Fixing a shelving unit in an alcove

Building & Fitting Alcove Shelves

Are you looking to fit a new shelving unit in an alcove inside your home, or perhaps under the stairs? We’ve written a step by step guide on the easiest way to build & fit shelves in an alcove, it’s usually quite straight forward and shouldn’t be too taxing to have a go yourself! Find out more below:

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    1. Fix a batten to the back & side walls

Cut thick strips of wood to fit around the backs & sides of the walls where you aim to put the shelves. You will be fixing these to the walls in the position that you aim to put the shelf on top of, so ensure that you put it at the level just below where you want the shelf to sit.

One you’ve cut the wood drill the necessary holes in the wall & insert the Rawl plugs. I would personally aim to have 3 screws per batten, but this obviously depends upon the size of it as you may need more to make it secure. Once you’ve prepped the wall, screw the batten into place making sure that it is level with a spirit level.

    2. Measure & cut the wood

Now to build the shelf itself. Use wood that overtime isn’t going to warp, I’ve made the mistake myself of using MDF before that was slightly too thin so overtime with what was on the shelf it just warped and broke, so ensure that you go for something harder and more firm.

Measure the area in between your battens (width & depth) and cut the shelf to the size that you require.

    3. Painting & decorating

Before putting the shelving unit in you may want to paint or decorate it, it’s much better to do this before than drip paint all over the bottom of your alcove. Keep in mind the area that will be facing to the front, as obviously this is the most important part to the overall look.

    4. Fixing down the shelf

If you have your measurements perfect then you may not want to fix in the shelf, but for extra security I always tend to. The way in which I tend to do this is buy screws which are slightly smaller than the size of the batten and the shelving unit together and screw from the batten upwards into the shelving unit as not to show any screw head.

That being said people often opt for the method of screwing or nailing it down into the batten, if the heads aren’t an issue aesthetically.

Get a quote on carpentry work

Do you want help with something a little more complex? If you’re struggling to do it yourself you can always get a professional carpenter to help you with the work. Get a quote on carpentry work using the online form below:

About Mat

A complete novice trying to navigate in the world of DIY. I bought my first home about 2 years ago & ever since I've been trying to research & learn how best to tackle common household problems.

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