How to Install Wall Shelving

How to Install Wall Shelving

B.  Medium Difficulty Installation:  How to Install Wall Shelving

Organize It! – Phase 4 of 8 – Part 3 of 4

 

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How to Install Wall Shelving

How to Install Wall Shelving

 

This post will teach you How to Install Wall Shelving, either just below your Pegboard or anywhere else on your walls, using Shelving Brackets screwed into the wall.

 

Materials & Supplies Needed:

  • Shelving (type, length, and depth of your choice)
  • Shelving Brackets (type of your choice and sized to fit the depth of your shelves)
  • #8 Phillips Round Head Wood Screws – (2) sizes (length determined by the thickness of the materials being screwed into, and the number to be determined by the number of shelving brackets x the number of screws needed for each)
  • #10 Phillips Round Head Wood Screws (optional – instead of #8 screws – only needed if you are using standard angle iron brackets, or use 1/2” washers used with #8 screws, since the holes on these types of brackets are larger.)
  • Mollies (optional – only needed if not screwing into 2″ x 4″s. Size will be equal to screw size used.)

 

In order to purchase any Materials & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home Products – Supplies  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.

 

Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Mechanics Work Gloves
  • Design Plans for both your Primary Base and your Secondary Base
  • Stud Finder
  • Roll of Painter’s Tape
  • Claw Hammer
  • (1) 1” long or longer Finishing Nail
  • Cordless Drill with Quick Change Phillips Head Bit
  • Magnetic Quick Change Extension for the Cordless Drill
  • Quick Change Drill Bit (with a diameter equal to or slightly smaller than the shaft of the screws being used)
  • Quick Change Drill Bit (with a diameter equal to or slightly smaller than the mollies being used) (optional – if needed)
  • 6” Torpedo Level
  • 4’ Level
  • Broom and Dust Pan or Shop Vac

 

Additional Tools Needed if you are cutting any of your Shelves:

  • 12” T-Square
  • Skill Saw or Jig Saw with Plywood or Crosscut Saw Blade or Crosscut Hand Saw
  • Extension Cord for your Power Saw (if needed)
  • Saw Horses or Cutting Table
  • Whisk Broom

 

In order to purchase any Tools & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home – Garden:  Tools and Equipment List  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.

 

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Step-by-Step Instructions

 

B. Medium Difficulty InstallationHow to Install Wall Shelving

 

Step 1 – Assess the Project

 

Consult your Designs and Assess your needs for Shelving in both of your Bases and determine if Under Pegboard Shelving or other Free-Standing Shelving is one of the ways that you will install Shelves. If it is, then continue with these Instructions. If not, click on either of the following links to see my other Shelving alternatives:

A.  Easiest Installation:  Pegboard Accessories – Shelving
C.  Hardest Installation:  Build Shelving Unit

  • To review information on the type of Shelving available, as well as Shelf Brackets, see my post:  How to Install a Shelf

 

  • Please, review the information included here in the first 5 Steps, and then review my page:  5 Steps for Project Management. When you have completed those first 5 Steps, you can return here to continue on to Step 6.

 

Take Painter’s Tape and mark the ends of where each Shelf will be installed in both of your Bases.

 

Step 2 – Create a Materials & Supplies Needed Sheet

 

If you are going to be installing Shelving in your Bases in various ways, please review the first 5 Steps in all applicable Shelving Installation Instructions before reviewing my page:  5 Steps for Project Management.

Before you can complete your Materials & Supplies Needed sheet, you will need to use scratch paper to list your needs for each of your Bases for:  Shelving lengths, depths, and thickness, Bracket sizes, and Screw lengths needed for each different type of Shelf being installed. Then, you will combine any identical types and sizes before listing them on your Materials & Supplies Needed sheet.

 

Calculating Amount of Shelving Needed

Beginning in your Primary Base, take your pencil and scratch paper, and separately list the Shelving needed, separate your listings by any differences in:  Types, Lengths, and/or Widths. Identical Types, Lengths, and Widths should be combined, with the Total amount needed, preceding the information. Leave about 3” between each listing, providing room for Brackets and Screws needed.

When you are finished with your Primary Base, repeat the process for your Secondary Base.

 

  • Using your pencil and scratch paper, write your first heading as:  Primary Base. Under that heading, write the quantity, and length x width x thickness, for each different type and size Shelf that you intend to install there. Leave about 3” of space between each one, for room to list Brackets and Screws needed.

 

  • Consult your Primary Base Design, as well as your Painter’s Tape marking the Shelves’ installation spots, to see where your Shelving will be installed. Measure or remeasure the lengths to confirm, adding any additional Shelving if needed. If you will have any Shelves that are a little shorter than the standard length that the Shelving is offered in, simply round up to the next appropriate length. You will cut these to size later. Standard Shelving Lengths are usually:  4’, 8’, 10‘, & 12’.

 

  • Next, you will need to decide on the depth(s) of your Shelves. Usual Shelf depths are:  6″, 8″, 10″, & 12″. Choose the appropriate depth(s) based on the items that you intend to store on each of your Shelves.

 

  • Then, decide on the thickness of your Shelves. 3/4″ thick is recommended.

 

  • Repeat this process for your Secondary Base.

 

Calculating Amount of Shelving Brackets Needed

Decide on the type(s) of Brackets you will use for each of your Shelves in both of your Bases. Then, calculate the amount needed of each type of Bracket, keeping in mind, any variations in Shelf depths. Write your choices under the appropriate Shelves on your scratch paper.

 

  • You will need (2) Shelving Brackets for each Shelf that is 8’ long or shorter. A 12’ long Shelf will require at least (3) Brackets.

 

  • Shelving Brackets should not be placed more than 4’ apart. If you are using 3/4” Shelving, you can install your Brackets up to 2’ in from both edges. It is not recommended to exceed this overhang limit. (Place heavier items in the center, and lighter items on the overhang portions of your Shelf.)

 

  • Going back to your scratch paper, under each different Shelf type and size, list the appropriate Shelf Bracket type and size needed in each. Then, multiply the number of each different type and size by the appropriate number of Brackets needed for each Shelf based on it’s length. Write the amount needed before each listing.

 

Calculate the Amount and Length of Screws Needed

Locate your Studs where all of your Shelf Brackets will be installed in both of your Bases, to see if you will need any Mollies for your installations. This will affect the length of the Screws that you will use.

You will probably be using (3) different Screw lengths of #8 Phillips Round Head Wood Screws:

  1. Screws going into Studs (2” long)
  2. Screws going into Mollies (1 ¼” long)
  3. Screws going into Shelves (¾” long)

 

If you are using Standard Angle Brackets for any of your Shelves, you may need to use #10 Screws instead, since the holes in these types of Brackets are usually larger.

Calculate the amounts needed for each length of Screws to install all of your Shelving Brackets in both of your Bases, along with any Mollies needed. Write your findings under the appropriate Shelves on your scratch paper.

 

  • Consult your Design Plans, as well as, your scratch paper, to see exactly where your Shelving will be installed. Next, you will need to take your Stud Finder, and locate all of your Studs in the areas of your proposed Shelf Bracket installations in both of your Bases. Take a piece of Painter’s Tape and mark each one.

 

  • This will determine whether or not you will need any Mollies for your installation, along with determining the length needed for your Screws. Mollies will need to be used for any areas where your Brackets will not be screwed into a Stud. Keep in mind the overhang limits mentioned above, and the fact that aesthetically, it will look better if the amount of overhang on either side, is equal in spacing to your Brackets.

 

  • Beginning in your Primary Base, for each Shelf listed on your scratch paper, look closely at the Shelving Brackets that you intend to purchase, noticing how many holes are present for Screws needed in order to attach the Brackets to the Wall, as well as, how many holes are present for Screws needed to attach the Brackets to your Shelving.

 

  • Taking one Shelf at a time, count the number of Studs for each Shelf listed on your scratch paper, that you will be screwing your Brackets into. Multiply that number by the number of holes in each Shelf Bracket. Under your Shelf Bracket notes for each Shelf, mark down ‘Studs’ followed by the total number of Screws needed, followed by the length (2”), followed by #8 Phillips Round Head Wood Screws (or #10 if that is what you are using).

 

  • Next, count the number of Shelf Brackets for each Shelf listed that will be installed using Mollies. Multiply that number by the number of holes in each Shelf Bracket. Under your info for ‘Studs’, mark down ‘Mollies’ and list the total number of Screws needed, followed by the length (1 ¼”). Then, also list an equal number of Mollies needed for each Shelf.

 

  • Then, multiply the number of Brackets for each Shelf listed by the number of holes in each Shelf Bracket for attaching the Bracket to the Shelf. Under your info for ‘Mollies’, mark down ‘Shelves’, followed by the length (¾” long). If you are using ¾” thick Shelving, you will use ¾” long #8 Phillips Round Head Wood Screws, since the Bracket will take up some of the length, preventing your Screws from going all the way through to the face of your Shelf. (Again, if for any reason you are using Brackets that are thicker, you will need to add to that length or upgrade to #10 Screws if needed).

 

  • Repeat the process for your Secondary Base.

 

  • Once all of your Brackets have been accounted for, transfer the various types of Shelves, Brackets, Screws, and Mollies needed to your Materials & Supplies Needed sheet, adding up and Totaling any identical types and sizes for both of your Bases.

 

Step 3 – Calculate Project Cost

 

(Follow the Instructions on the:  5 Steps for Project Management  page.)

 

Step 4 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed

 

(Follow the Instructions on the:  5 Steps for Project Management  page.)

 

Step 5 – Inspect Your Delivery

 

After reviewing the information here, additional information to complete these first (5) Steps is found in the page:  5 Steps for Project Management,  Simply click on that link and you will be directed there.

After completing those first (5) Steps, return to these Instructions and continue on to Step 6.

 

Step 6 – Cut Shelves to Size if Needed

 

Cut any specific lengths needed for any of your Shelves.

 

  • If there are any Shelves that need to be cut to a specific size, you can do that now. Measure the length needed and mark your board in two spots (both sides of your tape measure). Take your 12” T-square and pencil mark a line all the way across your Shelf at the marks that you made. Place your board on your Saw Horses or Cutting Table with the cut mark overhanging the edge by about 6”. Using your Power or Hand Saw, cut along your marked line, while holding your board firmly in place. Brush off any sawdust with your Whisk Broom.

 

  • Do this for all boards that need to be cut for both of your Bases, and place each one near the area where they will be installed once they have been cut.

 

Step 7 – Locate Where Shelving Brackets Will be Installed

 

Locate and mark exactly where all of your Shelving Brackets will be located for your first Shelf. Make sure that all Brackets are level.

Perform the actions in Steps 7 and 8 completely for your first Shelf, and then repeat the process for any additional Shelves needed in both of your Bases.

 

  • Check your Design Plans to see exactly where the first Shelf will be located. If you are installing a Free Standing Shelf, not related to your Pegboard, then, using your Tape Measure, measure the height from the floor to the bottom surface of your Shelf, at the left edge of where it will be located, and place a small piece of Painter’s Tape with the bottom straight edge of the Tape, exactly on that spot. (If you are installing your Shelf directly below your Pegboard, the height measurement has already been determined.) Span the distance equal to your Shelf length, and place another piece of Painter’s Tape, to indicate the other end of the Shelf at the same height.

 

  • Take your 1” long Finishing Nail, line it up with the exact left edge of where your Shelf will be installed, and tap the Nail in about half way with a Hammer. Take your Chalk Line, hook it to your Nail, and stretch it out to the right side edge of where your Shelf will be installed. Have an Assistant attach your Line Level to the center of your Chalk Line, and move the Chalk Line up or down until it is perfectly level. Then, snap a line. This will be the line marking the top of your Brackets for this Shelf. You can remove the Painter’s Tape pieces used to indicate your Shelf edges.

 

  • If you are installing your Shelf directly under your Pegboard, measure the thickness of your Shelving, and measure this amount, downward, from the bottom edge of your Pegboard, at both the left and right edges of where your Shelf will be installed. Place a pencil mark or a small piece of Painter’s Tape on those spots, indicating where the top of your Shelf Bracket will be. Then, take your Chalk Line and snap a line from left to right.

 

  • Now, you must decide on where you will be installing your Brackets. (For aesthetics and stability, you should keep the amount of overhang (from your outside Brackets to the edge of your Shelf) equal for both sides, as well as keep your other Brackets equally spaced. Also, keep in mind, the distance between Shelf Brackets should be 48” or less.) Mark where each Bracket is planned to go, placing a small piece of Painter’s Tape just above your Chalk Line where each Shelf Bracket will be installed.

 

Now, there are separate Instructions for installing Brackets directly into Studs (no Mollies) and Instructions for installing with Mollies.

 

Installing Brackets into 2″ x 4″s (no Mollies)

  • If your Bracket is being screwed into a Stud, use your Stud Finder to locate both edges of the Stud. Mark those edges with small pieces of Painter’s Tape near the area where your Bracket will be installed.

 

  • Measure the thickness of your Shelving, and measure this amount, downward, from the bottom edge of your Pegboard, or from the bottom of your Shelf height measurement. Place a pencil mark or a small piece of Painter’s Tape on that spot, indicating where the top of each of your Shelf Brackets will be (you can use the same Tape pieces that you used to mark the planned locations for your Brackets). (Place the mark or Tape centered width-wise in the area of your 2” x 4”s.)

 

  • If multiple Shelves will be installed below the first, measure down and place a pencil mark or small piece of Painter’s Tape, indicating the top of all additional Shelf Brackets needed. You should double-check each of these additional marks with your Stud Finder to insure that you are centered on your 2” x 4” (Studs are not always vertically straight). Make sure that all your marks or pieces of Tape are centered width-wise in your Studs.

 

  • Then, take your 4’ level, and span across the Bracket location marks from one Stud to the other corresponding Stud(s) where Shelf Brackets will be installed. At the level point for each, adjust your marks or Tape pieces as needed, in order to insure that the Brackets will be installed level.

 

Installing Brackets using Mollies

  • Place a Bracket in each place on the Wall where you intend it to be installed, and mark each location with small pieces of Painter’s Tape for each edge and the top of the Bracket.

 

  • Then, take your 4’ level, and span across the Bracket location marks indicating the tops of the Brackets. At the level point for each, adjust your marks or Tape pieces as needed, in order to insure that the Brackets will be installed level.

 

Step 8 – Install Shelving Brackets & Shelving

 

Install your first Shelf, then repeat Steps 7 & 8 for all additional Shelves being installed.

 

You will need the following items for this Step:

  • Pencil
  • Shelf Brackets
  • 6” Torpedo Level
  • Claw Hammer
  • (1) 1” long or longer Finishing Nail
  • Cordless Drill with Quick Change Phillips Drill Bit
  • Magnetic Quick Change Extension for the Cordless Drill
  • Quick Change Drill Bit (with a diameter that is equal to or slightly smaller than the shaft of the screws being used)
  • Quick Change Drill Bit (with a diameter that is equal to or slightly smaller than the shaft of the Mollies being used (optional – if needed)
  • All Screws (and optional Washers and/or Mollies if needed)

 

Begin your installation as follows:

  • Take your first Shelf Bracket, place it with the top of the Bracket at your first mark, and place your 6” Torpedo Level on top of the Bracket. Adjust to level, check that your Bracket is in the right place, and pencil mark in each of the holes where Screws will be used to attach the Bracket to the Wall.

 

  • If you are screwing into Studs, take your Claw Hammer and Finishing Nail, and punch a small indentation in the center of each mark. Pre-drill the holes about 2/3 of the length of the appropriate Screws (longer ones). Then change over to your Phillips Head Bit, and install all of the Screws to secure your Bracket to the Wall, making sure that you check the Bracket with your Torpedo Level before doing the final tightening. Repeat this for all of the Brackets needed to install your first Shelf.

 

  • If you are installing with Mollies, pre-drill your holes using the appropriate Drill Bit. Then, take your Claw Hammer or a Ball-Peen Hammer and tap the Molly into the hole until the collar of the Molly is flush with the Wall. Then install your Bracket and Screws, being careful not to overtighten.

 

  • Once the Brackets have been installed on the Wall, set your Shelf on top of them, making sure that it is positioned exactly where you want it. Then, take your pencil, and carefully mark in each of the holes where Screws will be used to attach the Brackets to the Shelf. (Be careful not to move your Shelf when performing this.)

 

  • After marking all of the holes, double-check each one to insure that they are all centered, and that you have not moved your Shelf at all. Then, take the Shelf and lay it on your Table or Workbench, with the marked side facing up.

 

  • Take your Hammer and Finishing Nail, and punch a small indentation in the center of each mark. Now, take a small piece of Painter’s Tape, and wrap it tightly around the Drill Bit that you will use for pre-drilling, 1/2” from the tip. This will indicate the depth that you will drill into your Shelf.

 

  • Pre-drill all of marked holes in your Shelf, being careful not to let the tape touch the Shelf (or it may tend to move up the Drill Bit). Make sure that you hold the Drill perpendicular to the Shelf when drilling each hole. (If you are unsure that you are holding the Drill in the right position, you can always check it using your 12” T-square.)

 

  • When all of the holes have been pre-drilled, switch over to your Phillips Bit, reposition your Shelf on the Brackets, line up all of the holes, and screw the Brackets to your Shelf.

 


Tip:  Be careful not to over tighten the screws, or they may strip out in the wood. (
If you are using MDF board for your shelves, I recommend that you install these screws in by hand to prevent stripping them out.)

 

  • Now, go back to Step 7, and repeat the process for additional Shelves to be installed in both of your Bases.

 

  • When you are finished, use your Shop Vac or Broom and Dust Pan to clean up any mess.

 

Step 9 – Fill Your Shelves

 

Fill all of Your Shelves with the appropriate items.

 

Fill your Shelves with the appropriate items that you have on hand. Keep heavier items in the center, and lighter items on any overhangs. Place like items near each other, such as boxes of Screws, sorted by size.

 

When Completed, Stand Back and Admire Your Handiwork!

 

Nice JobCongratulations on Completing Your Project!

 

Now, clean up any messes and put all Tools used for this Project in their proper places.

 

Stay Organized!

 

Please take the time to leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comment section below. Let me know how your Project went.

 

Thanks,

CJ Dodaro

 

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