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Fixing shelves with brackets (1)
Short shelving

This article looks at putting up short shelves with brackets, see this other article for putting up long shelves.

The way the brackets will be secured to the wall will depend on the type of wall in question, walls will commonly be brick or block covered in plaster, plasterboard or lathe and plaster studding, or, brick or block dry lined with plasterboard. See our page for how to make strong fixings to each wall types for details of actual wall fixing methods.

How to fix a short shelf

Where a short shelf is being fitted, it is often easier to fit the brackets to the shelf before drilling the holes in the wall. If more than one shelf is to be fitted, make sure that the position of the brackets are consistant on each shelf.

Putting brackets on a short shelf Lay the shelf material up-side-down on a flat surface and up against a vertical surface and align the brackets against the vertical. This will ensure that the back of the bracket verticals are in line with the back of the shelf.

Fix the brackets to the shelf using suitable fixings - the screws need to be as long as possible without breaking through on the back (i.e. top side) of the shelf material.


Putting a short shelf on a wallOffer up the shelf to the wall and establish the required height and position. If more than one shelf is being fitted, start with the uppermost shelf.

Use a spirit level to set the shelf horizontal.

Use the fixing holes in the bracket vertical as a guide to mark the positions for the fixings on the wall.

Remove the shelf, drill the wall as necessary and fix the shelf in position using the appropriate wall plugs and screws.

If a number of shelves are to be positioned one above the other, once the first shelf is in place, use a plumb-line (or straight batten with a spirit level) to mark the wall with a vertical line from the brackets down the wall and use these marks to line up horizontally the remaining shelves as they are put up.