf, the first step is to determine where it should get placed. The weight of what you’re installing is what dictates where you should put the item, along with what will be on the shelf.

If you have a heavy display or dense shelving to install, using a stud finder can help you find the correct mounting position. When you anchor the shelf to the wall studs, you’ll get additional support.

When one isn’t available, drywall anchors are a suitable alternative for most products.

Once you’ve located where you want to hang the shelf, here are the steps to follow to complete the work.

  1. Have someone hold the shelving unit against the wall for you so that you can create a straight line for the anchors. A light pencil mark on both ends will let you know where to place the screws.
  2. Drill starter holes into the wall at the lowest speed where you’ve placed the bracket markings. You can use the screws for this step, but you don’t want to put the hardware all the way into the wall.
  3. Remove the screws. You can put the first bracket in place, adding a wall anchor if you cannot use a stud. Insert the screws again, tightening each one until the hardware is secure. You’ll want to take care so that it doesn’t get over-tightened.
  4. If you have any drywall dust to clean up, now is a great time to do it. You might also want to erase your pencil markings.
  5. As you hang the shelf, it helps to place the unit on top of the bracket. If you’re using a mounted option, you’ll want to insert the product onto its anchors. You’ll want to take the time to ensure the placement is centered and level.
  6. If your bracket has openings at the top, place the screws, clips, or other hardware at the appropriate location. You’ll prevent the unit from toppling over, sliding off, or pulling away from the wall.

When you hang shelves, bookshelves, mounted shelves, or other items, it is crucial to calculate the measurements you’ll need. If you try to guess, the outcome is usually a shelf that isn’t centered or level.

Please remember that weight tolerances often apply to shelving units. Even when one gets installed correctly, placing too many items on it could cause damage to it, your wall, and more.

How to Anchor a Bookshelf to a Wall

If you have a bookcase that you want to secure to a wall, the first step is to outline the placement of the unit where it will stand. Once you have an outline of where it will be, use a stud finder to search for an anchoring point.

You can mark the stud placement on the wall above the outline to have a reference for where the installation occurs.

If the shelving unit is heavy, you may need to install straps or brackets to the top of the furniture to ensure its stability. Some items might have places along the back of the product where you can place the screw into the wall directly.

The rest of the process is similar to what you’d need to do to hang any other shelf. If there isn’t a stud to use in the wall, you’ll need to install anchors to prevent the bookcase from causing damage.

Since the screws would go directly into the furniture, you’ll want to consider the quality of the piece and its placement to avoid damage. You’ll want to focus on placing the brackets near the corner while keeping the unit close to the wall for the best results.

Hanging shelves is a relatively straightforward process. When you follow these steps to complete the work, you’ll have a better chance of ending with a positive result!


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