Introduction: Installing Bookshelves on the Cheap

Picture of Installing Bookshelves on the Cheap

This is a guide to installing bookshelves with standards and brackets. This type of shelving provides an inexpensive (cheap!) way to gain useful storage space for books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and anything else you might need ready access to. Whether in a study, living room, bedroom, or any other room in your house or apartment, these shelves are a handsome addition to any décor.

Anyone with a basic knowledge of common household tools can perform these simple steps. This guide will lead you through the procedures necessary to install your new shelving: (1) Tools & Materials, (2) Installing the Standards, (3) Installing the Brackets, and (4) Preparing and Installing the Shelves.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials

In order to install your shelves, you will need the following tools:
Level
Tape measure
Pencil
Cordless screwdriver or screw gun
Hammer or mallet
Electric drill (for pre-drilling screw holes, if desired)
Stud finder (optional)

If you are using raw lumber or plywood shelving material, you will need the following tools:
T-Square
Saw
Paintbrush

You will need to purchase the following materials:
Standards...................................................................................6.55 * 2 = 13.10
Brackets......................................................................................3.58 * 4 = 14.32
Shelving......................................................................................7.64 * 2 = 15.28
Bookend brackets (optional)
Screws (2 ½ inch coarse-thread drywall screws)..............4.91 lb. = 4.91
Total...............................................................................................................47.61 = Cheap!!!!

Step 2: Installing the Standards

Picture of Installing the Standards

Plan to attach a standard to each stud within the span of the shelves you are installing.

To install the standards:
1. Locate the wall studs. Use a stud finder or tap a thin nail into the drywall until you hit stud material.
2. Mark the location of the studs with a pencil or piece of tape.
3. Hold the first standard against the wall at the desired height with the screw holes aligned over the stud. Place a level alongside the standard to assure vertical alignment.
4. Drive screws through all of the available screw holes using a cordless screwdriver or screw gun.
5. Mark the top location of the next standard by using a level placed against the top of the already installed standard. This will assure that the bracket slots align and that the finished shelves will be level.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until all of the standards are installed.

Step 3: Installing the Brackets

Picture of Installing the Brackets

Once you have installed the standards, the most difficult part is behind you. Installing the brackets will take only a few minutes, and you will be on your way to a fully functioning shelf system.

To install the brackets:
1. Place the tabs of one of the brackets into the slots in the standard at the desired shelf height.
2. Push down on the bracket until it is firmly seated. You may need to gently tap the bracket with a hammer or mallet to assure that it is completely attached.
3. Count the slots or use a level to locate the corresponding slots on the remaining standards for each shelf height.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 until all of the brackets are installed.

Step 4: Preparing and Installing the Shelves

Picture of Preparing and Installing the Shelves

If you purchased a laminate, composite or otherwise pre-fabricated shelf material, the only thing that remains to complete the project is to place the shelves on the brackets. If, however, you purchased shelving lumber, it is now time to prepare the shelves for installation.

To cut unfinished shelving material for installation:
1. Measure and mark the desired length per shelf, using a tape measure, pencil, and optionally a T-square for a precise right angle cut. The shelves should overhang the outermost brackets by no more than six inches.
2. Cut the material along your mark, using a hand or power saw.
3. Sand the cut ends, factory edges, and surfaces for a smooth finish, and to avoid splinters.

To finish shelving material:
1. Clean surface with a brush or tack cloth, making sure to remove all residual sawdust.
2. Apply the finish, making sure to follow the directions that accompany finish material.
3. Allow the finish to dry, making sure to follow the directions that accompany the finish material.

You can now proceed to place the finished shelving on the brackets. .

Congratulations, you finished. And all for under 50 bucks! Enjoy your shelves!

Comments

apinkpony (author)2011-09-11

nearly 50 isn't what I personally would call cheap... that said I have shelves like this in my closet (I don't think standards are attractive enough to be elsewhere) and I think I managed to do it for around 50... that was with 4 rather large shelves mind you. The single bracket ones, but none the less, I don't have anything heavy enough to warrant needing the double brackets...

Food for thought.

DorthyBlueBird (author)2011-05-04

You could save money by scrounging your shelving.

Flea (author)2011-01-22

$50 is expensive for 2 small shelves.

About This Instructable

13,725views

46favorites

License:

More by Vultura99:Installing Bookshelves on the Cheap
Add instructable to: