- Ideas & How-Tos
Choose Your Savings
Installing coated-wire shelving takes just a few hours and it can save you valuable time every day.
Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market.
Missing anything? Shop Online
Planning and measuring are integral parts of any dream-closet project. Decide how many shelves you need and how long they need to be.
To determine shelf size:
Cut the pieces of shelving to the proper lengths, using bolt cutters or a hacksaw. Avoid cutting closer than 1-inch to the vertical spacers on the front lip of the shelf.
If you take measurements to your local Lowe's store when you buy the materials, a sales associate will cut the shelving for you. But, it's handy to have the tools to make adjustments once you get home.
Wire shelving attaches to the wall with screw-mounted clips and is held up by brackets or support poles. Different wall materials require different methods of installing the clips. See below for details.
|Standard drywall or plaster (1/2-in to 5/8-in thick)
||Drill 1/4-in holes and attach the clips with standard fastening pins. These are available in closet organizer kits or on the same aisle as shelving materials.
|Thick drywall or plaster (more than 5/8-in thick)
||Drill 1/4-in hole 1-in deep and attach the clip with #8 x 1-in screws.
|Thin drywall (less than 1/4-in thick)
||Cut the rear projection from the clip and secure the clip to the wall witih a toggle bolt. Follow the manufacturer's directions for toggle bolt installation.
||Drill a 1/4-in hole 1-in deep with a masonry bit and attach the clip with #8 x 1-in screws. Use plastic anchors if necessary.
||Cut the rear projection from the clip and secure the clip to the wall with a molly bolt. Follow the manufacturer's directions for molly bolt installation.
Cut the rear projection from the clip and secure the clip to the wall with #8 x 1-in wood screws.
Measure and mark the height of the shelf in several places along the wall. Using a level, align a straight board with the marks and draw a guide line to mark the run of the shelf
Mark the position of the first clip. If the end of the shelf will touch the wall, the first clip will be placed 2 1/2-inches from the wall. Mark the guide line there. If the end of the shelf will not touch the wall, the clip should be placed 1-inch in from the end of the shelf to provide extra support. Mark the guide line there.
Make an equivalent mark on the other end and make equally spaced marks in-between, with no two marks more than 12-inches apart.
At each mark, measure 5/8-inch up from the guide line and make an X to indicate the location of the screw to secure the plastic clip.
Drill a hole in the center of every X. Consult the box above for drilling details.
Tap the clip into the hole with the handle of a hammer and secure it with a fastening pin or screw.
After all the clips are in the wall, start at one end and attach the shelf to them one clip at a time by popping the back wire of the shelf into the slot on the clip. It might take two sets of hands: one to hold the shelf up and another to push the shelf into the clip. It won't take much force.
Cover any open ends with plastic caps to avoid snagging and poking.
Shelf ends that touch walls are secured by end brackets. To install:
Lower the clipped-in shelf to its level position and slide the end bracket into place, marking the screw holes.
Holding the shelf out of the way, drill a 1/4-inch hole at each mark and insert plastic anchors.
Secure the bracket with screws driven into the anchors and lower the shelf into place.
Support braces should be placed no more than 3-feet apart and no more than 2-feet from a shelf end that does not touch a wall.
Some support braces simply hook over a wire rod of the shelf lip. Others use joiner plates. (Joiner plates are also used when the space is too long for a single piece of shelving and two pieces must be connected.)
To install a joiner plate support brace:
Attach the plate to the lip of the shelf. It will sit vertically if the shelf includes an integrated hanging rod and horizontally if there is no rod.
Put the joiner plate bolt through the hole from the front and attach it to the smaller end of the support brace at the back.
Put a nut on the back and tighten by hand.
After the brace is attached to the shelf, fasten it to the wall. Position it against the wall, level the shelf and make a mark where the brace will join the wall.
Drill a 1/4-inch hole and insert a wall anchor by pushing it into the hole with the handle of a hammer.
Secure the brace into the anchor with a screw.
Support poles should be used in place of braces for stacks of three or more shelves. Poles should be placed every 3-feet along the run of the shelving. They connect to the shelving using clips similar to those that hold the shelves to the wall.
Shoe shelves can be made by turning a shelf piece upside down (lip pointed upwards). Clips attach the shelving to the wall and a special bracket holds the shelf at an angle.
Corners can be made two ways. You can use a specially-shaped corner piece that attaches to shelves on either side with joiner plates. Or you can use two straight shelves - one ending at the wall and the other ending at the edge of the first shelf - attached to each other with a corner support connector. Fit the support under the wires of one shelf and over the wires of the other.
Drawers and baskets can be added using runner frames (for multiple drawers) or hanging drawer glides (to mount a single drawer underneath a shelf). Pre-configured runner frame kits are available or you can customize your own frame and drawer combination.