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Learn How to Fix Sagging Floating Shelves (and Store Your Stuff Smartly!)

Imagine having a messy house with a hell of an amount of random stuff. Sounds like a nightmare? Let’s be honest- that was the scenario of my house last year (literally)! I had a tiny apartment. So can’t think of another piece of furniture (though I badly needed it). Then, I discover an awesome way. Floating shelves are an excellent way of storing or displaying items on a wall. These shelves help you to save space in your small room. At the same time, floating shelves are well-equipped as hardware is not exposed.

But here is the unsexy part. Sagging is a common problem of floating shelves. If they begin sagging, they will look so sore. Moreover, sagging floating shelves can also be dangerous because they can break anytime. So, how do you fix sagging floating shelves? The good news is that the fixation process is more effortless than you think. Think I’m exaggerating? Let me show you how.

But the first question- How Much Sag is Too Much?

The sag depends on the shelf length, which is 0.02 inch/ft. or less is the allowable sag of a shelf. What does this mean to you? When your shelf sags more than this level, you can tell that the sag is too much. And how long should floating shelves be?

A floating shelf’s length and depth are determined by the item’s size that will be stored on the shelf. Generally, most floating shelves are made of ¾” stock, which should be 30” – 36”.

How to Fix Sagging Floating Shelves: 3 super-easy methods that are handy yet pretty simple

Thank God! You can solve the sagging floating shelves problem within a few hours. Now, let’s dive into my favorite hacks for effortlessly fixing floating shelves without brackets.

Method 01: Using Thin Wooden or Cardboard Wedges / Shim (And my favorite one)

Required Items: (Tape) (Wooden or Cardboard wedges / Shim (avoid choosing a material that can shrink))

  • Step 01: Clear out all the items you stored on the floating shelf. Now, push the shelf upward so that it becomes straight. Maintain the level.
  • Step 02: Now, store the wedges or shims under the shelf. Then, push the stored wedges or shims aloft from the shelves behind. Check the shelf condition. If it is loose, don’t hesitate to add shims or wedges until it becomes tight.
  • Step 03: Next, you need to create a shim block. For this, use the tape and stack the measured shim together.
  • Step 04: Unscrew the bolts of the floating shelf, and to the shelf back, the shim block needs to be taped. Ensure the floating shelf’s bottom edge and the shim block are horizontally attached.
  • Step 05: Again, screw the shelf in its position carefully. In this case, the shim block edge should touch the wall last. Also, the shelf should be perpendicularly attached to the wall.

Now, your floating shelf is ready to go. When storing items, consider their weight limit.

Method 02: Using Tape (the coolest method)

Required Items: (Hammer) (Tape) (Screwdriver) | This fixation process is beneficial when you don’t have shims or wooden wedges.

  • Step 01: If you attach the shelf to the wall using a bracket, slide the shelf off from there.
  • Step 02: Use the screwdriver to unscrew the bracket. All wall plugs need to be removed as well.
  • Step 03: On the outside, repeatedly tape the wall plugs to bulk them up.
  • Step 04: Check whether the bulkiness happened with the right amount. For this, the taped wall plug must be placed over the hole. Then, push it to let in.
  • Step 05: When you push the wall plugs to let in, you will feel some resistance. At this point, use the hammer.
  • Step 06: Once all the wall plugs are in the hole, grab the bracket and screwdriver. Screw up the bracket again.
  • Step 07: Place the shelf in its position again.

Shake hands as the fixation process is complete. Now, decorate the shelf as per your need.

Method 03: Taking Assistance from Hot Glue (Probably The cheapest option)

Required Items: (Glue Gun) | This fixation process is one of the most straightforward processes you should try.

  • Step 01: Unscrew the floating shelf from the wall.
  • Step 02: Add hot glue bumps on the shelf’s left or right corners. As a result, the shelf will reach a level by pushing itself from the wall. Continue adding glue until the shelf comes to a sitting position.

You finished fixing your sagging floating shelf. Glue dots or silicone dots offer the same result; these 2 options are useful if you don’t own glue. The result will be the same. By the way. How to Hang Your Floating Shelf Properly? As we mentioned earlier. A floating shelf can sag due to improper installation. So basically, we’ll learn the proper method of installing a floating shelf. 

  • Step 01: Locate Your Wall Studs: Take assistance from a stud finder to find the wall studs you plan to mount on your shelf. Use a marker to mark the spot.
  • Step 02: Find Out the Mounted Place of the Shelf: After locating and marking the wall stud, place the shelf against the wall and find a place where you want to install your shelf. Right, leveling is necessary. For this, take a leveler and ensure the shelf is leveled correctly.
  • Step 03: Locate the Brackets Position: Now, grab your shelf brackets and place them where you want to mount the shelf. This way, you will find the spot where you need to make holes to put on the brackets. But keep in mind: It is essential to ensure the bracket’s distance is correct. Simultaneously, the brackets need to be leveled properly.
  • Step 04: Install the Brackets: Once you find out the exact position of the brackets, grab a drill and make holes where you will be screwing the brackets. After you drill all the holes, the brackets flush need to be placed against the wall. Then secure them with the screws using your drill.
  • Step 05: Fasten the Shelf to the Brackets. Finally, fasten the shelf to the brackets. Follow the instruction manual for fastening the shelf to your selected brackets. Isn’t the process so simple? Now, decorate your shelf with different items.

Will a sagging shelf break?

Yes, a sagging shelf can break (unfortunately). Visually, sagging shelves are unappealing, and hazards can happen anytime if on-time maintenance is not done. Why is my floating shelf tilting? The items on the shelf can fall when a floating shelf breaks, and it can injure people. Fixing floating shelves is not difficult and doesn’t take much time either. 

What’s the catch?: You can easily follow any of the above-discussed methods and fix your sagging floating shelf on the weekend.

The Takeaway: Before wrapping up, here is a gentle reminder: You must learn your selected floating shelf’s weight limit and dimensions. Never forget to wear protective gear when fixing sagging.


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