I am installing three 81” shelves on a wall in a laundry alcove off a kitchen. The house is 100+ years old with lathe and plaster walls, orange peel surface.

Studs are located at 18, 34, 50, and 65 inches from right end (inside) to left (outside wall) but not at corners. One end is solid wood flanking interior doorway, the other lathe/plaster flanking window frame.

The shelves are 7-1/4” wide of select 3/4” pine. I have steel 1/4” thick L brackets at 5.25”, four brackets per shelf into studs, rated at 400 lbs per (presumably) pair.

I plan on a cleat along ends and wall, 1x2 (3/4 x 1 1/2”). Cleat will be notched so that the screw for the bracket will also support the cleat.

Will the cleat be enough to support the overhang of 15” and 18” (respectively) on either end?

  • 1
    With the brackets it should be. I doubt you are planning on placing 100 plus pounds on the ends.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 11:54
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    Added a little formatting to make this readable, made some complete sentences and asked a question in the title (as is expected 'round here) - that always helps. Please take the tour to see how we're a little different than other places on the internet.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


With the cleats on the walls at the ends, this seems fine. If you have intentions of loading the shelves very heavily (thinking canning jars and cast iron) you might put a 1x2 on edge along the front edge of the shelving, which will stiffen it a bit, but likely that's not needed.

A handy calculator is at https://woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

and it indicates no concern up to 250 lbs per foot for the shelf described if attached at the sides. If not attached, 60-65 lbs per foot (note that it computes visible sag, not breakage, which would be more load.) Adding a 1x2 on edge at the front of the shelf elevates the loading significantly.


The answer to this question is, "maybe".

It is all dependent on the amount of weight placed on the shelves. With other variables such as the type and size of screws used to mount the brackets, as well as correct placement.

Since you say it is a laundry alcove, it can be assumed that you will be storing laundry and cleaning products. In that case your plan is sound, and you should have no problems.

If you plan to use the shelves for storing your collection of concrete and led figurines, then maybe not....or possibly it will be ok, depending on the size and number.

The point is there is not a definite answer. Common sense and a little construction experience says that if you are using these shelves as they would be used in a normal manner, for household products and items, you will be fine.

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