I want to build shelves for a linens closet. I plan to use hollow core door as the shelf material. The doors are 15" deep, and after cutting will be ~70" long. I need to come up with a way to brace the shelves to the wall.

I had two ideas:

  1. Affix 1x1 lumber to the studs of three walls of the closet as depicted here: enter image description here

My concerns with this design is: will this provide enough support for the shelves to hold towels and sheets? Or actually, what kind of weight could this design support?

  1. Use shelving brackets like these.

enter image description here

My concerns with this are (This is similar to this question.): I can only find 12"x14" brackets in an idea price range. Will these sized brackets work with 15" deep shelves ? And how many would I need for 70" of width, with 1x1 only on the short-end walls ?

3 Answers 3


You should re-consider several of your ideas.

  1. The stripping on the wall is an excellent way to support shelves. However do use something like a 1x3 or 1x4 so that the material has some substance and strength. A 1x1 is just too flimsy, can bow between studs and after accepting one screw through it there is not much meat left to the piece. A wider strip allows for two screws at each stud.

  2. I would purge the idea of using the hollow core doors for shelves. First off for a linens closet where you have multiple shelves the thickness of the doors ends up wasting storage space! Secondly after you cut hollow core doors for length and width you are left with open sides that only will show the internal web of cardboard. That will not standup over time. So unless you intend to re-glue side and end strips back into the edges of the cut off doors I would purge the idea of using them.

With the wall stripping I would think that a decent quality 3/4" plywood would make a much better shelf. If you have concerns of it bowing across the front you can add a 1x2 strip along under the front edge of the shelf that extends the full length. But honestly the plywood will be plenty strong for linens.

  • 1. Good point, the 1x1 is probably too thin now that I think of it. .... 2. The 4 doors that I have are the perfect size (15"x74") for the space (20"x70"). I'd only be cutting 4" off one end for them to fit, so I'd only have to re-glue one end on each door. I had a table in my shed that I built with one of these doors, and it's pretty sturdy with a lot of weight on it, but I'll do some stress tests before I build. Jan 3, 2016 at 3:06

IMHO a combination of both ideas would be best; a perimeter strip for edge support and a couple brackets midway for center support, kind of like this:

enter image description here Even if you plan to just store lightweight linens, flat spaces often turn into places to store other items in the future, so a robust support design would be better. I agree with other posters that a hollow core door could be problematic and you should consider other material options for your shelving material.


Either of your designs will work fine. Both will do the job of supporting linen. If I had to choose between the two configurations I would pick photo #1. Only because of its' continual support on the shelf edges by the 1x stock (and it will cost less).

One thing you should be aware of is when you trim the door down to size you will need to install edging. Being a hollow door if you remove the existing edge the doors skin won't have support. You can either clean the old edge and re-install it or cut your own.

If you decide to cut new edging, now would be a good time to consider "beefing-up" the shelf with larger 2x stock (if you think the shelf will support heavier items). The hollow space can be filled with 2x for edging which will increase the weight it can support.

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