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I would like to mount a fairly heavy shelving unit (~150lbs) to a wall with a number of L-brackets. It being a shelving unit, I would be putting all kinds of books and random stuff on it, thus increasing the weight.

This seems like a bad idea to me. I have no idea how heavy it could end up being with books, DVDs, art supplies, etc.

Is there a limit to how much weight should be mounted to a wall?

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A limiting factor of wall mount shelves is their depth. This answer might help you figure out whether you need free-standing shelving or whether you can wall mount. –  alx9r Dec 9 '12 at 23:22

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

150 lbs is a very heavy set of shelves, unless the bottom sits on the floor and you only need to secure it to the wall so it won't tip forward. In any case, there is no written limit on weight, but a lot of common sense has to be used in this case. You will want to know what the rating of the "L" brackets are and if strong enough to hold your load. They would have to be securely mounted to studs in the wall with some pretty large screws. There are no anchors for drywall that I would trust for that much weight. Perhaps you might consider some legs from the bottom of your shelf unit to the floor to support the weight.

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Thank you very much. I wanted to mount this shelving unit above a set of dressers which is wider than the shelves. I don't trust the integrity of the dressers to hold that much weight, so I would be relying mostly on the L-brackets to hold the load. I'm going to re-think this problem. Thank you for helping me think through this problem =] –  YuKagi Apr 28 '11 at 18:43

The limit is effectively defined by brackets and fixings you use and the type of wall you are fixing it to.

Make sure you get brackets and screws that can take the expected weight (plus a little bit more).

If you've got a brick/breeze block wall then (generally) the longer and fatter (size) the screw the more load it can bear - as long as you've used the correct size of rawlplug and drill bit for the hole.

If you've got a drywall (wooden studs and plasterboard) then make sure you screw the brackets into the studs. There are other questions on the site about how to find the location of studs.

Also using more brackets will spread the load so each bracket takes less of the weight thus allowing the shelf to hold more.

Finally make sure the material you choose for the shelf is capable of bearing the weight and won't bow (or even break) under the load. Real wood (or plywood) can take more weight than chipboard and thicker wood can take more weight than thinner.

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