General Question

raum's avatar

What’s a good way to anchor shelving to a wall?

Asked by raum (9788points) June 13th, 2020 from iPhone

When the wall doesn’t meet the floor at a right angle? And the shelving cannot be butted up against the wall? (There will be about a 1” gap between the shelving and the wall.)

Hoping there’s a solid way to anchor it to the wall by a strap or something. Would prefer not to drill into concrete floor.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

raum's avatar

That’s a pretty clever design.

Doesn’t specifically work for my situation. (It’s the corner where the wall meets the floor that’s sloped a bit.) But now I’m thinking there’s got to be a bracket I could secure to the wall. That I could then use to secure the shelving.

Actually, it’s only about an inch or so away from the wall. Wonder if I could just use a block of wood and super long screws?

janbb's avatar

Sure seems like some of these might do the trick. Thinking of the 11.95 ones on the first row or the 19.99 or 22.99 on the second shelf.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Please explain the requirement that the shelves not abut the wall.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Sounds like ceiling or floor is your answer ! I hear the concrete floor.

canidmajor's avatar

Because my house is old and funky I deal with a lot of uneven stuff like this. As a temporary (which I still haven’t made permanent because there is always a higher priority project) I prop up the front (non-wall side) of the shelving unit with pieces of wood until the gap at the top is closed.

I know this is a quick fix, but it might help while you figure it out.

I don’t have children that might bring the unit down, and unbreakable items are stored on those shelves.

LuckyGuy's avatar

If the gap is at the top have you considered using a strip of molding of the correct thickness behind the shelf? It can even be decorative. Plastic or wood, oak, maple, whatever matches your decor..

kritiper's avatar

With expanding anchor screws and shims. Shim the top of the shelves out until they are plumb with lower shims, which will compensate for a wall that is not plumb.

raum's avatar

@janbb The L-shaped brackets would be a great solution if I had wooden shelves to secure them to. But the racks that I ordered have wire shelving. I think I would need a U-shaped bracket to secure to the actual vertical frame.

@stanleybmanly Not a requirement exactly. More of a limitation. Usually the floor meets the wall at a clean right angle where you can put the shelving all the way up against the wall. But in this case, the corner is both curved and juts out. So I can’t push it up against the wall.

@Tropical_Willie Don’t have the actual numbers to back it up. But securing it to the ceiling feels less secure to me for some reason. But really don’t want to drill into the floor. Gah.

@canidmajor We do that trick with most of our furniture in the house. Base moulding plus lots of earthquakes in California. We really should anchor to the wall, but we live in an older home with plaster walls. So we don’t buy a lot of tall furniture. This is the exception.

@LuckyGuy I like the idea of looking at this as a design opportunity. :)

@kritiper Shim!! That’s the word I was trying to remember. I was like what’s that word again for putting a piece of wood in a gap again? Quarantine brain is real, man.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@raum thanks for the explanation, but I’m still having a tough time visualizing the exact problem. The walls don’t intersect at right angles, and the floor doesn’t intersect with the walls at right angles? You would prefer a bookcase to shelving, but the geometry of your funhouse prevents it? Are you saying that the walls curve into one another rather than meet at angles? Have you considered a carpenter adapting the shelving or bookcase of your choice to your floors and wall?

raum's avatar

The walls intersect at right angles. The wall and floor are at right angles to each other. It’s the corner where the wall meets the floor that’s the issue. Imagine super bulky and unwieldy base moulding. That prevents you from pushing the shelving all the way up against the wall.

Does that make more sense? (Apologies since my quarantine brain probably hasn’t been explaining this very clearly.)

janbb's avatar

Is this a standing book shelve then? You might be able to get a carpenter to make a base that is set in to fit over the molding so the parts on top will be flush against the wall. My Ex built shelves for us like that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Exactly Birdie. And the book case can be easily modified by anyone with rudimentary wood working skills. So much depends on the explanation of a problem.

raum's avatar

@janbb Yes, freestanding. That’s a pretty clever solution. But this is super heavy duty shelving. Not sure what kind of DIY base would handle an industrial rack with 2,000 lb max capacity. Solid wood might do the trick. But I would be concerned if it shifts. So I guess I’d still have to drill into the concrete floor? :/

@stanleybmanly Metal shelves. Not a woodworking issue.

My brain isn’t the best at explaining. Sorry!

stanleybmanly's avatar

Even better would be to simply remove that portion of the moulding where the bookcase rests. Do it precisely and save the moulding for future use when the bookcase is moved or eliminated.

janbb's avatar

@raum You could still anchor the shelves to the walls. They would just have a base and be flush to the walls. I think it would work.

canidmajor's avatar

@raum, you explained just fine in a previous post. :-)

raum's avatar

@stanleybmanly It’s not actual base moulding. It’s poured concrete. I just used that phrase to explain my problem on what’s jutting out where.

@canidmajor Thanks! My brain has been a bit wonky.

janbb's avatar

What? You don’t have a jackhammer??

stanleybmanly's avatar

Imagine a wooden bookcase, the sides of which are cut out at the base so that they rest both on the floor as well as the concrete ledge. The bottom shelf might rest on the ledge or anywhere above it. If you intend to support that kind of weight, I strongly suggest that you have such weight supported by your floor AND that concrete.

canidmajor's avatar

@raum Pandemic Brain bears a remarkable resemblance to chemo brain. But hopefully, it will clear up on the other side of this. (Chemo brain is, unfortunately, forever for some of us.)

raum's avatar

@janbb A neighbor actually asked me if I had one. Which made me both laugh that someone would think that I had one and also made me think “Hey, should I have one?”

@stanleybmanly The floor and the “base moulding” are both concrete. I’m guessing the “base moulding”/lip were created when the floor was poured over an existing floor. No worries about the concrete floor handling that weight.

@canidmajor Oh noes. I was hoping things would go back to normal after you get off of chemo and all of the hormone therapy etc. :(

I think I’m gonna go with @kritiper ‘s idea and just use a shim. But maybe for the entire length of the back vertical frame. That should be pretty damn sturdy if I can anchor to the studs.

@all Thanks for all of your ideas! Even if I don’t end up using them for this particular solution, I’m sure I’ll use many of them for other purposes. A good idea is rarely a wasted idea. :)

stanleybmanly's avatar

You need a template for the sides of the bookcase, so that you are able to cutout the sides such that they rest on both the floor and the concrete ledge. The cutouts must only be the height and depth of the ledge. Does that make sense?

raum's avatar

@stanleybmanly I think you lost me, man. It’s industrial, welded metal, free-standing, shelving. There aren’t any sides to cut out?

Also, how would it rest on both the concrete ledge and the concrete floor? Ledge is higher than the floor.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Ok. This is my point. You want your shelves supported by the floor as well as the concrete ledge. This means that whatever supports the shelves from the floor must be longer than whatever supports them from the ledge. You want 2000 pound capacity shelves integrated into a single structure with the load of all of them transmitted to the floor AND ledge. You can achieve this if the unit is structurally robust and the bottom shelf rests on the ledge with sturdy legs supporting the overhang in front of the ledge. How does that sound? The free standing shelf thing, I don’t understand why they cannot be attached directly against the wall anywhere above the ledge. But 2000 pounds???

raum's avatar

The ledge is an obstruction, not a point of support? The unit was designed to support max capacity with existing floor support.

The issue is that the ledge prevents unit from butting up against the wall.

I’m not concerned with it being able to support the weight that it states it is able to support. I’m concerned about it tipping over because it’s not up against the wall and can’t be easily secured to the wall. Wooden shims should do the trick.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Let’s start with the term “free standing shelving.” That means they are a “cage” of shelves designed to rest on the floor (my guess). You want the weight of the structure supported by the floor as designed with its back to wall. Am I right so far? IF the “concrete moulding” is level you can either eliminate (what I assume are) the back legs supporting the structure below the bottom shelf, and allow it to rest on the ledge. The front legs will either be shortened or lengthened to level the structure. Are you saying the moulding ledge is merely decorative?

raum's avatar

“...a “cage” of shelves designed to rest on the floor…the weight of the structure supported by the floor as designed with its back to wall.”


The moulding/ledge/lip isn’t decorative. It’s most likely just a byproduct of a poured concrete floor. And certainly not able to support a 2,000 lb shelving unit. It isn’t level with anything, it’s curved.

The unit is made of welded industrial steel. There are no legs to be easily removed.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Curved? I give up

raum's avatar

It’s okay, Stanley. I think the shims should work. I appreciate the brain-storming.

[pats @stanleybmanly reassuringly]

stanleybmanly's avatar

One last attempt. This concrete protuberance? It juts out from the wall? How far out? Does it extend from the floor up? How high? Does it resemble a curb you find on a city street? I’m pulling teeth here. Might it be part of your foundation? For God’s sake throw me a bone!

raum's avatar

Stop fixating, Stanley!



janbb's avatar

Would you eat it in a box?
Would you share it with a fox?

stanleybmanly's avatar

You’re both right. Serenity now!

dabbler's avatar

I’d put up on the wall what you might call a ‘stringer’ board that is at least as thick as all the baseboard that prevent the bookcase from being against the wall, and attach the shelving to that. It should be a substantial board, 2×4? 2×6?, and it needs to be seriously attached to the building framing with lag screws or other substantial hardware.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther