How to Install Shelving in Your Home

An easy way to add storage and give your room a new look is to add shelving. While certain home remodeling projects should be left to the professionals, installing basic shelving in your home is fairly easy if you have a couple hours, a little cash and some DIY talent. Here is a basic guide on how to install shelving in your home.

What you’ll need:

a level

adjustable shelf brackets


wall standards



stud finder

electric drill and drill bit

tape measure


1. The first thing to do is to measure and prepare. Figure out how many shelves you want and what size each needs to be (width and depth). Choose what type of material you want your shelves to be (wood, MDF, metal, etc.) and if you need to sand, prime or paint them before installing.

2. After all the preparations are done, it’s time locate the wall studs. Use a simple electronic stud finder to locate the studs before you start to install the shelving. You can find these at your local hardware store for a reasonable price. The sensor will beep or light up when you have indicated the stud’s edge. Repeat doing this on opposite ends of the wall and mark these spots with a pencil. Typically studs are located either 16 or 32 inches apart from one another.

3. Now it’s time to install the standards, which are the bars that hold the shelving brackets. After you’ve located and marked the studs, use your electric drill to screw the first standard to the wall corresponding to the stud locations. After the first standard is installed partially, use a level against the edge of the standard to make sure it is vertically centered. Put screws in the bottom hole, then the rest of the holes to finish installing your standards. Make sure you install enough standards to hold the contents that will be placed on the shelves- you don’t want the shelves to sag (twin-track standards will take more weight than single-track ones).

4. After the standards are in place, it’s time to install the brackets for extra support.

Make sure that they are wide and long enough to support the shelves, and that you install two or three for extra support. These can be screwed in with an electrical drill right into the standards or hooked into them depending on how they are made. Again, make sure you use a level in this process before securing the screws in all the way. If you want to add drama to your shelving unit, install corbels and supports with intricate details and carvings.

5. Place the shelves on the brackets and screw them in to the front of the bracket for added support.