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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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How to Fit New Shelves

how to fit new shelves

If you’re trying to declutter or just revamp your home in the New Year, you may want to install some new shelving throughout your home. Shelves are incredibly easy to fit and you can even make your own from timber rather than buying sets. Here are some of the basic types of shelf and how to fit them.

Batten Shelving

Batten shelving has a small platform holding the shelf up – this is best for shelving in an alcove since you need the edges to hold the shelf up properly.

You will need to draw a line along the alcove where you want the batten to go, using a spirit level to ensure it’s straight. Measure each line and cut 3 battens to support your shelf – one for the long back edge and two for the shorter ends. Remember to remove the thickness of the wood from the 2 shorter pieces, as they will not run all the way along the wall.

Once you have cut the wood to size and sanded the edges, hold the battens in place and drill pilot holes through the wood and into the wall behind. 2-3 holes are plenty to hold up a standard shelf without any particularly heavy objects.

Remove the batten and insert the appropriate wall plugs (these will depend on what type of wall you have), then screw your battens to the wall. Then all you have to do is measure and cut your shelving material to length and place it on top of the battens. Nail the shelf in place to avoid it wobbling or moving.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are appropriate for any space – they look great but can’t support a lot of weight so are only suitable for more decorative shelving .

As with any shelving project, mark where you want to fit your shelf and check your marks with a spirit level. Use the wall bracket to then mark where you will need to drill holes for each one – the number of brackets required depends on the length of your shelf.

Drill holes according to your marks and insert wall plugs, then screw your wall brackets into these spaces. Once these are ready, insert the bracket into your shelf and slide it into position.

Bracket Shelving

Bracket shelves come in a range of sizes, strengths, and materials. They can typically support more weight than a floating shelf, but less than a batten shelf because they have less structural support.

Position your brackets on the wall and mark where you will want to place them and where you will need to drill holes – use a spirit level to ensure that it’s all straight. Once you are happy with the positions, drill holes and fit wall plugs as appropriate. You will then need to screw your brackets in place – once they are ready, you can use them as a support for your spirit level to do a second check that everything is in position and then rest your shelf on the brackets. Secure in place with screws or nails.