Under 2 hours
Hanging shelves is a great way to maximize space in smaller homes. They also work as a decorative display solution no matter what size space you have. Wherever you decide to put them, it’s important to ensure that the shelving is sturdy, level and properly placed. This guide will explain how to install shelves along the walls in your home.
Tip: See our guide on how to make your own decorative shelving for a DIY build option.
Gather Tools and Materials
Determine the Placement
- Before you start hanging a shelf, decide where it should be placed. Weight plays a big role in finding a suitable installation spot. Consider the weight of the shelf and the weight of each item you intend to place on top.
- For denser shelving or heavier display or storage items, you can use a stud finder to see if there’s stud in the area you want to hang the shelf. Wall studs offer additional support, but if there are none available, you can also use drywall anchors.
Mark the Position
- Have someone help you hold the shelf against the wall. Use a standard level to make sure it’s placed in a straight line, then lightly mark the wall with a pencil on both ends.
- Position the shelf brackets against the wall along the bottom of the shelf. Mark inside the holes so you know exactly where to insert the screws.
- Remove the shelf and the brackets from the wall. Review your markings to make sure everything is properly labeled.
Drill Starter Holes
Install the Anchors and Brackets
- Remove the screws and put the first bracket into place. If the shelf is on the heavier side and you weren’t able to find a stud, install a wall anchor.
- Re-insert screws into the brackets and tighten until each bracket is secure.
- When screwing the brackets into place, make sure not to over-tighten them.
- Take a moment to tidy the pencil markings and drywall dust.
Tip: Review our complete guide on how to install stationary brackets for detailed information.
Hang the Shelves
- Place the shelf on top of the bracket and make sure it’s centered.
- If the bracket has openings along the top, secure it to the bottom of the shelf by inserting screws into the holes and drilling until they are secure. This will prevent it from sliding or toppling over.