Ensuring you have the right building supplies for putting up shelves

Making home improvements can be extremely satisfying but it can also be more than a little challenging if you are a novice or inexperienced DIYer. Putting up shelves is one of those fairly straightforward jobs, which tends to get put off because people think it is harder than it actually is. Read our top tips below to find out exactly what building supplies you need and to demystify the process of putting up shelves.


1) Choose the right building supplies

You will need a hammer drill, wood drill bits, screwdriver, tape measure, wall plugs, spirit level, pipe and wire detector and dust sheet as a minimum. All of these building supplies can be purchased from your local builders merchants.


2) Decide on the type of shelves

  • Do you want wood, melamine, MDF or some other type of shelves? Choose your building supplies based on your requirements. Read our descriptions below to help you decide:
  • MDF is a relatively cheap, man-made material, which will need painting first
  • Wood effect is exactly as described and gives the appearance of wood. This type of material comes in a range of 'woods' from walnut and oak to beech and maple
  • Melamine are white and come already painted so all you have to do is put them up
  • Glass is becoming a more popular choice but make sure that your glass is toughened with smooth edges
  • Pine boards are probably still the most popular as you can customise them to your requirements by painting, varnishing or staining them

3) Get the right fixings for your shelves

The next building supplies you need to purchase are the fixings for your shelves. Getting the right ones is imperative if your shelves are going to remain fixed to the wall. There are several options when it comes to these building supplies which depend on the type of wall that you have.

For example, for brick or concrete block plaster walls you will need heavy-duty plastic wall plugs and wood screws and for lightweight block with plaster, you will need to use universal plugs. Speak to your local builders merchants about which building supplies to use.

4) Prepare the room

It can be tempting at this point to just dive straight in and start drilling and fixing shelves but, before you do, you really need to check the walls for any pipes and cables. After all, you don't want to electrocute yourself or burst a water pipe. Your building supplies should include a pipe and cable checker so use this to mark out the position of pipes and cables. Then put a dust sheet down to catch all the debris from your drilling.

5) Put up your shelves

The first thing to do is to mark the wall where the bottom of the shelf will sit and, using your spirit level, draw a horizontal line from this point. Also, mark where the ends of the shelves will be and draw a vertical line to indicate where the brackets will go.

Next place a bracket up against the wall and put a plank of wood on top of it to indicate where the shelf will be positioned. This needs to be lined up with the horizontal and vertical lines which you have drawn and then you can mark up where screw holes should be.

Drill the holes into the wall, bearing in mind the fittings which are part of your building supplies. Then you can put the plugs in and screw the brackets to the wall and the shelf to your brackets.

At Chandlers we have a wide selection of building supplies to accommodate all your DIY needs. Our friendly teams at our branches are here to help you and are happy to chat through your requirements and offer advice.

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