How To Hang A Heavy Bookshelf On The Wall

How To Hang A Heavy Bookshelf On The Wall - Nathan James

At first glance, hanging a bookshelf may seem like a straightforward process. You just install your brackets, put your shelf on top, and that’s it, right? Well, there is a lot more to hanging a bookshelf than that, especially if you’re hanging a heavy bookshelf.

Wall bookshelves, regardless of weight, pose a potential safety risk if they are not installed properly. The danger is even greater if the bookshelf itself is heavy. So, in this article, we are going to teach you how to hang a bookshelf on the wall the proper way. You’ll also gain some extra tips and tricks on how to stay safe while getting your bookshelf installed. 

Is Hanging A Bookshelf On The Wall Difficult? 

If you have at least some basic DIY skills, hanging a bookshelf on the wall is not that difficult. To make the process even easier, get the help of some friends. Trust us - an extra set of hands (or two) will make all the difference.

But if you don’t have the slightest idea how to hang a bookshelf on the wall, it can definitely be a bit tricky. Don’t worry - we’re going to demystify the whole process. And if you really want to make things easy on yourself, stick with the bookshelves we offer here at Nathan James.

Always Follow Manufacturer Instructions First and Foremost

The best way to learn how to hang a heavy bookshelf on the wall is to read the instruction manual that your shelf came with. Recommendations vary from brand to brand, and there is no single method that works for all types of bookshelves. So, with that in mind, always refer to your bookshelf’s instruction manual before doing anything else.

If you have somehow lost your instruction manual or the package did not come with one, contact the manufacturer and see if they can send you a soft copy of the manual. 

Important Reminder: If you are not confident in your DIY skills, it may be better to enlist the help of someone more experienced or perhaps even a professional. If you somehow miss the wall studs or install the brackets improperly, your bookshelf could pose a major safety issue (especially if you have children and pets in the house).

How To Hang A Heavy Bookshelf On The Wall: Tips & Tricks For Success

Hanging a bookshelf on the wall is quite easy as long as you know how to do it properly. So, here are some important tips and tricks on how to hang a bookshelf on the wall safely and securely:

Install Brackets Into The Wall Studs

It is imperative that you install your brackets over the studs of your wall (unless your wall is made of concrete or brick) to ensure that the weight of your shelves is supported properly. If you have a newer home, you can find wall studs around 16 inches apart. In an older home, they may be found 24 inches apart. 

A good trick to finding your wall studs is to measure from the corner of the room or from a wall switch or outlet. And to ensure that there is definitely a wall stud behind the wall, do the knock test. Place your ear against the wall and listen for a solid thud while knocking on it. If the sound is hollow, you are knocking against the drywall. Want to make sure you find the stud? Invest in a stud finder - or see if a neighbor or friend has one you can borrow for the day. These take any of the guesswork out of finding your studs.

Use Additional Support if Needed

Adding extra support to your bookshelf is highly recommended, especially if your shelves are heavy or are deeper than 12 inches. When installing your brackets, it is also a good idea to use wall anchors instead of standard screws. For heavy bookshelves, expansion and toggle anchors are recommended (these can hold 25-55 pounds and 100+ pounds, respectively).

Don’t Overload Your Bookshelf

As a general rule, a single wall stud can only hold up to 50 pounds of weight. That said, the safe load capacity of your bookshelf will largely depend on how many wall studs it is attached to. For example, if one shelf is anchored to two wall studs, it can hold up to 100 pounds safely.

Make it a point to calculate how much weight your bookshelf can hold before putting things on it, and don’t forget to factor in the weight of the bookshelf itself. For instance, if you are using two wall studs and the weight of the shelf is 25 pounds, the weight of the items on your shelf should not exceed 75 pounds.

Keep Things Simple With Nathan James Ladder Bookshelves

Installing a bookshelf is not rocket science, but wouldn’t it be better if you could install your bookshelf in the easiest way possible? Without having to hang anything heavy on the wall - or use a power tool at all for that matter?

This was what we thought about when designing our modern ladder-style bookshelves. We offer the most affordable and stylish bookshelves that can give an instant facelift to your living room or office. 

Best of all, a Nathan James contemporary bookshelf is super easy to install. You can set it up in under 60 minutes, and you don’t even need tools–sometimes, even just a pair of scissors will suffice. How convenient is that?

Plus, Nathan James offers a wide variety of bookshelves - the perfect style is here waiting for you. We have compact shelves to help you flesh out your small space design ideas, as well as contemporary style ladder shelves if you’re looking for contemporary living room ideas, and that’s just the beginning! Shop now and see all we have to offer.

Parting Thoughts On How To Hang A Bookshelf On The Wall

Hanging a bookshelf on the wall is one of the most common DIY projects there is. But as we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not always that easy. With that in mind, get a bookshelf that you can install in as little as one hour–Nathan James’ contemporary bookshelves are elegant, affordable, and best of all–super easy to install!

While you’re at it, check out the rest of our amazing catalog, including contemporary storage cabinets, contemporary entertainment centers, rolling bar carts, and so much more!

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