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dwlodyka 01-27-2013 11:20 AM

Shelving Disaster
Good Morning,

I have a question concerning the safe installation of closet shelving.

We recently had a new home built. The contractor installed wire shelving in the closets. My wife's closet features a nine foot long wall. One of the shelves spans this wall. The shelving was installed with the hardware that came with the shelves. The fasteners were placed into the drywall. Needless to say, my wife's wardrobe caused the shelving to fail; it tumbled from the wall, ripping holes where the fasteners were set.

I went to Lowe's and purchased screws and what appeared to be nylon two-hole strap fasteners. Using screws into the studs, I installed the wire shelving, hanging the shelving on six studs. The installation eventually failed as the two-hole fasteners were not strong enough to hold the wire shelving. The fasteners broke, sending the shelves and clothing crashing to the floor.

I am trying to find a way to secure the wire shelving to the wall in such a way that my wife's clothing collection does not cause it to fail. I looked for metal two-hole strap fasteners, but cannot locate some with a one quarter inch diameter (the diameter of the wire shelf framing).

Can someone suggest to me how I might securely fasten the shelf to the wall? What hardware I might use? Or whether there are other alternatives, and no, my wife won't give up her wardrobe collection.

Thank you,


Canarywood1 01-27-2013 11:43 AM

You need to find the studs and fasten your shelving to them,apparently she has too many clothes for the hollow wall anchors to hold

dwlodyka 01-27-2013 11:52 AM

I did find the studs.

Daniel Holzman 01-27-2013 12:20 PM

I am a little confused. You say you had a new house built, and the wire shelf installation was so weak that the shelves failed upon loading clothes. Why is this not the problem of the contractor? Normally there is a home warranty, even if there is not, this sounds like substandard work, and the contractor should fix the problem.

That said, unless your wife has a collection of metal armor, the standard supports that go into studs should work fine. I have metal shelving in my basement attached to studs, and it holds up very heavy stuff (glass bottles, appliances etc.) If for some reason you are unable to get the contractor to repair the problem, you need to find out the manufacturer of the shelving system, and purchase appropriate supports for the shelf. My shelf includes some support angles that attach to the studs, these angles provide most of the support, and are specific to the particular shelving system I have.

SuperJETT 01-27-2013 01:36 PM

I've used wire shelving in our past 2 houses for long and short walls, including pantry use with heavy cans of food and never had an issue with just drywall anchors.

Are you sure it's being attach properly with the correct number of supports?

Pics would help us understand.

joecaption 01-27-2013 01:41 PM

Something very wrong and it's not the shelve fault for it to come down.
3/8 drywall, not enough clips, ECT.
I've installed thousands of feet of that stuff and never had one come down.

retired guy 60 01-27-2013 03:07 PM

As I understand you, you hit the studs using screws though plastic clips recommended by the shelving manufacturer and the clips broke from the weight of the clothes. I have used plastic clips w/o a problem, so that suggests not enough clips or the weight of the clothing exceeds what the manufacturer expects. You might be able to make metal clips but that should not be needed. On second thought, I recall there is supposed to be a support bracket at each stud (less if only a light load) which lies underneath the shelf. I have a feeling your initial installer neglected to add the necessary metal support brackets or maybe enough of them. They provide more support than the plastic clips alone. Add them and your problem should be solved. They can be found at the big box store that sells the clips.

joed 01-27-2013 03:38 PM

That metal shelving needs to fasten at the back edge AND with angle supports below supporting the front edge.

joecaption 01-27-2013 03:43 PM

I bet that's what's missing the diaganals.
There's also suppost to be supports on the two ends if there's that much weight.

SPS-1 01-27-2013 04:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The wire shelves in my closet have gussets like this on them, and are as solid as a rock. Like Joe said, you must be missing these.

joecaption 01-27-2013 04:31 PM

Joed was the clever one on this one not me.
If they collaps and they were built that strong, it's time for a yard sale or a new wife.

woodworkbykirk 01-27-2013 05:35 PM

4 Attachment(s)
im surprised builders are using wire shelving.. must be a cookie cutter house..

i build all my closets out of mdf or if its in the budget, good two sided plywood. its alot stronger and looks a hell of a lot nicer

weird thing about that first pic,, that was in dead space in the eaves of a house i did an addition on last year... the week i did that built in the avengers movie came out.. it sorta got dubbed the avengers logo shelf...

joed 01-27-2013 05:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I am starting to think he has it installed more like this, which is wrong.

Attachment 64509

You must have at least some supports or the shelf would not stay up. If the support are going up instead of down that would be your problem. Pushing on the wall is much stronger than pulling on it.

dwlodyka 01-28-2013 09:45 AM

Hello and thank you for the replies.

As far as my contractor goes, the shelving was the last item installed prior to our taking the keys. The hardware was installed in drywall. The proper strut supports were used. The installation was just not strong enough. I reinstalled, using the studs. The back portion of the shelving was secured by plastic two-hole strap clamps. Each clamp was secured to the studs with screws. These are the items that failed. The plastic clamps simply could not bear the load and broke. I'm thinking that, over a nine foot span, my wife just put too much weight on the shelves. I haven't been able to find any similar clamps made of metal. None of the screws that I installed pulled out or broke. Just the strap clamps failed.

We went to Lowe's yesterday and looked at a Rubbermaid system that uses tracks that are secured to the studs. I'm wondering whether these would be stronger. Thoughts?

PS: My wife said that if I tried to sell her clothes, she'd sell my tools. Her clothes are safe.


BrandonD 01-28-2013 10:24 AM

It sounds like you have everything right if you have the angled supports and clamps screwed into studs (and enough of them). That must be a lot of clothing. :eek:

My next step would be to paint a 1x2 board the length of your shelf and then screw it to the studs just underneath the shelf so that it rests on it. I would still use the clamps to keep the shelf from pulling away from the wall.

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