If you're planning on having shelves in your home you're going to need some shelf brackets. Sure you could go for floating shelves, but they don’t usually hold up, they can’t hold very much and always become loose over time. The best solution is to have solid shelves supported by shelf brackets that stand out and make a statement.
A good quality shelf bracket, as available in our general hardware section, can last many years. Choosing a finish that you like and a style that compliments your home is imperative to get what you need out of them. If you are stuck for ideas, think about what you’ll place on them, matching colours to colours can be a good start.
If you are going to display picture frames, consider the frame itself. Are they wooden, metal, brass, polished, or just plain black? This can be an indication to what style of shelf bracket you need. Try to choose something that sits in the background. Black is a good choice as it naturally fades into the shadows. If you have a lot of black picture frames, perhaps a good quality brass bracket is required?
If your shelves are going to adorn books and other assorted items. The choice for brackets is wide open, but think about the type of shelf you are going to install. Again try to find a complimentary bracket to fit with your shelf. Go through the same process and try to have them match. This is especially important if your shelves are not going to support many items. As the shelf itself will be highly visible and actually become a part of the decor, instead of simply being the presenter of intriguing items.
Where To Put Brackets On A Shelf
The amount of shelf brackets you need for good support is usually dependent on a few different things. Predominantly the length of the shelf is most important, followed by the thickness. Using these two figures you can calculate how far apart a shelf bracket needs to be from each other before the shelf starts to bow under its own weight, this will be your maximum distance.
Next consider the items that are going to be placed on the shelf. Are they heavy? Perform a rough guesstimate, or weigh them to get a more accurate figure. There are many tables available that can calculate what weight materials can hold before breaking.
While this calculation can get tricky, for a simpler guide use a bracket for every stud, if you need to support heavy items (eg., books), and every second stud if you’re using it for lighter items (eg,. photo frames). Although a professional builder might say it’s overkill, sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How Long Do My Shelf Brackets Need To Be?
This is probably the second most common question for shelf brackets, and again it all depends on how deep (edge to wall) your shelves are. Measure the shelf depth and minus 25mm, this figure is the minimum length of your shelf bracket.
If you’re not sure how deep your shelf will be, perhaps you are yet to purchase them, then you can get around this in a couple of ways. Do a mock up of the shelf, get the items you are planning to put on the shelf and organise them on a firm surface, such as the dinner table. Get them all exactly how you like and then measure the distance from the furthest item to the front. This will give you an approximation of the shelf depth you need.
In general, for smaller items, photo frames and other decorative pieces, you’ll only need a shelf of about 150mm deep. For books ideally you’ll need from 200mm to 250mm depending on the type of book, most hard cover books are 220mm. Measure some of your books to get an accurate figure, as overhang on a shelf does not look good.
What Materials Should My Brackets Be Made From?
You can get shelf brackets in a variety of materials. Some of these include, aluminium, steel, iron and brass. Of these iron and brass are the most durable. These materials are capable of holding up most shelves and their contents, many of these are available in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and finishes.
All brackets have been made with support in mind and it’s unlikely that any will fail. But, it is important that maintenance is performed to check on your brackets every 12 months. Look for any screws that may be coming loose and that they’re still fixed properly to the wall. Examine for any sagging in the shelf itself and replace if needed. If your shelf is sagging it may be a good indication that you’ll need another bracket installed.
Buying Your Shelf Brackets
Our online shop is available at all hours and you are able to buy shelf brackets at any time. We ship Australia wide and offer a 21 day return policy, if there is something not quite right with your purchase you can return them easily.
When you are shopping for your brackets, remember that we have a large range of other products, such as: gate hardware, signs, stair rods, coat & standard hooks and upholstery scissors. Feel free to look through our hardware section, we are sure you’ll find something that suits your project!