Step by Step: How to Install Shelves

As a kid, I had an Industrial Arts class and we were all instructed to make a wall shelf.  It was big enough to hold all of my books and knick knacks, and all I had to do was mount it on the wall in my room. It is a convenient way to store things and an even better way to display things you want to brag about.  There what you are using them for.

How to Install Shelves


What you need:

*Stud finder




*Drywall Anchors

*Tape Measure

*Screw driver

*Your shelf/utility brackets/standards/ etc


What to do first


First of all you should decide what kind of shelf you want to install. Depending on the shelf style you will need to make a few provisions for that particular shelf. Once you have that, decide where you want to hang this shelf. It should be in a sturdy location if it is going to be on a drywall.



Use your stud finder to search for the studs/2X4 that is attached to the drywall. These studs will hold the weight of your shelf and keep it from falling down.  Attach the utility brackets or standards to the studs on each side of your shelf for a stronger hold.

Once you find the stud, mark it with a pencil and measure across 16 inches to find the next stud and mark it. Make a level line where you want your shelf and drill a hole to mount your utility brackets. Place the shelf on top of the brackets and use the leveler to check if it is level.

There are shelves that may not require being drilled into the studs so you would use drywall anchors and approved fasteners that come with your shelving. These shelves would only be used for lighter things that will be placed on them.



Keep in mind how much weight you will be placing on the shelf. If you will be placing heavy items on the shelf it must be drilled into the studs for a sturdier foundation.  If not, there is a good chance that your shelf will fall off of the wall and cause damage to your drywall. That will cost you more to fix than doing it right the first time.

Find someone else to put your shelf up for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. It is better to have it done by someone who has experience and won’t ruin your wall.

Some designer shelves may come with their own directions of installation. Try to adhere to those, but make provisions if they do not seem appropriate for your particular wall. Some walls are made of cement and may require just a good drill and anchor to get it attached.

Be prepared to add some support to your shelf.

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