If you’re planning to install new storage shelves in your home, it’s important to consider the most efficient way to do so. You don’t want to spend your time assembling shelves and then have them fall apart in a few months or have cracks form that let the shelves sag or bend. By considering the following tips, you can feel confident that your storage shelves will last for years and look great with minimal effort on your part.
1. Use a Shock Absorbing Material
One mistake that many people make when installing shelves is to use a material that doesn’t provide enough shock absorption. For example, many people install cinder blocks as shelves. While it’s true that cinder blocks do allow you to create a sturdy shelf, they are also quite heavy and will create pressure points if not properly supported. If you decide to use cinder blocks as shelves, always use shock-absorbing materials underneath the blocks so that a load of your items isn’t resting entirely on these heavy blocks. Even a small amount of weight adds up quickly when you have dozens or even hundreds of books in your library.
2. Use Nails With Care
While it’s true that nails are an easy way to hold your shelves together, they also offer a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. Nails can cause structural cracks in the wood, leading to splintering. Nails also can create potentially dangerous sharp edges around the edges of your shelves. Over time, these edges will become sharp enough that you should be wearing gloves when you handle your library. Wearing gloves is inconvenient and doesn’t allow for a very good grip on your books, so this is something that you want to avoid if possible. If your shelves are going to be in any way visible or handled often, think about using glue that is specifically designed for wood. This will hold the shelf together more permanently but with less danger than nails.
3. Space Out Your Nails and Hinges
If you are using nails to attach your hinges, be sure that you’re leaving plenty of space between each nail. While some nails can support the weight of your bookshelves, you never want to test this out by attaching all of your shelves at once in case one nail ends up not being properly seated, a problem that is all too common when working quickly. All it takes is one bad nail for the entire shelf to come crashing down. If you leave space between your nails, you can avoid this problem and feel comfortable about opening a shelf to retrieve a book.
4. Attach Your Shelves to the Wall
If you’re building your shelves from scratch, the design will be up to you. You can do whatever you like. If you’re attaching your shelves to an existing structure, check with a professional about the best way to secure your shelf in place. Using nails isn’t always safe when there is drywall or plaster between the shelf and the studs of your Wall. If you don’t want to use nails, you can purchase a bracket system that will securely support your shelves while allowing them to move if necessary. If you do decide to use screws, be sure to take precautions against the shelves falling off of your bookshelves when you try to open them.
You should never underestimate the importance of your bookshelf. If you’re looking for something that will look both attractive and durable, consider investing in a good quality solid wood shelf from Solid Wood Shelves.