As you know, building shelves from scratch is super easy and there’s a lot of different styles and designs that you could go with. If you plan on making some shelves for your garage or storage area, you’re going to need some heavy-duty brackets and that may very well be the most important resource for the project.
It’s important to pick the right brackets for the type of shelf that you plan on building. With that in mind, we did some research and we came up with a top 10 list of the best heavy-duty shelf brackets available right now.
Quick picks: Top Heavy-Duty Shelf Brackets
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Different types of shelf brackets
Different types of brackets are used for different types of shelves and have different purposes. If you’re seeking a particular look for your shelving units or if you have any particular requirements make sure you use the right brackets to avoid any complications in the future.
This type of brackets has a simple look and keep the shelves nice and level while they appear to be placed at an angle. They have flat bits that attach to the wall and the shelf and in some cases, they can hold the shelf from above or they can be positioned underneath.
As you can easily guess from their name, these brackets have a rather distinctive look. There’s a lip at the end of each bracket which is designed to prevent the shelf from slipping. They fit underneath the shelf and support it from the bottom and the lip is visible on the front edge of the shelf. This allows the brackets to stand out a bit more than other types would.
These shelf brackets are designed to be very strong and durable and they’re excellent if you want your shelves to have a large load capacity. Use them if you plan on filling your shelves with heavy items like tools for example or if the shelves themselves are made from heavy material like a stone for instance. The heavy-duty brackets provide proper support and can hold just about anything. If you want to be extra certain of that, reinforced shelf brackets are an option too. These have an extra brace that boosts the load capacity. Also, not all heavy-duty shelf brackets stand out and give the shelves an industrial look. You can get hidden brackets that provide great support but also become invisible when installed.
If you want your shelf to be flush with the wall and to appear as if it’s not held up by anything, floating brackets are the way to go. These are specially designed to be invisible and to give the impression of floating shelves.
How to choose the right shelving brackets
There’s a few things to consider when choosing shelf brackets. Selecting a certain type of brackets is just one of them. It’s also important that once you’ve made up you’re made about what kind of brackets you want to use to then make sure they fit your shelves. If there’s a large overhang that can cause the brackets to fail and to become overloaded and if the brackets are too big for your shelves that can look awkward.
Apart from that, it’s important to assess the load capacity of your shelves and thus the brackets. If you want your shelves to hold heavy loads then make sure they’re made from strong and durable material and have the proper design and structure. The kind that supports the shelf along its whole length is a good option.
For medium, to heavy loads, you have lots of different options. There’s a wide range of styles to choose from and a variety of materials that can provide proper support. You can also find these brackets in a variety of different sizes.
The brackets designed for light loads tend to be smaller compared to other types and are commonly made of aluminum or steel but other materials can also provides the necessary support. They can look quite slender and sleek which also allows them to become a decorative element for the shelves.
How to hang a shelf without brackets
In the case of floating shelves you don’t really see the brackets that hold them up which can sometimes give the impression that these shelves don’t actually need brackets. They do and it’s just the type and installation process that are different from other more typical shelves. It’s also possible to install floating shelves using pins or dowels.
To install floating shelves you need hidden brackets. These are fastened to the wall and hidden inside the shelves. There are a few tools and materials that you should have handy such as a stud finder, a level, a measuring tape, a drill and a screwdriver. Decide the location of the shelf and mark the placement of the wall studs using a pencil. Then mark straight guidelines using a level.
The hidden brackets are designed to be sunk into the wall at each stud and have a section that protrudes from the wall. This section fits into the shelf itself and becomes invisible once installed. Support pins are similar to floating brackets. It has a long rod with a flanged end and it fits into the shelf from behind, with the flanged end being fastened to the wall studs. Another option is to use a ledge bracket which is an angled piece of metal and fits into a groove at the back of the shelf.
How much weight can shelf brackets hold?
Deciding the load capacity of a shelf is not as straight-forward as one might think. There are several factors to consider here such as the material that the shelved are made of, the type of brackets used and the way in which they’re installed. It’s important to know the load capacity of a shelf and to make sure it’s suitable for the types of items that you plan on storing.
Different materials have different properties and this can affect the load capacity of a shelf. For instance, metal shelves are especially strong in this regard. Wood shelves on the other hand can be quite complicated. Different types of wood have different bending strengths which dictates how much pressure a shelf can take before it starts to bend or it breaks. Hickory, yellow birch, oak and ash wood are some of the strongest types while elm and cherry wood and among the weakest from this point of view.
Take a moment to asses the type of items that you plan on storing on your shelves and to figure out how much weight the shelves should be able to support. Always make sure the load capacity is actually higher than that. Then decide what type of brackets your shelves should use in order to provide proper support. Heavy-duty brackets are the strongest and great if you plan to install shelves in your garage for example. Also, make sure you install the proper number of brackets and that they’re evenly spaced out to support the weight of the shelving.
The load capacity and overall strength of a shelf are also closely linked to how it’s installed. Take a look at your walls and decide what the best course of action is. If you attach shelving to drywall you can be sure it won’t be able to hold a lot of weight. Shelves attached to central studs on the other hand are super strong.
Best Heavy-Duty Shelf Brackets Reviews
This is a pack of 10 shelf brackets measuring 12” x 8”. They’re made of high-quality steel with a black finish and each pair of two can hold up to 1200 lbs. They are very sturdy, strong and durable but at the same time they’re not too bulky. The brackets are also very versatile and go well with a variety of different types of shelves. You can add these to bookshelves, kitchen units and also garage shelves.
In case you only need a pack of two brackets for a single shelf, check out this set. They’re strong and sturdy and they last a lifetime. The brackets are made of premium grade stainless steel and can hold up to 550 lbs. They’re very sleek and slender for their proportions, being only 1.18” wide and 0.15” thick. Being triangle-shaped, they’re super sturdy and they’re also very versatile. Installation is easy but keep in mind you need to use the right type of drill bit for the type of wall that you want to install these on.
If you want some shelf brackets that are very strong and sturdy but don’t look very industrial and don’t take up a lot of space, check out this stylish pack. It’s a set of 4 brackets with a really nice design that can fit wonderfully in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and most other types of spaces. These are heavy-duty shelf brackets with 3/16” thickness and a small lip designed to hold the open shelves.
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This is the sort of brackets that you’re probably already familiar with. These are simple L-shaped brackets made out of stainless steel and they measure 125 mm L x 75 mm W x 2.8 mm T (5″ x 3″ x 0.11″). They’re very sturdy and durable as well as rust-resistant which makes it easy to incorporate them into any type of space. The set includes 4 brackets and 24 screws. The mount holes measure 5mm in diameter.
If you’re going for a more rustic-industrial aesthetic, these shelf brackets should fit nicely into your design. You can get these in a pack of 6 and you can take advantage of their vintage and steampunk look in lots of very interesting and creative ways. The rounded elbow pipe design adds some visual interest to the shelf without standing out too much.
Here’s another set of 10 heavy-duty shelf brackets, this time made out of iron and with a black finish. They’re super sturdy thanks to their triangle-shaped design. In the pack you get 10 brackets, 40 screws and 40 expansion pipes so you can easily install them anywhere you want. They’re waterproof and rustproof and they’re also designed to withstand daily use scratches and to maintain their initial appearance for a very long time, even if you take them down and reposition them.
Sometimes the brackets don’t really add a lot to the overall design of the shelf, especially if you want to maintain a very simple look. In some cases it’s even best to hide the brackets entirely. That’s possible and quite easy to do thanks to sets such as this one. This is a pack of 4 hidden floating shelf brackets which can hold up to 100 lbs while remaining completely concealed. They’re great for minimalist interiors or any situation where you don’t want the hardware to be exposed. You can install these together with floating shelves that measure between 7” and 12” in depth. The back place is 5.5” wide and the rod is 6” long with a 1/2” diameter.
These heavy-duty brackets are not meant to be just super strong and sturdy but also to look elegant. They have a classical design and can easily add a bit of sophistication to both indoor and outdoor spaces, depending on how you decide to use them in your projects. They’re resistant to corrosion and quite versatile even though they have a rather specific look and style. They’re great for showcasing and displaying books, candles, lamps and all sorts of other things. The brackets are made of weighted cast iron and go well with rustic and antique=looking shelves or reclaimed wood in general.
If you want your shelves to look simple but you don’t really want to completely hide the mounting hardware, these industrial brackets could potentially be a really great choice, provided that the style suits your decor as well. This pair of brackets includes 2 floor flanges, 2 pre-heated pipes and 2 adjustable caps.
We also find these shelf brackets to be particularly beautiful. They have a lot of character even though their design is simple. The dimensions of these brackets are 11 1/4” x 6”. They’re made from heavy-duty steel and can hold up to 80 lbs which makes them really versatile and suitable for most types of spaces. In the package you get 4 brackets, 16 screws and 8 drywall anchors.