One of the best ways to add more storage space to a room of any size is with shelving. Wall shelving can be used to organize and store anything from books to containers, and they are also fantastic for displaying collectibles. No matter the use, wall shelving really is very easy to install, and no matter your skill level when it comes to home improvements, you can install metal wall supports and shelving without assistance. Consider the available vertical space in your home, and use the following steps and instructions to add more storage or a place to display your favorite collectibles.
Locate wall studs. For secure wall shelving it is important to locate at least one wall stud. Use a simple magnetic stud finder or an electronic stud finder to locate a wall stud before beginning to install shelving. Stud finders are available in all price ranges, and even an inexpensive stud finder will do the job.
Level and install standards. The metal bars that hold shelving brackets are known as standards. They are very easy to install and level vertically. After locating a wall stud, use a drywall screw or deck screw of appropriate size and a power drill to attach the first standard to the wall, but do not screw it in all the way. This will allow for adjustment. Also, the screw should be at least one inch in length so it will adequately hold the weight of the shelving and any displayed items. Keep in mind that shelving over thirty-six inches in length or a unit that will hold more than two shelves should be outfitted with more than two standards. Use at least three standards to ensure the load will hold, and to prevent the shelving from sagging.
Once the first standard is in place, use a level to determine the correct vertical position, and sink a screw into the next hole. Securely attach screws to the wall in the rest of the holes, and do the same with the next standard after determining the distance it should be positioned from the first one. You will also have to make sure the standards are positioned at the same height so the shelving will be level, and this can be achieved using a laser level or a long carpenter’s level. Use a pencil to mark the proper locations.
If the second standard will not be placed over a wall stud, you will have to use wall anchors. The best types of wall anchors are toggle bolts. The wings are movable, and after the bolt and attachment are placed through the wall, the wings automatically open and hold the heavy item in place. Plastic wall anchors can also be used, but make sure they are capable of holding the weight of shelves and displayed items. Use the same method of installing center standards, if necessary, but make sure the toggle bolts will fit through the holes if they must be used.
Install brackets. Once the standards are in place, install the brackets that will hold the shelving. If the brackets are not long enough to accommodate the shelves, they can still be used. Simply mark the locations of the tips of the brackets against the bottom of shelving boards, and use a saw to make notches to accommodate the tips. Pay careful attention to the load rating of the brackets before using them to hold heavy items.
Install shelves on brackets. The last step is to install the shelving on the brackets. Costly ready-made laminate or finished wood shelving is not necessary. Visit your local lumber yard or home improvement store and purchase inexpensive sturdy wood planks instead. They can be cut to specifications before purchase, and they can be painted and decorated to match any color or style of room decor.