How to Install Shelf Brackets

Installing metal shelf brackets is probably easier than you think! 

how to install shelf bracket

Shelf Bracket Installation

As a general rule, it's always ideal to install shelf brackets into wall studs. This can take a bit of planning and measuring. However, it can difficult to find wall stud just where you want your brackets. Because of this, we offer toggle bolts which are a safe, secure option for these situations (see below for more information).            

Recommended Tools for Bracket Installation:

  • 7/16" Wrench or Socket
  • Stud Finder
  • Level  
  • Electric Drill
  • Pencil & Masking Tape
  • Lag Bolts (we include these with each bracket order but also available at your local hardware store)  OR necessary bolts for specialty installation into concrete or brick installation


    Again, installing our metal brackets is an actually pretty easy DIY project. These steps will walk you through it: 

    • After determining where you'd like the shelf, place a long piece of masking tape horizontally along the wall, spanning the length of your piece of wood

    (this also gives a great visual of how your shelves will look before making the commitment!)

    • Using a level, mark a level line along the tape.
    • Locate the studs in the wall so you can anchor the shelf and mark the studs along the level line. (electronic stud finders are helpful for this step!)

    (not able to locate studs? see our note above about using toggle bolts instead) 

    • Pre-drill a 3/16" hole where your level line and your studs intersect. (optional but it makes installation a lot easier)
    • Remove all masking tape from the wall.
    • Install the brackets with the provided bolts using a wrench or socket. (If using J brackets, flush mount screws are included for bottom bolt hole if needed)
    • Place your wood onto the brackets. (L brackets require wood screwed directly onto bracket arm)
    • Celebrate your new DIY shelves!


    Installation Without Wall Studs:

    When wall studs are not available, we strongly suggest using toggle bolts. They are an expandable anchor that grips the back side of the drywall. They are easier to use than they look! We have them available for purchase that match our other hardware, which is preferred if you are mounting some brackets into studs and others with the toggle bolts. They can also be found at any local hardware store. For our toggles, use a 5/8" drill bit to pre-drill the hole. 

    This video also provides a great visual to using toggle bolts.


    Installation on Other Surfaces:

    Mounting Onto Tile Backsplash

                      install brackets on tile

    When it comes to installing brackets onto tile we suggest drilling out the tile with a 5/16" masonry drill bit to prevent cracking of the tile. You can then use typical lag bolts (provided with each order) into studs or toggle bolts if studs are not an option.

    Mounting Onto Brick, Concrete or Stone

    To mount onto brick, mortar, stone, concrete or any other solid masonry surface, drill a 1/4" hole hole in the brick/mortar with a masonry drill bits.  Then secure the brackets with engineered bolts which are for use with masonry. We also have masonry bolts available for purchase.