I recently purchased a floating bookshelf from Ikea. The following links are to the bookshelf and to the assembly directions of the bookshelf.



I will be placing books on these shelves that weigh about 40-45 pounds.

My walls are 1/2inch Drywall.

Originally I wanted to use toggle bolts but I'd rather use something that's less damaging to the wall.

The shelf takes 16 screws so I decided to go with this threaded anchor.

Do you guys think that if I use 16 of these threaded anchors, in the assigned spots indicated by the manufacturer, then the floating bookshelf will be able to hold up the 45 pounds of books that I'll be placing on it?

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    "1/4inch Drywall" - are you sure? Not 1/2 inch?
    – brhans
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:04
  • Sorry, 1/2inch. My mistake.
    – Light
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:08
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    It actually uses 8 screws, it alternates between top and bottom holes on the bracket. If you have wood studs a better option would be to screw it into the wood studs, the studs would be spaced about every 16" on your wall. Might require drilling through the bracket. It would be less damaging to the wall than the anchors and hold better. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:13
  • @PlatinumGoose I glanced at the PDF but didn't notice that it was actually 8 screws. I'll adjust my answer. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:16
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    ...using safety-critical anchors from some random non-Amazon seller on Amazon Marketplace, which is basically Alibaba. What could possibly go wrong? Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't use anchors for a shelf holding 45 lbs. unless I had no other choice.

Since the shelf is ~ 6 feet long, see if you can position it horizontally so that at least one of the pairs of holes in the bracket is in front of a stud. Then use appropriate screws (which type will depend on whether you have metal or wood studs) to mount that pair of holes. Then use anchors for the rest. If you can get two pairs to line up with studs that would be even better - and then I wouldn't bother with anchors in the other 6 pairs of holes. But one pair of screws in studs would hold the shelf up and the anchors in the other locations would keep it straight.


Based on one of the comments I took another look at the wordless instructions. It looks like there are 16 holes in the bracket, probably for simple symmetry - mount either way up and it makes no difference. But the instructions indicate only using 8 screws - two above each of the 3 supports and two lower in between. I recommend using either two in one pair (top/bottom) into one stud plus anchors in as many others as you can (but at a minimum matching at least the 8 total in the instructions) OR at least two screws into two separate studs - but once you are doing that you might as well do 4 - top/bottom in each of two separate studs.

If horizontal positioning requirements (e.g., walls, windows, furniture) don't let you get into any studs then you may want to consider drilling two holes through the bracket in order to match it to two studs. That will void your warranty, but it will be a lot more secure than the anchors. I remember ~ 33 years ago at an office where maintenance came in and installed shelves to support PC tape drives (probably 20 - 30 lbs) and the shelves started coming down pretty fast because the supports were not in studs.

  • Thank you for the detail! Just a quick question with regards to drilling into the studs. I came across a video that recommended the exact same thing you're suggesting. To drill in the bracket so it aligns with the studs. If I do drill into the studs, how much weight do you think the shelf will hold? As opposed to using anchors. I also wanted to add that I have wooden studs. So which screws do you recommend for that?
    – Light
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:36
  • If you get screws into at least 2 studs then you can support hundreds of lbs - like kitchen cabinets full of dishes, though any limit based on the shelf itself is important too. 3" is typical. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:44
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    How about these? amazon.com/GRK-CAB8318HP-Cabinet-HandyPak-Package/dp/B001PCXHR0/…
    – Light
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:57
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    Yeah I was looking into drilling the bracket the other day as well. I planned on getting this bit. amazon.com/Neiko-10194A-Titanium-Drill-Speed/dp/B000FZ2UOY/…
    – Light
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 20:03
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    @manassehkatz for a 3/4" pipe centered, I assume 15/16" OD (call it 1") off the 3.5" depth of a 2x4, so that's (3.5-1)/2 = 1.25" penetration into the 2x4 is safe. Plus 1/2" for the drywall = 1-3/4". Add the thickness of what you're bolting up (1/8" on that bracket?) Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 22:14

Did they have chalk when you went to school? Soak newspaper in diluted Elmers glue, wrap it around a stick of chalk, let it dry, that's pretty much what drywall is. You wouldn't expect that to carry a load, would you?

Your wall probably has wood or metal studs typically 16" on center, sometimes 24", unless it covers concrete or cinder block. Of course the IKEA product is metric, so we can't expect it to line up with 16/24" centers unless they were rather clever.

The UPPER holes nearest the poles do 90% of the weight carrying. Either one will do. The lower holes just keep the unit from flopping upwards. Can't hurt, won't help much.

So find your studs in the walls and figure out how to position the Ikea unit to get the best weight transfer onto the studs. Ideally position it so both outer poles are well supported near studs. Feel free to drill extra holes in the IKEA mounting bracket, again the upper holes are the ones doing all the work. You are drilling into steel, "feeds and speeds" matter, feed is downforce (roughly) and speed is drill speed. When you're in the sweetspot, the drilling is fast and the chips are long.

If you just can't make things line up the way you want, another option is get a piece of hardwood 1" thick (preferably 1.5") and the size of the backing plate. Position it exactly where you want, attach the hardwood to every stud it overlaps, then attach the IKEA mounting bracket to the hardwood as instructions direct but with 1-1/4" screws. The trick to working with hardwood is pre-drill every hole so it doesn't crack the wood, and drill a slight countersink for the screws into the wall so the Ikea backplate doesn't ride up on their heads. Bonus points if you drill extra holes in the Ikea backplate and run them straight into the stud as well.

Never drill more than 1-3/4" below the wall's surface. The standard for construction is that wires and pipes must be at least that far away from the wall surface or be guarded by a metal plate to make them difficult to drill through. If you carelessly use 3" screws and nick a wire, it can break wires or pipes - even electrify the entire shelf!

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    I've used a few IKEA products that mount on the wall and their holes lined up with my 16" on center studs, only problem is it limits your ability to center it. Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 14:27

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