Step 1

Consider Which Equipment to Use

To install the standards, you'll need appropriate wall anchors (Image 1). When installing wall anchors, drill a hole into the drywall and then insert the anchor, which expands to hold the screw securely. There are plastic versions and also metal ones for thicker walls. Butterfly bolts (Image 2) work the same way: drill a hole and insert the bolt with the metal "wings" down; the wings open up inside the hole to hold a large screw securely in place. The only thing with butterfly bolts is they can never be taken out again.

For cinderblock walls you'll need a lead anchor to grip the screws (Image 3). Self-tapping drywall anchors tap directly into the drywall with no predrilling.

Step 2

Mark the Locations for the Standards

Put the shelf standards on the wall. First, measure how far you want the shelf to be from the ceiling or the floor and mark the spot for the top and bottom of each standard. Then decide how far apart the standards should be to hold the shelf. Measure the length of the shelf, allowing at least 8" of overhang on the outside of each standard, so the shelf won't be on the very edge of the brackets.

Step 3

Mark the Anchor Positions and Insert

Hold the first standard up to the wall and use a level to make sure it is both level horizontally and plumb vertically. It will have open holes for screws — hold a pencil inside each one to mark the spots for a wall anchor. Use a stud sensor to locate studs in the walls to avoid drilling the anchors or screws into.

Take the standard off the wall again. Use a drill and a screwdriver to insert anchors at the spots you've marked, or just use a power screwdriver if you're using self-tapping drywall anchors.

Step 4

Screw Standards into Place

Attach the Standards

Attach the Standards

Hold the standard in place over the anchors and check once again to make sure it's level and plumb. Then insert the screws through the standard slots and into the anchors. Screw them into place.

Double-check the spacing between the standards and then use the same process to install the second standard.

Step 5

Hammer in Shelf Brackets

Insert the Shelf Brackets

Insert the Shelf Brackets

Insert the shelf brackets into the appropriate slots on the standards and tap them in with a hammer. Place the shelf on the brackets.