Fixing shelves on plasterboard and solid walls

16 May 2006
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United Kingdom
I am going to put up shelves on a plasterboard wall and a solid wall. I am not sure what fixings I should use, any advice would be great!

The solid wall is going to have IKEA shelves on it and will hold about 15kgs of books. Its brackets are at the very ends of the shelf with one hole for fixing above the shelf and on below.

The plasterboard wall is going to have a shelf (see which will only hold light objects.
Do i need wall plugs for either of these and can you reccommend any particular type?
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Plasterboard Wall

If the shelves are on upright rails, such as the Spur-type shelving, you can use plasterboard fixings such as Redidrivas as they will spread the load. If they are on small brackets you'll need to locate the studs and screw through the plasterboard into the timber. Hopefully the studs will be in the right places. Sorry, but I can't see the shelves on the link you posted

Solid Wall

Use a good quality plug, such as a Fisher, and use a nice long screw, 1-3/4 in long or longer. Long screws seem to resist pull-out much better.

How do redidrivas work. I had imagined that the screws would sit pretty much inside them but have found that the screws that come with mine only go in a few mm. is this right? To have the screw flush to the plasterboard surface am i supposed to be putting the redidriva in really deep?
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Mws1 said:
Not sure whether these brackets would be classed as spur-type or not.
They're not. Spur shelves have long uprights which allow the load to be spread over the length of the rail. They are ideal for poor/weak walls as they can be installed with minimal "point loading". Your brackets seem to be of a type designed to work with a sound masonry wall.

Mws1 said:
How do redidrivas work?
You screw the Redidriva into the plasterboard then screw through your object to be hung with a screw which is long enough to have the threaded end fully supported within the Redidriva - so if your Redidrive is 25mm long and you're fixing through a 1in (25mm) thick batten you need a screw about 50mm long. This may mean buying different (extra) screws.

They (Redidrivas) are simply not designed to carry high loads ot loads which jut-out from the wall and have a high turning moment, yet I keep hearing disaster stories of how people have tried to hang plasma screens/TVs/audio systems, etc on walls with them - only to have them fall off a week/month/year later. I think they were designed to hold things like signs, noticeboards, etc NOT shelves with loads well away from the wall on them - which is why you'll never see a quoted pull-out load for them. Using Spur brackets spreads the load and means you'll probably succeed in supporting large weights. We have wall shelves at home which support 100kg+ into stud walling on Redidrivas, but the Spur uprights are at 12in centres (5 uprights) and the Redidrivas are all at 6in or so centres up the Spur brackets so the load is evenly spread over a large are. Put two Redidrivas in within a couple of inches like your brackets and you could risk weakening the plasterboard.

If I had to put these up and I couldn't find a stud I'd chop out the P/B, splice-in some wood noggins and reboard/skim. The shelf brackets would then screw through the noggins. That or use one of those expanding chemical amchors which forms a large "plug" in the stud walling cavity to increase the load bearing area of the plug.


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