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Guide to Buying Shelving

No matter the size of your home, shelving is a discreet and invaluable storage solution. Utilising blank wall space to hold both practical and decorative items, shelving comes in a wide variety of sizes and materials to suit both your home and budget.

 

 

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Types of Shelving

Fixed Brackets

The most simple and common way of hanging shelves, individual ‘L’ shaped brackets are attached to the wall, with the shelf laid across the top. The short arm of the ‘L’ bracket goes underneath the shelf, with the long arm secured to the wall with rawl plugs.

Built-In Shelving

Mainly used in alcoves, this style of shelving is attached to side walls with support screws, rather than a back wall. This is ideal for houses with chimney breasts or recesses, as it maximises wall space for storage.

Adjustable Slotted Shelves

Vertical aluminium or steel tracks are secured to a wall, and brackets are inserted into holes in the tracks. These are great if you want to adjust the height of the shelves, as you simply slot the brackets into a different hole.

Floating Shelves

These are becoming an increasingly attractive option as unsightly brackets are hidden from view. Floating shelves use longer, tube like brackets that are secured to the wall and inserted into the actual shelf.

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Shelving Materials

Chipboard Shelving
This is the most affordable option, and is made from pieces of wood glued together. It can be easily damaged by water, so will come with a veneer to protect it. It can be found in different densities, and is much more affordable than real wood. It’s also more flexible, so may need extra reinforcing if you plan on using it for heavy loads.

MDF Shelving
MDF is great for customisation, as it can be easily painted and stained. It’s made from lots of wood fibres bonded together under pressure. Its smooth finish and edges make it ideal for jigsawing or creating rounded corners, as it doesn’t easily splinter.

Plywood Shelving
Made from layers of wood glued together, plywood is a popular shelving option. It’s durable and water-resistant, and carries a higher price tag than chipboard or MDF. It often holds a natural grain, making it great for staining. If desired, the edges can be covered with a veneer or wood lipping.

Wood Shelving
An attractive and long-lasting shelving option, real wood shelving includes oak, pine and walnut. Featuring unique natural graining, real wood has a timeless appeal. It’s easy to stain and paint and will last you years and years of use. It may need sealing to protect it from insects and rot, but is otherwise a reliable and popular material.

Acrylic Shelving
A stylish and contemporary shelving style, acrylic is made from a thermoplastic, usually coming in transparent sheets. It brings a modern touch to your interiors, and is light and easy to put up. Despite their glass-like appearance, acrylic shelves are strong and durable.

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