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Fixing shelves with brackets (2)
Long shelving

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

First bracketOffer up the left most bracket to the wall and establish the required height and position. If more than one shelf is being fitted, start with the uppermost shelf.

Use the fixing holes in the bracket vertical as a guide to mark the positions for the fixings on the wall. Remove the bracket, drill the wall as necessary and fix the bracket in position using the appropriate wall plugs and screws.


Lining up second bracket for a shelfOffer up a second bracket to the position for the right most bracket. Use a straight edge resting on the first bracket and a spirit level to establish the required height.

TIP: Using a shelf on its edge makes a very good straight edge.

Use the fixing holes in the bracket vertical as a guide to mark the positions for the fixings on the wall. Remove the bracket, drill the wall as necessary and fix the bracket in position using the appropriate wall plugs and screws.

Middle shelf bracketIf intermediate brackets are being used, position and fix each of them in turn using the straight edge resting on the two extreme brackets for the height - space the brackets horizontally to give equal spacing between adjacent brackets.

If a number of shelves are to be positioned one above the other, once the brackets for the top shelf are 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 brackets as they are put up. Do not mount the shelves until all the brackets have been secured to the wall.

Putting on the top shelf When all the brackets have been secured, place the upper shelf on the top row of brackets and position it so that the overhang at each end is equal.

Secure the shelf to the brackets making sure that the fixings do not break through the top surface of the shelf.


Lining up the ends of the shelving Hang a plumb line from the end of the top shelf and use this to determine the position for the remaining shelves.