6 Different Types of Shelving Systems

white shelving unit filled with kitchen essentials

Homes need shelving systems to organize books and other knick-knacks, which would otherwise be strewn about on a floor or lie neglected in an attic. Shelving systems are used in shops, offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, and even hotel rooms to store and display items. They are available in a wide range of styles, designs, prices and materials, including wood, plastic, metal and glass.

1. Fixed Bracket Type Shelving Systems

Fixed bracket type shelves are made of individual brackets that can be used as stand-alone shelving systems or in combination with additional brackets to form a multi-unit shelving system. Fixed brackets are available in metal and wood, and are attached, or hinged, directly to a wall or a case. They are supported by plastic or metal shelf pins that range in size and thicknesses. Wood brackets are available in a wide range of decorative styles and are extensively used in home interiors. Bracket shelving systems are also called suspension shelving.

2. Built-in Shelving Systems

built-in shelving in a room

Built-in shelving systems are among the simplest of all shelving units. These are structures that are fitted within nooks and spaces of a home. The simplest type of built-in shelving system is a single plank of wood fixed horizontally over an opening in a wall. Built-in shelving systems can be installed virtually anywhere in a home: above or below wall cabinets, above foundation walls and even beside a fireplace. They can be assembled and fitted on-site or constructed off-site, typically in a workshop, and installed once completed. Built-in shelving systems are an effective and flexible way to maximize unused and awkward spots.

3. Floating Shelving Systems

white floating shelf

Floating shelving systems are a phenomenal way to visibly display items. Unlike fixed bracket units, which are attached by visible pins and nails, floating shelving systems appear to “float” over walls, seemingly unattached to hinges or screws. Floating shelves, also called torsion-box shelves, are made of engineered wood and are supported by internal brackets. They are available in a wide range of colors, designs, sizes, and shapes and make fine interior decorating accessories.

4. Corner Shelving Systems

Corner shelving systems are a clever way to maximize storage without taking up too much space. They effectively utilize inaccessible and hard-to-access corners in a range of fancy styles. Corner shelving systems are available in solid wood, engineered/laminated wood, and plastic and can be customized to fit any location. Corner shelving systems can be floor-based or wall-hung and are a great solution for displaying and storing items.

5. Top Hung Storage Shelving Systems

Top hung shelving systems are commonly used in classrooms and storerooms to display and store items, such as books, pens, and other accessories. They incorporate metal sections that are mounted to walls and from which shelves and droppers can be hung. Top hung storage shelving systems are not suitable for lightweight walls.

6. Free Standing Shelving Systems

Free standing shelving systems are ideal for both storage and display purposes. They are portable and can be shifted to virtually any area, provided there is enough space. Freestanding shelving systems are available in a range of sizes, colors, materials, and designs.