How To Reinforce IKEA Shelves

How To Strengthen IKEA Shelves
How To Strengthen 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.

One site said that the screws that IKEA uses are a little too short. The suggestion is to measure the screws and then buy some that are one-eighth of an inch longer. That will get 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 can be checked to see if it will 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 a lot easier to do this when putting it together the first time. Gather the tools, the metal, screws and some wood glue. Naturally, the proper screwdriver will also be needed.

The first step is to use the wood glue on the joints where the shelves come together. A paper towel or rag can be used to wipe up any that drips. That should dry for four hours before anything else is done to the unit itself. 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.

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 give more support to the shelves and help prevent the 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.

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 useable. One site wrote that this hack allowed the writer to store double rows of textbooks on each shelf. Those are some very heavy books. It may take a little extra work, but the end result is worth it.


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