1

Background

I am fitting some solid oak floating shelves to a plasterboard wall, using a kit I purchased from Etsy.

I was supplied with Gripit brown anchors which are plenty capable of supporting the shelves and any weight I plan to put on them.

I was also supplied with Hafele-style conceled floating shelf brackets.

enter image description here enter image description here

I have fitted the brackets, made sure they are level and then slid the shelf onto them accordingly; and I can say that horizontally, the shelf I have fitted is pretty bang on level.

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Probelm

The issue I have is that there appears to be a significant slope forward of the shelf... Is there a remedy for this? I don't want my pasta falling off!

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I did note that when constructing the brackets that there is a collar on the stem, designed for a spanner to tighten here (which I used to put them together securely)... Could it be that I just need to tighten the stem more such that the flange is pushed/bent out further to correct for this?

I have also seen a potential solution whereby people have used angled shims to try and correct for any lean, however I'm not sure this will work for these particular style of brackets.

Is the wall level?

I could hear you asking while I was typing, "But is the wall actually level?!". So here are some photos I took.

On a macro scale, the entire wall does seem to be relatively plumb - Although my spirit level seems to have the largest bubble I've ever seen!.

enter image description here

On a micro scale, the line where the shelf is attached to, is slightly off, but appears to be nowhere near the level of "out-ness" as when the shelf is fitted.

enter image description here

Update - I fitted a second shelf!

So while waiting for a response on here, I went ahead and decided fitting a second shelf would be a great idea.

To my surprise, it actually fits with NO droop like I had in the first one.

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This makes me think that it may be one of 2 different reasons:

  1. The brackets on the first shelf are off somehow. Either bent or not constructed properly
  2. I haven't tightened the bolts into the Gripit anchors properly and it may be a tad loose.
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  • I have a floating shelf system like that but the rods are welded. There is a tiny bit of forward tilt because the drywall gives just a touch. I could cut out the drywall where the shelf sits and replace with solid wood, but I just live with it. Nobody notices but me.
    – Evil Elf
    May 14 at 11:07
  • 1
    Possible reason 3 is that the holes drilled in the shelf aren't level/square themselves. To check this, flip the shelf over and slide it on to the brackets. If it's the shelf then it'll be out of level in the other direction, towards the wall.
    – MarkL
    May 15 at 20:27

2 Answers 2

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The design of the bracket will mean that it will bend when any force is placed on it. You can demonstrate this by pushing down on the end of the bracket. The more weight there is and the further out the centre of mass, the more the bracket will bend. To counteract this, I would either bend the brackets up slightly (take them off the wall and put them in a vise to do this, or you may be able to achieve this by screwing the rod in further, if possible) or - as you have suggested - use angled shims at the wall. Whatever you do, be careful not to overload the shelf - unless very well designed, 'floating' shelves are more decorative than functional.

To further reduce the tendency to sag, you could insert rigid packing in the bracket to limit the amount the metal can bend.

PS Wilko are not renowned for the quality of their tools!

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  • Yes, I think your right in agreement with my ideas (not bigging myself up, honest). And what do you mean that Wilko aren't renowned for their quality? They're basically Festool of the shopping centre! :-P
    – physicsboy
    May 14 at 15:01
  • I see you've fitted a second shelf with better results. Have you compared the level of the mounting rods without the shelves fitted? That might give you an indication where the discrepancy lies. And, my bad about Wilko quality - apparently all the pros use their tools :-)
    – NMF
    May 14 at 16:20
  • I had exactly the same ideabut then time got away from me. I had to clean the vaccuum because of the plaster dust clogging it up. Whoops.
    – physicsboy
    May 14 at 20:10
  • SUCCESS! I had a play and managed to get some vice grips on the shafts and turned them a little more, and they either: 1 - Bent the front piece up a little or 2 - the hole to thread the shaft in is a little off and more of an elliptical path. But either way, I got there in the end :-)
    – physicsboy
    May 16 at 20:28
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IMO you installed those brackets incorrectly.
You've placed them such that the body of the bracket is horizontal on the wall like this:
enter image description here

whereas how I think you should have placed this is like this:
enter image description here

I also don't like the way those brackets are designed, as I think they're almost made to bend, but they should be a lot stronger when oriented vertically instead of horizontally.

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  • I agree that it would be stronger if I oriented them vertically rather than horizontally, but then they wouldn't be very concealed ;-) With regards to bendability, the rod actually screws through the hole and braces against the flat backside itself, reducing its likelihood of bending.
    – physicsboy
    May 14 at 14:46

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