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How to Fix a Sagging Floating Shelf

Jack Gerard

You don't have to replace your floating shelves if they begin to sag over time. In most cases, it's possible to fix a sagging floating shelf yourself.

How to Fix a Sagging Floating Shelf

A floating shelf provides additional storage space where you need it while improving the overall look of your home. These eye-catching shelves feature supports that slide into the shelf unit itself, making it appear as though the shelf is "floating" on the wall. Unfortunately, this unique support method doesn't free floating shelves from the sagging issues that many other shelving units face overtime. The good news is that in most cases, you can fix sagging floating shelves yourself without having to replace the shelving unit.

    Remove the Shelf

  1. Take everything off of your floating shelf and remove the shelf from the wall. Depending on how the shelf is secured, you may need to remove screws that connect the shelf to its support system. There is no need to remove the supports themselves.

  2. Weight the Shelf

  3. Place the shelf unit upside down on a solid surface so that the sag of the shelf points upward. Place weights or other items weighing between 5 and 10 pounds on the sagging portions of the shelf, leaving them in place until gravity and the weight of the objects begins to return the shelf to its original shape.

  4. Tip

    Large, flat items such as heavy books work best for putting weight on the shelf since they spread the weight out across a larger area. Avoid small heavy objects or objects with small points as they will not distribute weight evenly and may damage the wood surface.

    Check the Fit

  5. Slide the shelf back onto its supports, but don't reinsert any screws or other fasteners that you previously removed. Check to ensure that the shelf fits in its space properly. Pay special attention to gaps between the shelf and the wall, difficulties you encounter getting the shelf back onto its supports and other issues that you hadn't encountered before attempting to correct the shelf. Issues with the fit could indicate that the shelf is still partially sagging and may require additional time under weights.

  6. Tip

    Softer wood materials such as particleboard will begin sagging more easily and take less time to repair. The harder the wood of your shelf is, the more resistant it will be to change and the longer it may take for the weights to undo the sagging.

    Reattach the Shelf

  7. Reattach the shelf to the supports once it sits in its place with a good fit. If you previously removed screws or clips from the shelf, use the same hardware to reattach it.

  8. Modifying the Shelf

  9. Consider adding additional support to the shelf by attaching a sheet of harder wood to the bottom of the shelf or a lip that will resist bowing or sagging. This is especially useful when the shelf is made of a material such as plywood that is more likely to sag over time.