How To Build Wall Shelves

Is it cheaper to build your own shelves?

40+ DIY Shelves You Make This Weekend Whether you’re just getting started with DIY and looking for an easy project, or you need to add some more function and storage to your home, DIY shelves are a great weekend project. The great thing about DIY is that you can customize your projects to fit your space exactly–both in terms of size and style. But is it cost-effective? How To Build Wall Shelves This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a teeny-tiny commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Yes.9 times out of 10, it’ll be cheaper to build your own shelves than to buy them.

  • For example, you can get for just the shelf–it doesn’t come with the hardware to actually hang the shelf.
  • Or you can buy a 2x10x8 board from Lowe’s for $16 and make not one, but 2 shelves.
  • Even if you add in $20 for and sealer, you can make 2 shelves for about half the cost of a pre-made single shelf.

Maybe you want the look of marble shelves instead of wood. Well, you could, or you could buy a piece of 8′ lumber for $10 and for another $10 and build 4 shelves for $20. Throughout this post, we’ll have links to specific tutorials for 40+ different shelf ideas, but you can build a simple wood shelf in just a few hours.

What you’ll do is buy lumber and cut it down to the length that you want your shelves to be. Sand it down with 120, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper, and then stain and seal it to get your desired look. Once it’s dry, you have your shelves made! Simple as that. To hang them up, you can use that screw into your wall and into your shelf.

When selecting wood for shelves, you’ll want to get wood that is at least 3/4″ thick (aka 1x lumber). If you prefer a thicker-looking shelf, you can opt for 1.5″ lumber (aka 2x boards). If you want a chunkier-looking shelf than a 2x board provides, you can also build a shelf from 2x4s and then frame it out using 1/2″ plywood.

  1. How much weight the shelves will support will depend on things like how long the shelf is and what brackets are used to hang the shelves, but if you build with 1x or 2x boards, you should have a functional shelf.
  2. If you’re curious how far a shelf can span without support, check out,
  3. Just enter a few details about your shelves and it’ll let you know how much it might sag.

If it sags more than 1/32″ of an inch, you might want to add another support and run the calculator again. Alright, now that we’ve talked a little bit about DIY shelves, let’s dive into all of the shelf ideas and tutorials! There you have it! 40+ DIY shelf tutorials that you can tackle this weekend.

Is MDF or wood better for shelves?

Lack of storage space is a typical problem in most families. In short, there are many objects to fit in cupboards and closets, resulting in a cluttered accumulation of items. There is no better storage option than shelves when it comes to getting storage options. MDF is an excellent material for creating shelves because it is less expensive and durable than other material, robust enough to support light to medium loads, simple to cut to size, smooth on the surface, and paintable. MDF shelves can be strengthened to withstand greater weights.

Does plywood make good shelves?

2) Plywood – Plywood is the go-to material used for pantry shelves. It’s versatile, available in virtually any species of hardwood, and can easily be cut using any table saw. Plywood is ideal for pantry shelves because its edges can be finished with wood trim or iron-on veneer banding.

  1. Because plywood is strong (yet inexpensive compared to other solid woods), ¾-inch is usually considered the industry standard.
  2. But you can increase the thickness to 1 ¼-inch to provide more solid support.
  3. Plywood is one of the best woods in terms of utility and it also happens to be less expensive than pine.
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However, plywood isn’t very pretty to look at, so it might not be your best choice if you’re concerned with aesthetics. The alternative under this circumstance is to look for primed, cabinet-grade plywood. You could then use a veneer trim to finish off its forward-facing edges.

Are floating shelves easy to make?

A floating shelf is strong, quick to build, with no visible supports and made from only two parts – Family Handyman These shelves are handsome, easy to build and inexpensive. And they’re strong even though they have no visible supports. They appear to float on the wall, no clunky hardware or brackets. We made them from only two parts—half of a hollow core door and a 2×4. Time A full day Complexity Beginner Cost Less than $20

How do you make a strong shelf?

No-Sag Spans – According to architect calculations, books represent an average load of 25 pounds per cubic foot. Listed above are the no-sag span limits under load for the most commonly used shelving materials. Solid hardwood has the best no-sag rating; however, some species are stiffer than others.

  • Birch, maple, and oak are the stiffest, followed by ash, cherry, and walnut.
  • You can increase the stiffness of a shelf by sinking screws into it through the solid back of the case.
  • Or, as shown below, add more strength and maintain adjustability by attaching a cleat or molding to the front of the shelf.

Aprons can also be added under the shelf.

What are shelves built into walls called?

2. Fixed bracket shelving – Fixed brackets are the most modest forms of shelves that are simple to install as well as use. Individual brackets are installed on the walls with shelving laid across the brackets. The size of the shelving can be adjusted as per the need and convenience of the staff members.

How strong are floating shelves?

Floating Shelf Length & Depth Determine Weight Capacity – Absorb this principle: DEEPER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. In fact, generally speaking, the deeper your floating shelf, the less weight it can hold (or the stronger the floating shelf bracket needs to be).

  1. Simple physics dictates that the longer the lever, the less force it takes to move it.
  2. So If your floating shelf is the lever and it gets longer (deeper), then less weight is required before it starts to sag.
  3. The takeaway: only use a floating shelf that is as deep as you need.
  4. If you go deeper than necessary, you will lose weight capacity.

For example, if you are floating a bookshelf, typically your shelf shouldn’t need to be deeper than 10″ since most books are less than 9″ deep. Alternatively, if you are floating kitchen shelves, 12″ usually works since kitchen cabinets and the plates, cups, and bowls they house are typically 12″ deep or less. How To Build Wall Shelves Aksel Floating Shelf Kit: Designed for Heavy Capacities Another principle to remember is that more rods in your floating shelf bracket = greater floating shelf weight capacity. Pick a bracket that has enough horizontal rods welded onto it to adequately support your shelf. How To Build Wall Shelves Aksel Bracket: Capacity vs Number of Shelf Rods For example, a Shelfology 34″ heavy-duty floating shelf bracket has three rods welded to it. Each rod can individually handle roughly 45-50 lbs. Collectively, however, they add up to upwards of 135 pounds of total bracket capacity.

  • For shelves longer than 36″ be sure that the bracket you choose has additional rods as your shelf gets longer.
  • Over 50″ we recommend at least four rods in the bracket, over 70″ we recommend at least five rods.
  • If you need a short shelf that needs to hold more weight than the two rods a standard floating shelf bracket has, no problem! Contact us about creating a custom bracket with additional rods.

Or you could buy multiple shorter brackets to get the same effect without welding. For example, if you have a 30″ shelf that needs exceptional weight capacity, you can either customize a standard Shelfology 26″ floating shelf bracket with two additional rods, or you can use two 10″ floating shelf brackets, with two rods each on them. How To Build Wall Shelves Aksel Floating Shelf Bracket: The OG Super-Heavy-Duty Bracket So there you have it. Properly planned and installed heavy-duty floating shelves can hold a ton (see what I did there?!). Need help choosing the perfect floating shelves or floating shelf bracket? We’re here to help. Our cadre of shelf nerds can help you pick out the perfect custom shelf for any space in your house. : How Much Weight Can a Floating Shelf Hold?

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Is 18mm MDF OK for shelves?

What is an 18mm MDF Board? – MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is a popular engineered wood product, made from a mixture of wood waste, resin, and wax, that is shaped into solid boards and sheets through a combination of heat and pressure.18mm MDF boards will be cut to that specific thickness, and sold in a range of dimensions.

  1. MDF brings several benefits to a building project, with a smooth appearance that can be easily shaped in many different ways and decorated with paint for a precision finish.
  2. MDF is cost-effective, explaining why it is so often used within economy furniture.
  3. It can also be covered with veneers to give the visual impression of a real wood product.

Compared to authentic wood and other engineered wood products, the strength of MDF can be quite low. Other drawbacks of MDF include its natural issues with water, which can make it warp, and that it can release formaldehyde when cut, which is harmful to humans.

Does MDF sag over time?

Shelves and Workbenches: MDF/Hardwood Plywood – For a busy space like this one, whether it’s a workshop, storage room or mudroom, MDF can make good sense for shelves and workbenches, since the extra cost for decorative hardwood plywood may not be the priority. Just remember that MDF shelves bearing heavy loads like tools and paint cans will need reinforcing, as they may sag over time.

Is MDF stronger than plywood?

When it comes to strength, plywood is the winner. – MDF is a softer material than plywood and tends to sag or split under pressure. That’s why it’s important to reinforce it if you’re going to using it to build shelves or other weight-bearing furniture.

Is 12mm plywood ok for shelves?

Applications of 12mm Plywood Sheets – 12mm plywood sheets have a multitude of uses and are typically used in the construction industry for general joinery. Plywood is an affordable material which is why it is a common material to use for concrete frameworks, prototyping and temporary structures.

How thick should plywood be for wall shelves?

Plywood Shelves – Plywood for shelves should be 3/4 inch thick or thicker. Standard sheets of plywood come in 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, and 3/4-inch thicknesses. Plywood panels over 3/4 inch in thickness are usually special order products. Thinner sheets of plywood can be glued together (laminated) to make a thicker panel for cutting sturdier shelves.

The longest recommended span between wall supports for 3/4-inch-thick plywood shelves is 36 inches.

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How thick should a shelf be?

How thick should wood be for shelves? – While 3/4-inch is a common thickness in the wood shelving industry, 1 1/4-inch to 3 inches is an option if you’re wanting to showcase more of the wood’s character, When it comes to wood for shelves, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

The thickness of the wood can depend on the overall size and weight of the wooden shelves, as well as the type of wood being used, but it mostly comes down to preference. For example, a thicker piece of wood may be necessary for a heavy-duty wall shelf that will be holding a lot of weight, while a thinner piece of wood may be sufficient for a lighter shelf.

Ultimately, it is important to consult with a professional to determine the best thickness for your particular shelving needs. With their help, you can ensure that your shelves are both strong and stylish.

What is the cheapest way to make shelves?

First, Choose Size & Supplies – These shelves are very customizable. For the cheapest shelves, use thin plywood and basic 2×4″ lumber. These shelves will be functional but may sag if the weight of the items you store is too heavy. For heavier items or wider spaces between supports, use thicker plywood. How To Build Wall Shelves How To Build Wall Shelves This crude but effective plan for storage shelves can be elevated with paint and matching boxes.

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How much does it cost to build a shelf?

Factors for cost – How To Build Wall Shelves DLife Consulting/Shutterstock When adding a built-in shelf to your home, many different design elements and customizations can feature in the finished product. Regardless of the layout you are favoring, a few key components play a primary role in determining the overall cost of the construction and installation.

Labor costs can dramatically change the price Brooklyn Based estimates that a typical carpenter will charge between $850 and $1,100 per linear foot to build and install a new shelving unit. Unlike a prefabricated bookshelf, chest, or other piece of cabinetry, a built-in design is one that is created with a specific location and purpose in mind.

It’s developed to match your home’s needs while fitting in perfectly with the space that it will occupy. Fixr estimates that a prefabricated shelving unit will cost between $200 and $1,500 with installation included while a built-in variety ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 (for a solid wood, 5 linear foot option).

Often, a custom piece will be created with the help of a professional carpenter who will quote you a price that takes into account the material and time-based costs of construction and installation, as well as a markup that represents their individual skill. Homeowners can reduce the costs of a built-in shelving unit by crafting the piece themselves; although, without substantial DIY chops to back up the project, the finished item may be noticeably lacking in quality.

This tradeoff is something to keep in mind as you go about sourcing quotes from local craftspeople in your area. Materials sway cost per linear foot more than any other component Materials play a major role in the overall cost of the project as well. Local prices can vary widely based on availability and stocks (considering the logistics involved in moving heavy and often large lumber goods), so sourcing prices in your local market is crucial.

The Hardwood Store of North Carolina, for instance, lists cherry at $5.25 per board foot, walnut at $8.25 per board foot, maple at $5.95 per board foot, and red oak at $2.75 per board foot, each at a 4/4 width. For a luxurious hardwood finish, opting for one of these upgrades over MDF boards or plywood from the local construction and home improvement store is a must.

These hardwoods (among many unique options) give the project an elegance that simply can’t be matched by other, cheaper lumber alternatives. Fixr also reports that a metal or glass fabrication can change the cost basis, with metal construction running from $450 to $800 per linear foot and glass averaging between $750 and $1,200 per linear foot, each complete with installation.

How much does it cost to build custom shelves?

Premade vs. Custom – Premade bookshelves typically cost about $150 per linear foot and can be found at a local home improvement store. Premade options are less expensive and are an excellent option for homeowners with a limited budget. Prefabricated bookshelves can be moved to different areas, but homeowners will want to be aware that they are usually made of cheaper materials and may not be very sturdy.

Is it cheaper to make or buy a bookshelf?

CUSTOM BUILT-IN BOOKSHELVES – Built-in bookcases will typically cost more than store-bought, but I consider them to be worth it. They add great architectural detail, and a good carpenter can customize them to fit your space. I love this style, and I know Emily from M&B Design. How To Build Wall Shelves You can see here in our Modern Coastal Abode project how these custom built-ins add so much character and help define the living room space. Plus they add some much needed storage for this family.  Design Tip: add wallpaper to the back of your shelves for extra color and texture How To Build Wall Shelves In this recent client project we added custom built-in cabinets and shelves to this space beside the fireplace. We also added molding and trim to the fireplace, and painted everything the same color so it looks as one built-in unit. Stay tuned to see more of this project. These built-ins by Jessica Oltman are so beautiful. I’ve always loved white built-ins, but I’m also loving the darker, moody colors. How To Build Wall Shelves Styling tip: Use white or light colored accessories with darker shelving as well as dark or brighter colored accessories with white shelving.  For an office, I like the functionality of the cabinets but also the form of the open shelving above.

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