Closet shelves

Posted by: Ken.C

Closet shelves - 10/06/12 03:20 PM

So the previous owner of this place (a flipper) installed crapass Closet Maid wire shelves in the closets. I've had two collapse now, so I've decided to replace them with simple 3/4" plywood shelves on top of 1x4 all around with metal supports in the middle and proper wooden hanger rods.

Uuuuunfortunately, I've just run into a hitch. I have a rather iffy studfinder, but what I've discovered with it (and by putting a big enough hole into the drywall to shine a light in) is that the closet is built with metal studs. Any tips on how to deal with this? I have no desire to replace the studs in the closet, but I'm not sure what kind of screws to use to secure the 1x4s and supports or whether what I want to do is even feasible.

For reference, I'm doing something like this. And yes, I've already bought the plywood and the lumber, although I haven't cut it to exact size yet.
Posted by: real80sman

Re: Closet shelves - 10/06/12 06:29 PM

Hey Ken, forget about going into the steel studs and buy these.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Closet shelves - 10/06/12 07:55 PM

What I've been seeing online (aside from the whole cut open your wall and put in wood thing) is toggle bolts into the metal studs.
Posted by: Joe_in_SC

Re: Closet shelves - 10/06/12 10:19 PM

If you're not going to load them up with books or something else heavy, toggle bolts into the sheetrock will work. Drilling toggles into the metal studs will be a PITA. For clothes and the like, a toggle every 12" to 16" should be plenty.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Closet shelves - 10/06/12 10:29 PM

I would not be too terribly surprised if we put heavy things on the shelves. That's what we did before, after all. I figure I'll be buying myself some strength with the 1x4s, but I just wasn't sure whether to do toggle bolts into the studs or the sheetrock.

Then again, if it falls down, then I'll be able to practice drywalling and actually put up wood between the studs. Whee. Better the sheetrock rips out than the metal studs bend.
Posted by: Joe_in_SC

Re: Closet shelves - 10/06/12 10:50 PM

Yep, metal studs without wood blocking are basically worthless for holding anything besides sheetrock.

A couple of other options that I've used are through-bolting to another 1x4 on the other side of the wall (depending on what's on the other side) or using vertical legs down to the floor. You might also try something wider than 1x4 so you could put 3-4 screws into each stud. Make sure to use screws specifically designed for metal studs (fine, not coarse, thread, and drill point).
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Closet shelves - 10/06/12 11:04 PM

Heh. What's in the other side is the other closet. This could have potential! Do you put the bolt through drywall or through the studs?
Posted by: Joe_in_SC

Re: Closet shelves - 10/07/12 01:16 PM

Back to back closets is ideal. You can have cleats for both closets at the same time. You can just bolt through the drywall, but try to stay close to the studs so you don't crack the drywall if you over-tighten the bolts. Don't ask me how I know this.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Closet shelves - 10/07/12 03:11 PM

Yeah, I kind of thought that was something of a danger.
Posted by: mapatton

Re: Closet shelves - 10/07/12 03:24 PM

I have used these on a number of projects with great success. Most recently putting in a custom closet.

This is a med size one. Into drywall, each one is good for 75 lbs. 4 of them? You are good to 300 lbs.


http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-...51#.UHHWla7DtM8
Posted by: Murph

Re: Closet shelves - 10/09/12 07:32 AM

They do work well, but I wouldn't underestimate humanities ability to put too much weight on a closet shelf until we are right on the hairs edge of breakage. It's almost like a subliminal sport that we don't know we are playing.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Closet shelves - 10/09/12 10:19 AM

Ken, we supplemented existing shelving in one of the closets in our old home with Rubbermaid hardware similar to this.

The system is well-designed and very strong. You install a horizontal rail at the top -- ideally into studs -- which gives you a level starting point. You then hang the vertical rails from it at your required width -- again, ideally in front of studs -- and then screw those into place. Use three tails if you're spanning a large width. Then you pop shelf brackets onto the rails at your desired heights and throw your wood shelves onto them. Highly recommended.

You'll need to return some of that lumber, though.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Closet shelves - 10/09/12 08:12 PM

Let Ken fiddle with his wood.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: pmbuko
You'll need to return some of that lumber, though.

Homeowners don't return wood, they just save it for a future project.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 01:18 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Homeowners don't return wood, they just save it for a future project.


HaHa!!!

so true....
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 04:38 PM

But don't you wish you could use your wood soon after you got it?
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 04:56 PM

Every morning, Peter. Every morning.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 05:10 PM

My wood never gets used. frown
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 05:14 PM

A new coat of paint might raise your curb appeal.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 05:38 PM

No reviews, and not Prime eligible.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Closet shelves - 10/10/12 05:45 PM

Fixed it for ya!
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Closet shelves - 10/11/12 04:07 PM

Mark, I'll look forward to your review.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Closet shelves - 10/11/12 04:16 PM

Only on the new ones though, don't cheap out on some refurb's.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Closet shelves - 10/11/12 05:21 PM

You could always screw some 3/4" stringers to the wall, run sheet rock screws into the metal studs about ever 12". Then mount the shelve brackets to the stringers. Just make sure you run them to the floor. They won't go anwhere.