How to put up a Shelf

Tools Needed

  1. Pipe and cable detector
  2. Pencil
  3. Straightedge
  4. Spirit Level
  5. Safety Goggles
  6. Power drill with masonry or twist bits
  7. Screwdriver
  8. Shelf
  9. Brackets
  10. 50mm or 38mm screws and wallplags (4mm, 5mm or 5.5mm gauge)
  11. Small screws for fixing the shelf to the brackets


  1. Check that the area is free from hidden pipes or cables. Hold the shelf against the wall and mark where you want the bottom to go. Then mark where the first bracket should be, as well as the distance to the next bracket.

  2. Hold the first bracket up to the mark, checking it is vertical, and mark the wall through the fixing holes. Repeat with the second. If there are more than two brackets, fit them between the outer brackets, equal distances apart.

  3. Drill into the wall, insert the wall plugs if you have a masonry wall, and screw the brackets into place. Lay the shelf across, and make a mark through the holes in the brackets for the fixing screws underneath it. Take the shelf down and drill holes for the short screws, but be sure not to go right through the shelf. Replace the shelf and screw home the fixing screws.

Handy Tips:

To make sure your shelves are perfectly level:

  • Fix one support or bracket first and then place the shelf on it, place a spirit level on the shelf and tilt it in the desired direction until the level is in the middle.
  • Next  draw a line under the shelf. Take the shelf off and fit the second bracket or support so that the top of the support or bracket  is level with the mark on the wall.
  • Before fixing the brackets, test for sagging using a pair of bricks where the brackets would be and placing some weighty objects on top. If a spirit level isn’t flush on top, you may need a stronger wood for the shelf, or need to move the brackets closer together.

About the Author: myhomehandyman

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