Hanging bathroom shelf on drywall?

Brandywine72January 8, 2014

My 3rd floor bathroom attached to our guest room is tiny. There is no place for guests to rest a travel bag or toothbrush or anything else. I bought some old vintage wall brackets which look great. I want our carpenter to put a shelf above the toilet.

He says that there is nothing to anchor into the wall. He is right. No studs nearby and though our house is 160 years old, this bathroom was added to the attic more recently and has hollow crappy sounding drywall - super thin. No studs to be found.

His solution is to drill a long strip of wood to the wall from the corner all the way across to the mirror. He would paint it the color of the wall and screw the brackets into that. I can see how it would work, but it sounds so inelegant. I would have a shelf with a random strip of ten inches of wood on either side.

Does anybody have a better solution for how to hang brackets and shelf into crappy drywall?

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Google: drywall screw anchors - then click on images - there are lots of types.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:27PM
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You can get some honking big drywall anchors, but if it were me, and I was trying to make it safe for my guests, and not ever wanting to worry about that shelf falling down, I'd be thinking along the same lines as your carpenter. However, having said that, how tiny is the space where your toilet is? If it's anything over 20" wide, it HAS to have at least one stud!

Can you take a pic of the space to show us? Is there not some creative way to incorporate that wood blocking? Use an old barn board? Put lettering/saying on the wood? Put hooks on the wood?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:49PM
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I'm with raehelen, seems there has to be a stud in there somewhere. I have two floating shelves over my toilet. First time I ever used a stud-finder, level and drill. It was the most exciting, exhilarating sense of accomplishment.

Drywall screw anchors are your friends. I have several long curtain rods (with the added weight of the curtains) where I only had one stud (in the middle) where I needed to drill. The anchors took some practice (one wall of my garage has a collection of flush blue anchors awaiting screws) but they're holding well.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:54PM
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You could also decoratively trim out more than just the area for the wood support. You could do some additional grid work with wood, making it look more intentional.

sort of like this wall detailing:

Farmhouse Bathroom by Denver Architects & Designers Chalet

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:53PM
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How about a shelving unit like this:

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:10PM
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