How to Determine the Position for Shelf Brackets

Shelf brackets are installed directly on the wall to provide support for wall shelves.
There are a large variety of shelving brackets to choose from, including metal brackets, wooden brackets and decorative floral brackets. Each of these provide a certain amount of shelf support, meaning some brackets may support upwards of 700 pounds, while others may only support closer to 25 pounds.

Step 1

Measure the length of the shelf you wish to mount with the shelving brackets. A single shelf requires at least two shelf brackets, but shelves longer than 40 inches that need to store heavier items must have three brackets to ensure that the shelf does not fall from the wall.

Step 2

Use a wall stud finder to locate studs in the wall for the shelf brackets. Draw small marks on the wall with the pencil to indicate where the studs are. The best position for a shelf bracket is directly on top of a wall stud. There should be one stud per bracket, meaning that you will need to locate several studs for larger shelves.

Step 3

Attach the shelf brackets directly to the wall and wall studs using 3-inch long screws and a power drill. Place a level on top of the shelf brackets to ensure the brackets are evenly attached on the wall.

Step 4

Place the shelf on top of the shelving brackets. Ensure that the brackets are evenly placed underneath the shelf, meaning that the distance from the ends of the shelf to the brackets are identical on both sides. This ensures that the weight placement is even. Use the 1/2-inch screws and a screwdriver to secure the shelf to the brackets.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Wall stud finder
  • Pencil
  • 3-inch long screws
  • Power drill
  • Level
  • 1/2-inch screws
  • Screwdriver

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.