Installing Metal Standards for Adjustable Shelves

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
Stud finder
Spirit level
Plastic Anchor

If you want to create some adjustable shelves for a living room or kitchen, then you may want to use metal standards for the support. Standard and bracket shelving is the most common form of adjustable shelving, and can be used in many homes. Standards can be used to support any kind of metal or wooden adjustable shelves, and they can also be used to get the right height to hold large books or ornaments. Metal standards can be purchased from many home improvement stores, and you can also purchase the brackets which will support your adjustable shelves at the same time. These are easily installed.  

Step 1 - Preparing the Area

Begin by measuring the area that you wish to cover with the adjustable shelves. Use your tape measure to work out height and width requirements. You should then go to the home improvement store, and find the metal standards which are most similar in length to your height needs. Metal standards are often sold in pre-determined quantities, so you may need to purchase a set which are slightly larger than the measurements, for example by purchasing a 5-foot length rather than a 4-foot standard. These compromises can easily be accommodated. Once you have purchased these, you will need to clean out the area where the adjustable shelves will be fitted.

Step 2 - Find the Studs

Use a stud finder, or a device which can locate items behind the wall, to locate the studs in your wall. You should mark the area of the studs in the place indicated by the machine. Use a spirit level to make marks in parallel lines, so that your metal standards will be parallel to each other when installed. You should also place one of the standards against the marks on the wall to ensure that your marks are completely level. You should also use your standards as a template for the number of marks you need.

Step 3 - Add the Anchors

Take your drill, and make a small hole in the wall where the mark is. Don't drill down too deeply, as you need to push the plastic anchor into place manually to ensure that it grips the plaster. These anchors are the best way to ensure that your screws don't fall out of the wall due to the weight of your standards and shelves. Their purpose is to grip the wall, and provide a secure, unmovable hole for the screws to be driven into. Install the plastic anchor into your hole, pushing it in tightly. Repeat this for all of the marks on your wall.

Step 4 - Install the Standards

Take the first of your standards, and place it on the wall so that the holes in the metal standard line up with the plastic anchors. You can then fit the screws through the holes, using the drill to make sure that the screws are fully into the anchor. You can then use the spirit level to check that it is straight. Add the second standard into the next stud along, fitting a bracket into each standard. Check they are both level.