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I want to put a row of bookshelves along a corridor, immediately above door frames - basically like this above the doors. Because of the gaps where the door themselves, and because I assume floating shelves wouldn't be strong enough for long rows of books, I was thinking of "upside down shelves", basically like these. The walls are solid bricks.

Are there any downsides to doing it that way? Any other suggestions / ideas?

Thanks in advance

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Normally the long metal arm holds all the weight. The screws are just holding the shelf in place.

With the upside down shelves all the weight is on the screws/bolts. They will not be able to hold as much weight. It might be good enough. Or it might not and piles of books come crashing down on someone's head.

There are calculators online to figure out how much weight a particular size piece of wood can safely hold with supports at a given distance. I would see if you can make the shelf strong enough with supports on either side of the doorway.

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  • That said, a lag screw can hold quite a bit of weight. Actually, for the same size, you'd likely get more holding power out of a screw than a bolt (a bold 'holds' a much smaller amount of threads than the wood would). For book shelves, I think the system would be fine.
    – DA01
    Dec 14 '14 at 21:36
  • A bolt may hold fewer threads, but the nut it's holding is steel. Shelves are usually around 15mm manufactured wood, screws will only bite effectively into half that thickness. Bolts with big heads, please.
    – paul
    Dec 14 '14 at 23:39
  • OR bolts with washers.
    – keshlam
    Dec 15 '14 at 17:45
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Yes- minor problem -

When the support is beneath the shelf the load pushes down at the bottom and out at the shelf edge. When the support is above the shelf the load pulls down at the back of the shelf and out at the top Anchoring into brick is a bit tricky and much harder to achieve pull force resistance to the anchor.
It can be done but I would consider epoxy embedded anchors.

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