Putting up a shelf
Choosing the right wall and the right fixing
How strong your shelf is will depend on how well it is fixed to the wall, and different walls will require different fixings to ensure a firm hold. For our shelf brackets we recommend using countersunk screws up to 5mm in diameter. You will also need an appropriate wall plug or anchor.
Rawlplug Spring toggle (butterfly) anchor Hollow wall anchor
Brick / Masonry Wall
A brick wall will be the best option for a strong shelf. With a brick wall you'll need a decent rawlplug to secure the shelf, of an appropriate size for the screws you are using. We recommend using 5mm countersunk screws that are at least a 40mm in length.
Plasterboard / Stud Wall
For a stud wall it is best to screw at least one shelf bracket (both if possible!) directly into the wooden vertical studs behind the plasterboard. You can locate these using a detector. You will not need a wall plug when fixing into the wooden stud, just drill a guide hole and screw the shelf in using a 5mm countersunk screw that is at least 40mm in length.
If you cannot screw both brackets into a stud then you can fix one bracket to the plasterboard using an appropriate wall plug or anchor. Please be aware that this will only be suitable for holding lightweight items. We recommend using something like a spring toggle / butterfly anchor.
Putting the shelf up
- Before drilling any holes into your wall you should use a detector to check for any pipes or cables behind the wall, as you will need to avoid these.
- Mark where you would like the shelf brackets to be, using a spirit level to ensure that they are level. Once you are happy with the placement, mark out the locations of the screw holes for the first bracket with a pencil.
- Drill guide holes for your screws, or holes large enough for your wall plugs or anchors where you have marked the screw holes. If drilling into a brick wall you will need to use a masonry drill bit and might need to use the hammer setting on your drill.
- Insert any plugs you are using to the holes, knocking gently with a hammer to get them flush with the wall if needed.
- You can now screw the first bracket to the wall using a screwdriver.
- Mark the position of your second bracket, double-checking with a spirit level that it is level with the first bracket, and repeat this process.
- Once your brackets are up, you can place the shelf and check one last time that it is level before screwing it to the brackets.