Every property has a requirement of shelving, may it be in office, kitchen, bedroom or workshop. When deciding the type of mountings to use for your shelf, there are a wide range of options to choose from.
Depending on the requirement, storage capacity and the look that will complement the overall décor, you need to decide what ‘system’ to use and the type of materials that you should use for the shelves.
The shelving ‘systems’ available is listed below:
- Fixed brackets – In this kind of system, individual brackets are secured on to the wall and the shelving hanged across it.
- Built in shelving – In this kind of system, an existing alcove (such as by the side of a pillar) is shelved with screwed support to the sides.
- Adjustable Slotted Shelving Systems – Here vertical rails are used to insert brackets at different heights
The method for fixing shelves to the wall will depend on the type of wall. Walls are commonly made of brick, block covered in plaster, plasterboard and plaster studding, brick or block dry lined with plasterboard.
There are a wide range of individual brackets in varied shapes and sizes available. They range from simple, plain brackets to highly decorative ones in all types of colors and designs. You can choose from among them depending on your requirements.
Most brackets are of varied lengths, i.e. the lengths of the two arms which make up the ‘L’ shape are of different lengths. The longer arm fits against the wall, while the shorter arm is normally designed to fit under the shelf, thus reducing the leverage of the bracket from the wall. The width of the shelf should only be 2 to 3 inches wider than the shorter arm of the bracket.
On a masonry wall, brackets can be fixed directly using appropriate wall plugs. For this you need to first fix vertical wooden battens to the wall and then screw the brackets to the battens.
There are Normally 2 Types of Shelves
- Short shelves – The brackets are fitted to the shelf before fixing to wall.
- Long shelves – The brackets are fixed to the wall first.
Built in Shelving
Shelves are supported with screws to the sides of the walls with a bay. It often uses a space which would have been wasted.
These shelves can be quite flexible though has a limited width:
- For shelving, different heights and depth can be used; they all need not be the same.
- Space can be utilized for a piece of furniture on the floor.
Adjustable Slotted Shelving Systems
The readily available system is the Adjustable slotted shelving systems. Just fix the vertical rails with slots to the wall and fix the brackets in the slot to support the shelves.
There are two main parts to the system:
- Vertical rails: These are secured to the wall and have some form of hinged holes or slots for the brackets
- Shelf brackets – They are fixed to the vertical rails
The rails and brackets are usually made of aluminum and are available in different sizes to suit the measurement for shelving required. These systems of shelving are easy, simple, robust and easy to adjust.
Regardless to the type of shelving used, they normally tend to fail on the following few factors:
- Brackets bending – Most brackets fail owing to the weight. The fixing screws pulling out of the wall – Any small screws depending on the wall requirement, results in unearthing of the rails due to weight. Make sure you ask the manufacturer or contractor for details.
- Sagging off the shelf – If the bracket supports are too far apart, the load on the shelf, tends to cause a sagging or curve on the shelves.
- Breaking of the shelving material due to sagging / weight curve – Most shelves break because of the overload.
These are a few factors that you must keep in mind before deciding your shelf system.