I’d appreciate some advice on the tools I need to complete a task.

I bought an Ikea Kallax shelving unit (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/30275861/) It came with two brackets, with a space for one screw per bracket to attach to the wall.

I need to secure it to a wall. The wall is solid – 99% sure it’s not plaster board. (My terraced house is from the 1930’s.) There is a gap between the wall and the unit because of a skirting board.

I’d like to secure it in as simple and safe a way as possible. Can you recommend the screws, plugs and drill bit I need? Thank you for your help.

  • Why You need to secure it? What will be laiyng on these shelves (weight)? Aug 17, 2015 at 12:56
  • It’s going in a children’s bedroom.
    – user619882
    Aug 17, 2015 at 13:00
  • Ok then. IKEA is delivering furniture pieces that need to be attached vertically these days... You can simply use some L-shape bracket (media.castorama.pl/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/…) from whatever shop and attach it with screws (per bracket: 2 to a wall, 2 to a shelf). I would only consider larger screw than delivered (I don't trust this save-on-all-parts policy, plus - there will be some distance from the wall). Aug 17, 2015 at 13:24
  • @MarekOleszczuk all freestanding shelves should be secured to walls for tip prevention. Particularly so that children don't grab them...but also in earthquake country. In most cases you only need one anchor per shelving unit.
    – DA01
    Feb 18, 2016 at 22:41

4 Answers 4


My kids each have the red Kallax shelf system. They each come with a long L bracket. These should be installed on the third row up on the outside squares. If you can't do it there go up to the 4th row.

The long part of the L goes on the wall. For plaster you will need to use threaded anchors or toggle bolts. You may have to put in 2 on each L bracket into the wall. It would be advantageous if at least one of them went into a stud (then just use a wood screw - even a drywall screw).

From there you screw in the short end into you shelf. I have trim too and shelf actually sits a good 3/4 inch from wall - should not matter. Also when screwing in the short end of the L bracket try to keep the shelf flat or slightly slightly tilted back. Really the shelf should "sit" and you are not moving it during install.

Once you screw in bracket IKEA gives you bracket covers. Throw those on and you are done. Note that these brackets are not made to hang you shelf on the wall or anything crazy like that. They are simply so a child can't tip the shelf over on them if climbing it. I am sure I could go in their rooms and rip these off the walls.


Not enough reputation to comment, although this should be a comment and not an answer. (Strange system!)

Part of your post cites the gap between the unit and the wall because of a skirting board. One option to address the gap is to mount a board to the wall and then secure the shelves to the board. In US parlance you could use a 1"x3" or a 2"x4" board or similar (I think you are in the UK, so use your available standard size lumber). This should give a solid anchorage.

  • 1
    If your bracket is long enough, and robust enough, it may make more sense to attach the bracket flush to the wall, then attach it via screws to the shelving unit (frame, not a shelf). This way no additional lumber is necessary, and it should prevent the shelves from rocking to and fro. Sep 21, 2015 at 17:23
  • 1
    @BrownRedHawk I like the way you think. I would use a 2" or 2 1/2" screw to attach to the wall. This is long enough to get through any plaster or wall board but not long enough to cause a problem.
    – jqning
    Oct 22, 2015 at 1:44

There are child safety furniture straps designed for exactly this purpose.


You likely have lathe-and-plaster walls. When attaching shelves in the past I've drilled through the plaster and lathe, then inserted a toggle bolt through the bracket on the shelf into the hole in the wall:

enter image description here

It doesn't have to be screwed tight to the wall...so it's OK if there's a gap due to the baseboard. It just has to 'grab' in the case of the shelves starting to lean forward.

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