Fitting a shelf is a fairly straightforward diy task, here we will guide you on how to fit a shelf using the right tools to complete the job and without any problems.
To fit as an example a 3ft / 1000mm long shelf you must first decide on an appropriate finished height, mark this measurement on the wall with a soft lead pencil (I find soft lead pencil marks easier to remove later if necessary).
Using a spirit level or spirit level and a straight length of timber, mark a level line across the wall approximately the length of the shelf being fitted. Now hold the shelf brackets in position one at a time using the level line as a guide for the top edge of the bracket, mark the bracket fixing holes with your pencil and repeat for each bracket, note which bracket you used for each set of fixing hole marks just in case they differ slightly.
Select suitable fixings to hold the brackets and shelf securely, as an example 1 1/2″ x 8s cross head screws with red rawlplugs, (remember at least two thirds or more of the screw should be in the wall). Use the correct size of masonry drill bit to suit the rawlplug being used.
Before you drill the fixing holes check there are no hidden pipes or cables in the fixing(s) position using a combined metal, voltage and stud detector. To reduce dust and mess on the floor have an assistant hold a vacuum cleaner hose just below the drill bit, this should remove almost all of the dust etc.
Once all the holes have been drilled push rawlplugs into each hole, they may require a little tap in with a hammer so they are flush with the wall surface, now screw each bracket to the wall securely.
Place the shelf on top of the brackets in what will be its finished position, holding the shelf in place mark the fixing holes underneath again using your pencil. The shelf screws will probably be short in length and can be awkward to screw in, to make the task easier use a bradawl or thin screwdriver to make a small indentation in the shelf fixing holes you have marked out, these small indentations help the screw to ‘start’ much easier.
If you are intending to fit two or more shelves above each other then you should fix the top shelf in position as described previously, when you have marked the appropriate finished heights for the other shelf(ves) drop a plumb line (a length of string with a weight attached to the bottom) from the edge of the top shelf and mark this line at each shelf height, this will ensure all the shelves will be in line with each other. The same can be done for the shelf brackets again using the plumb line from the centre of each top shelf bracket and marking the wall below accordingly.
Remove any unwanted pencil marks with an eraser or damp cloth.
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Masonry drill bit
- Power/battery hammer drill
- Medium cross head screwdriver
- Combination metal, voltage and stud detector