closet shelf and rod install seattle handyman

Selecting Shelving Types and Bracket Options

Shelving is an easy and economical way to add extra storage space in almost any part of your home—along walls, inside closets, and even in the basement or garage. Building shelves doesn’t usually require a lot of skill or specialized tools, so this is one project just about any do-it-yourselfer can handle. And unless you decide to use hardwood—which looks great but costs a bundle—it won’t cost a lot to install them either.
Solid wood shelving is the way to go when you want to show off the wood or your work. But the cost per board-foot often rules out using classic hardwoods like oak, cherry, or walnut. Softwoods, such as fir or pine, are a better bet; they can be painted or coated with polyurethane to bring out their natural beauty.
Plywood and particleboard offer a couple of advantages for shelving, though. They cost less than solid wood and can be bought faced with decorative surfaces. They also come in sheets, making them ideal for an extensive shelf. In addition, inexpensive, manufactured storage units ready for assembly often are made from melamine-coated particleboard.
Wood trim will help match your new shelves to the rest of the room or add exciting details. Trim is also a handy way to hide seams, gaps, exposed edges of the plywood, and other blemishes. You can get trim in either hardwood or softwood. If you plan on finishing a project with stain or sealer, make sure the trim matches the wood you used for the rest of the project.


There are two basic types of ready-to-hang shelving support stationary shelf brackets and shelving standards. Stationary brackets come in many sizes and styles and range from utilitarian to decorative. Shelving standards are slotted metal strips that support various shelf brackets, including horizontal cantilevered brackets, adjustable arm brackets, flexible end clip brackets, and continuous Z-brackets.
Mounting Brackets 
For maximum strength, anchor shelf supports to wall studs. If your shelf carries a light load, you can anchor studs with mollies or toggle bolts. Attaching supports directly to the studs is always better, though, because sooner or later, something heavy will wind up on the shelf.
Use masonry anchors to attach shelf supports to brick or concrete walls. Attach shelf supports to a ledger secured to wall studs with 3-inch-long wood screws for extra holding power. Metal shelf standards can be mounted directly to walls or, for a more decorative look, you can insert the standards in grooves routed into the wood itself or hardwood strips. (See below.) Cut the standards to fit using a hacksaw, and attach them to wall studs with 3-inch screws. Use a carpenter’s level to ensure that both standards are plumb and that the corresponding mounting slots are level—Mount standards 6 inches from the ends of shelving to prevent sagging. For long wall shelves, install standards every 48 inches. Many kitchen and closet storage systems use wire grids that attach to walls with molded plastic brackets. You can mount these brackets to drywall if you anticipate light loads using the screws and expansion anchors usually included with such systems. For heavier loads, use drywall screws to fasten the brackets directly to studs.