How To Reinforce IKEA Shelves? (Explained)

how to reinforce ikea shelves
how to reinforce ikea shelves

There are some complaints about the shelves IKEA makes. They tend to sag if they are holding heavy items such as books.

That’s not just a problem for bookcases; wardrobes and other items with shelving also have this problem.

There are a lot of ways to reinforce IKEA furniture, including shelves. Several websites offer guidelines, and there is, of course, YouTube.

However, it isn’t that hard. It will require a few tools and some purchases.

How To Reinforce IKEA Shelves?

Tools Required:

  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape

Materials Needed:

  • L brackets
  • Wood screws
  • Thin wood boards (optional)

First, measure the depth and width of your shelves. Then, purchase L brackets slightly smaller than the measurements you took.


Next, use a drill to screw the L brackets onto the back of the shelves, ensuring they are level. If you want extra support, cut some thin wood boards to fit on top of the shelf and screw them in with the L brackets.

Follow the following steps to smoothy reinforce shelves.

  1. Anchor the Shelves

Anchor the shelves to the wall with screws or brackets. Make sure the brackets can support the weight of the items on the shelf. Once you anchor the shelves, they won’t be able to sag or collapse.

  1. Use L-brackets

Find some L-brackets that match the width of your shelves and screw them onto the sides of the shelf where it connects with the furniture frame.

l bracket

This adds extra support and stability for heavy items, preventing sagging.

  1. Add a support beam

If anchoring and L-brackets don’t do the trick, adding a support beam in the middle of the shelf can provide extra reinforcement.

This involves cutting a piece of wood to fit on the shelf and securing it with screws or brackets. Make sure it is tall enough to not interfere with any items on the shelf.

  1. Use a shelf reinforcement kit

You can also purchase a shelf reinforcement kit with brackets and other necessary materials for reinforcing your shelves. These kits can be found online or at home improvement stores.

Taking the time to reinforce your IKEA shelves will ensure they can hold heavy items without sagging or collapsing, increasing their durability and longevity.

However, it’s important to remember that your shelves may still have weight limits even with reinforcement. Don’t overload them beyond what they can handle to prevent any accidents.

5.Use Strong Material

Use a thicker and sturdier material for your shelves, such as plywood or hardwood, instead of particle board.


This will make them stronger and less likely to sag under pressure. The drawers tend to sag too, so consider replacing them with sturdier options.

6.Replace the Shelf Supports

If the original shelf supports are weak or flimsy, replace them with stronger ones, such as metal supports or even wooden dowels cut to size and drilled into place.

Good shelf support should evenly distribute the weight on the shelf to prevent sagging.

Reinforcing your IKEA shelves will improve durability and prevent accidents from sagging or collapsing under heavy weight.

Consider these tips and find the best solution for your furniture to ensure it can hold all of your items safely and securely.

  1. Add a Center Support

Adding support in the middle of longer shelves can also provide extra reinforcement, preventing them from sagging under pressure.

This can be a wooden dowel or metal support that is securely attached to the shelf and frame of the furniture. Make sure it won’t interfere with any items on the shelf before adding it.

  1. Use Adhesive Reinforcement Strips

Adhesive reinforcement strips can also be added to the underside of shelves for extra support.


These strips reinforce without needing screws or brackets and come in various sizes to accommodate different shelf widths.

They’re easy to install and can greatly improve the strength and stability of your shelves.

  1. Install Supporting Braces

Add support braces or beams to the middle of the shelf for extra support and strength. These can be customized and painted to match your furniture.

A good brace should distribute weight evenly, preventing sagging and increasing the shelf’s durability.

  1. Install New Shelves

Another option is to add shelf supports, also known as shelf pins, along the length of the shelves for added reinforcement.

These often come in sets with different sizes so you can find the right fit for your furniture and shelves. Adding multiple supports can evenly distribute weight and prevent sagging.

Reinforcing your IKEA shelves will ensure they can hold heavy items without fear of collapsing or causing accidents.

Consider these tips and find the best solution for your furniture to improve durability and safety.

These reinforcement methods should hold up much better under heavy weight and prevent sagging. It’s a quick and easy solution that can be applied to any IKEA shelving unit. Happy reinforcing!

Note: As always, follow safety precautions and use proper tools for the job. Consult a professional if necessary. Your furniture’s stability is important for preventing accidents.

Always consider the weight limits listed by the manufacturer when determining how much reinforcement is necessary.

Additionally, different types of shelves may require other reinforcement methods. Consult a professional or do thorough research before attempting any mounts on fragile items such as glass shelves.

One site said that the screws that IKEA uses are a little too short. The suggestion is to measure the screws and buy some that are one-eighth of an inch longer.

That will get a better purchase without punching a hole in the back of the unit.

Another purchase suggested is U-shaped metal that fits snuggly onto the board. The site further suggested taking one of the boards to the hardware store so that it could be checked to see if it would fit.

If there are no metal cutting tools in the home, a hacksaw or other suitable tool is recommended, as is a file.

Once home, it’s time to begin to reinforce the shelves. While this can be done after the problem develops, it is easier to do this when putting it together the first time.

Gather the tools, metal, screws, and some wood glue. Naturally, the proper screwdriver will also be needed.

Measure the metal or wood to fit along the length of where the shelf attaches to the unit. Attach with wood glue and screws, ensuring it is even and secure.

Once dry, load those shelves up with confidence, knowing that reinforcement has taken place.

This may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other options, but it will get the job done. And it can always be painted or covered with attractive contact paper.

IKEA furniture is affordable and stylish but sometimes lacks durability, so reinforce those shelves for added support.

The first step is using wood glue on the joints where the shelves come together. A paper towel or rag can be used to wipe up any drips.

That should dry for four hours before anything else is done to the unit. That doesn’t mean work has to stop.

While that is drying, measure the metal for the shelves. It doesn’t have to go along the whole shelf; a couple of inches can be left on either end.

Once measured, cut the metal with the hacksaw. Use the file to smooth the edges so that no one gets cut. Slide the cut piece carefully over the shelf, centering it. Repeat this step with the rest of the shelves.

Attach the metal with wood glue and screws. Make sure it is evenly placed and secure before moving to the next shelf.

After everything has dried, that IKEA shelving unit is ready for use. The added reinforcement will give it added support for heavier items.

For the screws, replace the IKEA screws or if it’s the first time it is being put together, use the new ones. The longer screws will also support the shelves and help prevent sagging.

This should work on any unit that has shelving. Once everything is together, and the glue has dried, add the newly reinforced shelves to the unit.

IKEA uses bonded material to make its shelving units, so the sag is somewhat understandable. But with these reinforcements in place, those shelves are ready to hold heavier items without worry. 

Several people have suggested that IKEA shelves are something to be avoided. That is not necessarily the case. A few simple hacks will make the shelves usable.

One site wrote that this hack allowed the writer to store double rows of textbooks on each shelf. Those are some very heavy books. 

This reinforcement method is not just limited to shelves. Any joint that seems weak or has sagged before can benefit from this added support.

Take the time to reinforce those joints and avoid future frustration and disappointment.

It may take a little extra work, but the end result is worth it. Get creative with the reinforcements and make that unit sturdy. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just stable enough for its purpose. Happy reinforcing!

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