How to: Mounting DIY shelves09. July 2019
Shelves are excellent: they provide added storage space while looking stylish. DIY shelves are especially popular at the moment. But apartments or houses often lack storage space. Attaching furniture and living accessories to the wall saves room while creating additional storage space.
Build your own shelves
DIY shelves allow you to decide on the size, shape and construction materials. A skilful combination of these options is advised. Measure the maximum size of your shelf ahead of time. After all, it can always be sized down. It is best to make a diagram beforehand if you want to mount a shelving unit that consists of more than just a single shelf. What do you want it to look like? How high should the shelf be placed? If you want it to store certain objects such as a printer or particularly tall books then this should be taken into account in your diagram. When it comes to technical devices, it is helpful to check beforehand whether any necessary connection points such as outlets are located nearby.
We recommend preparing the wood to give your DIY shelf a high-quality look. The wood surface should be treated even if you like a natural look. It is best to purchase sanded wood or to sand it yourself in order to reduce the risk of injury. There shouldn‘t be any visible wood splinters. Use a handsaw to precisely saw the piece to size. Alternatively, building supplies stores will often saw the wood for you. The next step is to paint the shelf. If you opt for oil or wax then you should be aware that they require regular treatment. Opting for a wood stain on the other hand can enhance the appearance of the wood with a matte surface. You can also choose colourful or glossy wood stains, of course. Once the wood has been prepared it is ready to be screwed together. Ensure that you keep a right angle, as lopsided shelves don’t look very sophisticated. If you like original ideas, then why not try a shelf made of old slabs? Just make sure they aren’t too thin, as they could otherwise break.
Another hint: If the shelving unit is particularly large then you could first assemble it on the floor, which tends to be easier.
Securely mount shelves
The right fixing for your DIY shelf depends on the anchor base. If you’re unsure of the construction material then carry out a test drill. The drill progress will allow you to determine whether you are dealing with solid or hollow brick. The colour of the drill dust will disclose further information about the anchor base. Before doing a test drill you should first ensure that there aren’t any cables running behind the location in question, in case they are hit with the drill – this can be done with a cable detector, for example.
Gypsum plasterboard walls (drywalls):
When carrying out a test drill in plasterboard you will find a fine white dust that sticks to the drill. The fischer DUOTEC is the recommended product for this subsurface. This plug offers a particularly high load-bearing capacity in this building material.
The drilling dust of bricks is red or yellow. If there are hollow bricks you will often drill into nothing.
White drilling dust with a sandy consistency indicates sand-lime brick. The drill will often drill into space if there’s a hollow sand-lime brick.
The drilling dust is white to light grey, as fine as dust but still pourable. The anchor base is hard.
The drilling dust of porous concrete is white and coarse. The building material can mostly be identified by the fact that it is soft and easy to drill into.
The fischer DUOPOWER is the recommended product for all these building materials.
The right screw for the fixing
If you know your building material and the corresponding plug then the most important goal has been achieved. Now you just need the right screw. When it comes to the fischer DUOPOWER and fischer DUOTEC the correct screw diameter is given on the product. For all other fixings the following applies: the screw should be two sizes smaller than the plug. A size 6 screw should be selected for a size 8 plug. Make sure you also select the correct screw length. The screw length of the Duopower is determined by the length of the anchor, the thickness of the fixture and an additional length that corresponds to the diameter of the applied screw. This ensures that the anchor finds the right hold in various anchor bases. When it comes to the fischer DUOTEC, the correct screw length is determined by the thickness of the fixture and an additional length of 55 mm or 65 mm for the fischer DUOTEC 10 or fischer DUOTEC 12 respectively.
Got any other applications where you’re unsure which plug to use? Then download our free plug finder app on iOS and Android. Here you’ll find the most common applications, you can enter your building material, the weight of the attachment part and other specifications and you’ll receive a suitable recommendation of plugs and screws with installation instructions and purchasing options.