How To: Fix A Shelf To A Solid Wall

What you will need

  • Spirit level or laser level
  • Multi-purpose detector
  • Drill with hammer action
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Suitable rawl plugs
  • Brackets
  • Pencil
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver or screw bit for drill
  • Shelf
  • Masking tape & envelope (if required)
  • Safety glasses


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  • 1 Knock on the wall to determine whether it is a solid or plasterboard wall. If it makes a dull sound, the wall is solid. Carry out some visual checks on the wall for sockets or switches. For extra safety, run a multi-purpose detector over the area to check if there are any hazards running behind the spot.
  • 2 Having established it’s a solid wall, decide on the position of where you want to put the first bracket.
  • 3 Mark on the wall where you want to position the first bracket. Use a level to ensure the bracket is vertically level.
  • 4 Attach the required size masonry bit to your drill, set your drill to hammer action and drill your hole the depth required for the first bracket. Top tip: You can use a depth gauge on the drill to note this depth or mark the drill bit with a piece of masking tape so you know when to stop. Attach an envelope with masking tape beneath the hole to collect the dust as you drill.
  • 5 Insert your rawl plug into the hole, making sure it is flush with the wall – use a hammer if necessary.
  • 6 Screw in the first bracket.
  • 7 Place a spirit level on top of the bracket and use this to find the correct level position for your second bracket.
  • 8 Drill a hole into the wall; insert a rawl plug and then screw in the second bracket.
  • 9 Finally, secure the shelf to the brackets using woodscrews. Be sure the woodscrews are the correct length as you don’t want to screw up through the surface of the shelf.
  • 10 The shelf is now fixed to the solid wall.