Need advice re: installing wall-mounted bookshelves

ninjabeansFebruary 15, 2013

Hi all - I recently moved into a rental apartment and had some long wood shelves made that I would like to install on a long living room wall for all my books. The shelves are 1" thick pine, and 3 of them are 6'-8" and one is 8'-8". The wall is 5/8" sheetrock on what I was told was a full 3-5/8" metal stud, about 16" on center. The brackets are heavy metal 10"x10"x1/4"th galvanized steel I got from McMaster-Carr w/ 4 screw holes on each to attach to the wall.

My question is - if I install in the studs, do I need a wall anchor? If so, what kind? Is this even advisable? I was told I should rip out parts of the wall to install wood blocking - this is a rental and I just painted that wall, so that's REALLY not an option.

Any advice would be SUPER helpful. THANKS!!!!

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The problem is that anchoring to even steel studs will not take all them much weight without blocking to spread the load over a larger area.

The folded edge of the stud will flex under load and the drywall start to crack around the attachment points.

Bookcases would likely be a better option, or some vertical supports to the floor from the shelves to transfer some of the load.

Even relatively small cross sections of hardwood usually have a high load capacity vertically.
You could use small 'posts' at the front and back of the shelves to get weight to a lower shelf, and finally to the floor preserving a lot of the 'open' appearance.

Even a 1 inch x 2 inch 'post' from a decent hardwood has incredible vertical load strength (parallel to the 'grain'.

You do not need 2x4s hardwood sections for something like this.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You really need to contact your landlord before either painting or drilling into the walls. Most would have a conniption fit and initiate eviction ASAP. And don't think that he won't find out either.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:08PM
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Thanks but the landlord knows all about it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:48PM
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