How to Build a Wall Unit Using Stock Bookcases

Wall units can be used to store books, display art or crafts, show off pictures or hold electronics such as televisions or stereos. They can also function as a room divider or privacy wall. Using stock bookcases to construct a wall unit will allow you to create a unit that fits your space and needs perfectly. It may also provide a cost savings over purchasing a wall unit or having one built to order.


Older bookcases can offer an antique looking wall unit.
Plan ahead to reduce design issues later.

Designing a wall unit to meet your needs will require some thought and planning. Consider the purpose of your unit and where it will be located. Decide what will be stored in the unit, as well as the required spaces needed. If a television will be mounted in the unit, be sure to allow enough room for placement and air circulation. Sketch out your design to aid you in finding stock bookcases to match.


The design of some bookcases may prevent flush positioning.

Purchase stock bookcases to fit your design. Some bookcase manufacturers offer options such as television mounting brackets, DVD / CD storage racks, doors or pre-wired lighting that may be helpful with your planned use. You may also be able to purchase bookcases in various colors to enhance your design. Using antique or older bookcases to build a wall unit may require you to alter your design to fit the layout of the bookcases.


You many need to drill access holes for stereo or TV wiring.

Use your selection of stock bookcases to assemble the wall unit per your design. Be sure to install and route electrical cords, speaker wire or other wiring that may be difficult to compete once the unit is in place. Before securing the bookcases, measure each space to ensure there is enough room for its intended purpose. Re-positioning or removing adjustable shelves can allow you to fit items per your design. You may need to alter or adjust your design to match your needs.


Test security and stability before adding items to the wall unit.

Secure the wall unit to prevent movement or tipping over, in the case of a free-standing unit. Use screws, bolts or brackets to secure the bookcases to the wall, ceiling or floor. Affixing the bookcases together will provide another level of stability for the wall unit. Some bookcases may have uneven edges or design elements that prevent flush positioning. To secure, consider add a piece of wood between the bookcases to fill the gap and provide a way to connect them.

Finishing Touch

Add crown molding around the top of the wall unit for a built-in look.

Paint the bookcases to give your new wall unit a finishing touch or specific design style. To create the impression of a seamless unit, cover gaps with trim strips or caulk before painting.