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How To Put Up Shelves On Dry Wall Or Plasterboard

How To Put Up Shelves On Dry Wall Or Plasterboard

Every home needs good shelving, but putting it up on dry wall and plasterboards can be difficult. This guide shows you how to put up a simple but sturdy shelf.

Step 1: You will need

  • A level
  • A pencil
  • A screwdriver
  • A wooden or glass shelf
  • Some brackets
  • Dry wall anchors
  • A tape measure
  • A stud finder and electrical detector

Step 2: Test the wall for AC cables

Examine the area on which you wish to hang the shelf to ensure there are no hidden electrical cables running behind the stud walling. Screwing into a cable can cause electrical shock or fire. Following the instructions for your particular model of detector, run the device over the area of wall. The device will buzz, flash or even both if an AC current is detected. Adjust your shelf positioning to an area clear of AC cables.

Step 3: Mark the position of the shelf

Offer the shelf up to the wall in the correct position and at the desired height. Mark beneath the right corner with a gentle pencil stroke.

This is your datum, the mark you will use to find the bracket holes

Now measure the length of your shelf, and establish how far in from its end the bracket should be fixed. Measure this distance in from the datum and mark the first bracket hole. To ensure both brackets are the same height use a spirit level, making sure the bubble is between the two lines. Measure the length of the shelf from the datum, minus the same shelf edge to bracket position distance, to give the second bracket fixing.

Step 4: Fix the anchors

Drywall or Plasterboard is very weak and drywall anchors are specifically designed to provide a strong screw fixing.

There is no need to pre-drill holes for the anchors, simply screw them directly into your bracket marks on the wall until they are flush.

Step 5: Attach the brackets

Tighten the screws, until 1/8th inch of the screw protrudes beyond the anchor and wall. Place the hole of the bracket over the screw-head and push down, locating the screw in the recess. Wiggle the bracket up and down to see how much play there is. If the play is too great, remove the bracket and tighten the screw 180 degrees and try the bracket again. Repeat until there is little movement and the bracket fits tightly.

Step 6: Fit the shelf

The final job is to fit the shelf itself making sure to measure both sides of the shelf, balancing it perfectly between both brackets. This will ensure a perfect, balanced finish to your new shelf.