How to Reinforce Closet Wire Shelving

All closet shelving units can use some reinforcement. We’ll walk you through the easiest ways to reinforce your wooden and wire shelving units so they can hold the weight you need. 

Every closet needs shelves. Whether traditional wooden shelves or closet wire shelving, they’re essential to any homeowner’s storage solutions. Wooden shelves are aesthetic and hold plenty of weight, but many homeowners choose a more versatile solution.

Best Materials for Closet Shelving

Closet wire shelving is cost-effective, easily customizable, and holds up to 75 lbs per foot. Unlike wooden shelves, they’re also easy to keep clean and impervious to the negative effects of moisture and humidity. Wire racks for closets are one of the most popular choices for homeowners, and it’s easy to see why with all its impressive benefits. 

Other common materials are plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and melamine. 

Here’s a brief overview of these materials:

  • Plywood is an excellent choice for homeowners who want the aesthetics of wood but need a material that is resistant to water and humidity. 
  • MDF is another durable, water-resistant option that is relatively cheap. However, MDF is more vulnerable to warping than other materials.
  • Melamine shelves are durable and easy to maintain but prone to discoloration and warping in high temperatures.

Regardless of which material you choose, it’s helpful to have a plan to reinforce it if necessary. Melamine shelves and medium-density fiberboard can sag, similar to wooden shelves, so check out the section below about reinforcing wooden shelving units if that’s your material of choice.

Plywood shelves are less likely to sag, but they can become damaged if too much weight is placed on them. If you need to reinforce plywood shelves, check out our section on reinforcing wire shelving below.

Start Here If Your Wire Shelving Damaged Your Wall

Sometimes, homeowners accidentally place too much weight on their wire shelves. When this happens, the wire rack can rip out of the wall and leave a gnarly hole behind. You want to seal up that hole before you drill a new one.

To do this, you’ll need a putty knife, drywall compound filling, and 100-grit sandpaper. Use your putty knife to spread the filler over the holes and wait for it to air dry until it’s completely hardened. 

Finally, use the sandpaper to sand down the filler until it’s flush with the wall. Then, you can proceed to the next section.

How to Reinforce Closet Wire Shelving

Wire racks for closets are designed to hold plenty of weight, but if you’re trying to store multiple bulky things on a unit, it’s a good idea to reinforce it. 

The best way to reinforce closet wire shelving is using c clamps, braces, and brackets. You’ll need plenty of tools to complete this project, so make sure you raid your garage and have everything ready before you start!

Follow these simple steps to reinforce your closet wire shelving unit:

  1. Allow 11-12 inches of space between the side wall and the first and following brackets, measure, and mark where the new holes for your C clamps, braces, and brackets will go. Use your level during this step to ensure your wire rack is straight.
  2. Use your drill with a ¼” bit to make the holes. Then, knock plastic anchors into those holes. 

Expert Tip: If you had to putty over previous holes first, make sure to paint over the putty and allow it to dry before proceeding to the next step!

  1. Screw your brackets into the plastic anchors with a flat-head screwdriver.
  2. Place your wire rack onto the brackets.
  3. Reinforce the rack by screwing the c clamps into the plastic anchors with a Phillips head screwdriver.
  4. Put the support braces on the rack and then screw them into the anchors with your Philips head screwdriver.

This should be sufficient reinforcement to keep any wire shelving unit secure. If you have custom shelving, you may need to rework these steps by adding an extra set of support braces.

How to Reinforce Wooden Shelves

While wire shelves are certainly a popular choice, they aren’t the only one. Wooden shelves still have their place in closets. They provide aesthetic appeal, acoustic benefits, and the ability to hold plenty of weight. 

Whether you had a professional build and install the shelves for you or attempted to DIY the project, it’s still helpful to reinforce the shelves if you plan on using them to hold a significant amount of weight.

Unlike wire shelving, wooden shelves will begin to sag if they’re put under too much pressure. You’ll want to reinforce the shelves by following a few simple steps to prevent this. 

First, begin by gathering the following materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Metal shelving bracket
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver

Once you’ve assembled your tools and supplies, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Start by measuring the length of the sagging shelf to determine the center point.
  2. Measure the distance between the sagging shelf and the ones above and below it.
  3. Visit a home goods store and purchase a metal shelving bracket that fits the distance between the shelves.
  4. Place the metal bracket in the center of the shelf and align it with the center of the shelf below it.
  5. Mark the center of each shelf with a pencil.
  6. Remove the sagging shelf and the shelf directly below it.
  7. Screw drywall anchors into the marked spots on the shelves. Do this by first making a pilot hole in the drywall. The pilot hole should be smaller than the anchor’s width. Use the drill bit recommended by the manufacturer. Once the anchor is inserted, use a screwdriver to drive the screw securely into the anchor.
  8. Position the brackets over the anchors.
  9. Plant screws into the anchors, making sure the fit is tight.
  10. Replace the shelves.

Sometimes, wire shelving is damaged beyond repair, and replacing the entire unit is best. Our team is dedicated to providing homeowners with the best storage solutions possible. We can help you find the perfect custom shelving and wire shelving units to suit your needs.