Project Guide

How to Install Wire Shelving

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Mark Stud Location in Wall
Mark stud location wall  - Wire Shelf Storage
  • For precision, use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall where you want to hang your shelving. Mark the position lightly with a pencil. 
  • Once you’ve located the first stud, measure to find the rest — the center of one stud will be 16 or 24 inches from the center of the neighboring studs.
Install the Hang Track
Install the hang track - Wire Shelf Storage
  • If you are using a system with a hang track, install that first. 
  • Hang tracks run parallel to the ceiling and screw into the studs. While the hang track can be hung at any height, running it across the top of the wall is recommended. 
  • Screw it into the top plate (a piece of framing that runs the length of the wall, extending about 1 1/2 inches below the ceiling) through the middle of the track with a #12 pan-head screw, or as directed by the manufacturer.
Level the Hang Track
Level the hang track - Wire Shelf Storage
  • Make certain the hang track is level before driving the rest of the screws. 
  • If the ceiling is uneven, it may interfere with leveling the track. If so, drop the entire track 1/2 inch and reinstall.
Hang the Shelf Standards
Hang the shelf standards - Wire Shelf Storage
  • Hang the shelf standards from the track. Generally speaking, the standards should be no more than 24 inches apart, though manufacturer’s recommendations may vary. 
  • Wherever possible, put each standard directly over a stud so you can drive screws directly into it. 
  • Verify that the standard is plumb and draw a line along it before screwing it in place. 
  • Screw the standard into place along the line, using the screws the manufacturer recommends.

Tip: If you're driving screws into a spot without a stud behind it, make sure you use the appropriate size toggle bolt. 

Install Hanger Bars
Install the hanger bars  - Wire Shelf Storage
  • Put small shelf brackets on the back of the hanger into the slots in the standard, then push down until they snap in place. 
  • If you're planning on including baskets or other hanging elements, double-check that you've allowed enough space for them.
Attach Shelves
Attach shelves - Wire Shelf Storage
  • Place the shelves on the hanger bars. 
  • Once you've made sure the shelves are firmly in place, put end caps on the exposed ends of each shelf.
Install Clothing Bar
Install clothing bar - Wire Shelf Storage
  • If you want to add a clothing bar, hang bar supports from the shelf. The design varies by maker and style. 
  • The bar supports in the system pictured slip through the space between the wires and lock in place.

Tip: Baskets are a good option for expanding storage space. You can clip hanging baskets to the wire shelf, or use floor-based baskets that slide like drawers and usually hang on a wire frame that snaps together. Snap the frame together and slide the baskets into the runners.  

Although there are many styles and brands of closet storage systems, nearly all of them are comprised of wire shelves and supports that can be screwed together quickly and easily. 

If you’re looking to clean up the clutter at home, browse our other guides on home organization and maintenance including ideas for garage organization, closet shelving ideas, and how to build a closet organizer.