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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Admittedly, I am very inexperienced with DIY type stuff.

I need to install a shelf in my bathroom for my grandmother. It's just so she can have something to put her toiletries on. Also, it will be used to help hide the litter boxes, I figure I can hang some fabric off of it to hide them.

I need something that will measure about 36" to 60" long and 16" to 20" deep (from the wall out). I don't want to have to cut anything or go through a complicated installation process (for a beginner). Can anyone recommend something? I looked at Home Depot in the shelving aisle, but didn't see anything that I thought would work. Everything was too short or narrow.

I thought about making something, but that involves cutting and that's where I really suck. I thought about just getting four heavy duty dowel rods and a board and screwing it all together to make a table. But I don't know if that's a good idea. Plus, that would involve cutting too.

Any suggestions?

Also, if I install a shelf, is it best to install it into the studs? It's entirely possible one of the cats may jump on it, I'd hate for it to fall or damage the walls.
 

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Blu,

You're not going to find a piece of wood 16 to 20" wide, except for plywood. Home Depot will cut down a sheet of plywood to whatever size you want, for free.

The problem with plywood is that you have an exposed edge, which is ugly and prone to chip out. At HD, you can buy laminate edging that you can literally iron onto the plywood to cover the edge,

Be sure to get a 3/4" thick, high grade sanded plywood. Pine is cheap, but hardwood such as birch or oak will be much nicer and will take paint or stain better, Even with pre-sanded plywood, you'll still need to sand it down to the final smooth finish.

If you just want to install a single shelf, you'll need some kind of bracket to attach it to the wall. Look around the HD website to see the various types of shelf brackets available to suit your tastes. Yes, the brackets should be screwed into the studs. How many brackets depends on how long the shelf is and how the studs are aligned where you want to install the shelf.
 

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Breakin' Stuff
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I don't think you're going to find a shelf that sticks out that far from the wall that doesn't require some serious installation. Have you thought about a cabinet that sits on the ground? I've seen people put litter boxes inside them and just cut a hole in the side for cat access.
 

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Food Truck & Old House
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HD does sell 16" wide pine board, about 1" thick that would be fine for a shelf if you want a raw wood. They also sell 15 1/4" mdf pre painted in white/black/tan. The problem with a 16" deep shelf is supporting it. You could buy some heavy duty brackets but they would probably be $10-$15 each for such a big size

You can find brackets like this that have an integrated loop in the end, so you can mount a bar right below the shelfs edge to hang the drapery you were talking about.



Your definitely going to want to screw the brackets into the studs behind the drywall with a 2.5-3" wood screw. Be sure to have all of the brackets square and level so grandma is impressed
 
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