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I'm planning on drilling into my wall and putting screws into hang a floating shelf I got from Ikea. It's fairly small (about 30cm x 30cm) but I would like to leave about 10 text books on it. http://www.ikea.com/aa/en/assembly_instructions/lack-wall-shelf__AA-200208-9_pub.pdf

The problem is that I'm in an apartment and the wall is plasterboard/ gyprock. How can I safely drill into it--or, alternatively what would be a strong stick-on hook that I can use?

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There is a discussion of hanging loads on plasterboard here. Whatever you do, do NOT use stick on hooks. – bib Apr 1 '14 at 1:55

For that much weight, I would try to drill into the studs. You can find them using a studfinder, or sometimes knocking and listening for the change in pitch will be enough. If in doubt, find several, and assume they are evenly spaced. Make sure the drilled holes and screws are long enough to penetrate well into the stud, say at least 2 inches.

Of course, to do this, you need to be able to adjust the distance between the screws to match the distance between the studs. If, for whatever reason, this isn't possible, you can use a small board as an interface. Cut a narrow board long enough to span the studs, or the length of the shelf, whichever is longer. Screw it into the studs. Then use short screws to attach the shelf to the board.

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