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How to Reinforce Bookcase Shelves – Easy & Effective Ways

Before we dive into how to reinforce bookcase shelves, we have to figure out what exactly we want to do. Is it simply strengthening the frame construction of the bookcase for heavier books? Or do you need to strengthen the standing span of your bookcase?

For example, I have just tightened up the screws of one of the bookcases with shorter shelves while a big one with wide shelves needed to be treated by adding another panel for nice support as I thought it may sag with a load of books. Both of them are standing gracefully!

How to strengthen bookshelves – Step By Step Guideline

We should not forget that enriching book collection on our shelves is a neverending process. No matter how secure your bookshelf seems, even if it is one of Ikea’s Best-Selling products, it can sag with the weight of books. To protect your books and bookshelves, adjust another panel to it. Or if it is too much to hold, consider adding another bookcase. But for now, let’s check a few process to reinforce bookcase shelves.

How to strengthen bookshelves

Material for built-in shelves:

  • A measurement tape
  • A metal bracket
  • Drill machine
  • Drywall anchors
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Screws
  • Table saw
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Nails

Install a Metal bracket on bookshelf for reinforcement

Step 1

Remove the books and other stuff from the shelf and empty it.

Step 2

With a measuring tape determine the length of the shelf and mark the center point. Now check and measure the parallel distance between the two parts of the shelf to buy the metal bracket in that size.

Step 3

Now install the metal right at the center lining up with the lower shelf part. Remove the shelf part and fix the metal bracket properly adjusting the screws with a screwdriver. Now set the shelf parts on the metal bracket, this will now take the load and support your sagging or weaker layer of the shelf. You can adjust every weak shelf with this metal bracket installation.

Install a Metal bracket on bookshelf for reinforcement

Building Shelving with Plywood for Fixing Bookshelf

Step 1

Measure and mark the center point of the wobbly shelf part. Measure the lengthwise or height-wise distance between the two shelve parts. We will be inserting a wood cut into a shape of the length size which will work as a support for the shelve parts.

Step 2

Now get a plywood plank and mark the sizes we measured to cut the wood with a table saw to transform it into a pillar. It will be like the spine of a book just keep the depth 3/4th inches.

Step 3

Sand the plywood plank, and apply a coat of wood finish or polyurethane. Then apply a coat of paint to match the shelve.

Step 4

Now place the plywood plank in the center of the shelf of the billy bookcase like you keep a book in the middle of other books. This stripe of wood will balance the entire shelf by providing additional strength.

Step 5

Finish by nailing the reinforcement wood spine properly and you are done!

Building Shelving with Plywood

Wooden Support for Shelf

Step 1

In this method, we will place pieces of wood under each shelf. So, we will measure the size of the shelves firstly. Then we will cut the solid would piece into the size of the shelves. I mean the horizontal size of the shelve for having an accurate dimension for wood. What direction does wood grain go for shelf support? We will take a complimentary wood that is 1/4th of the shelf vertically. The depth should be the same as the shelf.

Step 2

Now we will put a coat of wood glue on the wood piece.

Step 3

Now remove the shelf from the wall or wall of the bookcase, and place the piece of wood then, on it put the shelf. This needs to be done quickly and you will do it best with someone else’s help.

Step 4

Now with a hammer clamp the wood and shelf. See, how strong your bookcase become without compromising the chic design!

Wooden Support for Shelf

Anchoring a shelf to the wall : Secure Shelf to wall without screws

You can secure your wide or long-standing bookcase with L-shaped brackets. All you have to do is place the L-shaped bracket on the top center of the bookcase and on the wall and fix it with screws, repeat securing with two more brackets on the middle parts of both sides of the bookcase.

You can do a velcro strap instalment to adjust the bookcase against the wall firmly without drilling the case. Use a stud finder and locate the wall studs. Mark the two wall studs with a pencil. If your bookcase is wider you might need three or more. Get the many velcro strap you need as per the bookcase’s size. The set of velcro straps will have wall anchors and long screws to hold onto the wall.

Take a pencil and mark the meeting line of the bookcase and wall, we will place one tip of the strap on one marked point we found with a stud finder. Now secure the tip on the wall anchoring with a screw. The rest of the strap will be on the bookcase, peel back and remove the clear cover of the adhesive and fix it on the case. Repeat the process on the other side or more. Now the bookcase is tied to the wall with the velcro straps.

Anchoring a shelf to the wall

Some Common FAQ’s About How to Reinforce Bookcase Shelves

We have random questions to answer you, please go through them. You might find something helpful!

Does Billy Bookcase sag?

You can expect your billy shelves to sag. But it is not a huge problem unless you load the construction beyond its capacity. Better we not take everything for granted and learn to load things with their limit, take care and use them with caution.  I have been using my IKEA billy for years, it is just impressive!

How to take care of a bookcase?

Place safely so that it does not move badly in earthquakes, protect them from moisture exposure, and never allow kids or pets to climb or hand it on your bookcase. Clean your books and bookcase cautiously and while moving your shelf do not drag carelessly. Too much movement may also cause loosening of the frame.

Wrap Up

Bookshelves are the life of a bookworm’s dream house. Placing any furniture securely is important in every place. It helps to save from any casualty as well as ensure the longevity of the furniture. Following the right methods, we can reinforce the bookcase shelves and maintain the aesthetic as well.

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