I have had some 18mm (0.7") MDF cut to make some shelving in an alcove between my shower room and main hallway. It's 18.5cm (7.2") deep by 196.5cm (77") long

I have been considering the best way to mount these to the plasterboard/drywall - there's a few screw options and i'm inclined to go with this type https://www.diy.com/departments/diall-steel-self-drilling-metal-plug-pack-of-100/1511938_BQ.prd

but I'm not sure what to actually use to mount the shelves.

Watched a lot of videos where people screw wooden batten supports against the wall and simply rest the wooden shelf on that, but not sure that will work with the .5" think MDF


p.s. found this pretty good guide - but I'm limited with my abilities and tools. https://www.practicaldiy.com/carpentry/shelving/shelving_alcove.php#metal

  • Any solid framing int the ceiling that you could work down from? What sort of weight are you thinking of putting on shelves? What about people stumbling and grabbing a shelf for support? Drywall just is not very tough stuff. Nov 22, 2019 at 0:43
  • there's usually studs behind every drywall corner. draw a picture of the alcove.
    – Jasen
    Nov 22, 2019 at 9:12

3 Answers 3


I love those ez anchors they can support a fair load. At 77” long and only 7” deep I would consider L brackets that require 2 screws each this would provide ~100 lbs of support at each bracket l bracket is similar to your angle but one side is 3” the other is 1” or 1/2 my local big box store has this type of angle or bracket. The issue here is the front will sag so a longer bracket is really needed. As far as how many you will need I would think at least 5 brackets because MDF will sag if not supported. 4 may work but I would probably use 5 .

I would create triangle braces out of 1x2 again I would probably use 2 anchors for each support 7 “ is not much but better safe than sorry. If you make your triangle 7” on the 2 sides then the long side creates the support for the front of the shelf , this would prevent sagging.


I wouldn't rely on those anchors for a shelf. They just don't spread the load over enough of the plasterboard. Expanding anchors spread the load more, but a shelf could end up full of books or a child could try to climb it.

Personally, if I can't find a stud, I'd create something to transmit the load to the floor. Either a plank on each side, or individual timber legs. You can use drywall anchors to stabilise these, so it's pretty easy woodwork compared to building a free-standing set of shelves.

screw wooden batten supports against the wall and simply rest the wooden shelf on that

Battens on the ends of a shelf works for short shelves, but 2m (6') is far too long, especially for MDF, which will sag over time. You need supports about every half meter.

I'd use wooden uprights about 20x40mm, with short horizontal battens of the same material screwed and glued to the sides to support the shelves.

  • Hi Robin! The shelves are only 96.5cm long, 18mm thick, and 18.5cm deep. Nov 22, 2019 at 15:32

If there's no support in the wall (seems dubious that 2 meters of wall would have no studs...?), the best option by far is to just put uprights on the ends (and for that long, probably also the middle) of the shelves and make a self-supporting "bookcase" or freestanding shelf that can be stood against the wall, holding itself up from the floor, rather than trying to hold shelves up on a wall with nothing solid to support them.

  • From what I can tell its metal studs - not sure can drill into those though? Nov 23, 2019 at 0:09

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