I want to put up a shelf going the width of a narrow hallway, but cant do any drilling in the walls (our walls are terrible and I rent so I don't want to do any damage).

I thought about suspending a few pull up bars and then putting a plank of wood on them, but first wanted to know if there is a more elegant solution. When I google tension rod shelf they are all vertical and I want one that is horizontal.

  • I'm having trouble picturing what you have in mind. Are you saying you want something that wedges between the two walls and stays up by friction alone?
    – Dave Tweed
    Apr 9, 2015 at 17:19
  • Yes that's exactly it
    – red888
    Apr 10, 2015 at 1:49

3 Answers 3


I've wondered this before, too. Honestly I wouldn't trust a horizontal tension rod shelf unless you're putting lightweight, and not breakable, things on it.

I know you're renting, but you could install shelves with braces and then just patch the holes when you leave, assuming you can find similar paint.

Another alternative is just something like bookshelves.


Pull-up bars sound elegantly ingenious to me. But if this is a dead space in a hallway that would never really serve a better purpose than having a shelf, consider installing a real shelf mounted with brackets; one that you'll leave when you move out. No damage: improvements!

  • But I don't think our walls could handle a shelf. Are there shelves that stretch across the width of a hallway?
    – red888
    Apr 10, 2015 at 1:51

I have seen tension shelves popular for kids lockers but I don't think they go bigger than about 18" but try Google for locker shelf's

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