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How To Put Up A Shelf

How To Put Up A Shelf

Putting up a one of these new modern floating shelves is seen as an important test of your DIY prowess. Here's VJ's guide to fixing a shelf to help you get it right first time

Step 1: You will need

  • spirit level
  • pencil
  • screwdriver
  • drill
  • appropriate screws and fixings
  • hammer
  • goggles
  • AC electrical detector
  • extension cord if necessary

Step 2: Safety

Before you start knocking holes in walls check the area for electric cables using your AC Detector. Depending on the model you have it should flash or beep if there are any currents running through the wall. Drilling into an electric cable can give you a major electric shock so take care.

Step 3: Alignment

If you are placing the shelf fairly high use a sturdy ladder so you aren't over stretching.

Place the bracket in position on the wall and mark with the pencil just under the bottom right and left hand corners. Check your marks are level using your spirit level - the bubble should be in the middle. Now make more marks where the screws should go.

Step 4: Drilling

Select a masonry drill bit ever so slightly narrower than the diameter as your wall anchors.

Put your safety goggles on and get a good firm standing position. Line the drill up with the marking a drill into the wall, slowly and safely. Repeat until you have drilled a pilot hole for every screw marking.

Plasterboard walls are very weak therefore use 'hollow wall' anchors which are specifically designed to provide a strong screw fixing. If your wall is solid, you'll need a rawl plug.

Hold an anchor in place over a pilot hole and gently knock into the wall with a hammer. Repeat until you have hammered an anchor into every pilot hole.

TOP TIP - If you're planning to put heavy things on the shelf consider using butterfly toggles for extra support. They need a bigger drill hole, and once through spring open to clamp the shelf in place.

Step 5: Get fixing

If you are using butterfly toggles, fix them to the bracket first. They're so strong that once you have inserted them into the wall you won't be able to remove them.

With the bracket in position and carefully fix in the screws. Leave them loose at first, a bit of movement will make it easier to get all the screws in place. When your happy with your work, tighten each screw as much as possible. Great, that's the hard bit sorted.

Step 6: The shelf

The shelf itself will slot over the bracket, covering all the fixings to give a streamlined, sleek look. Nice. Now your ready to put it to its use.