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hanging shelving in plaster walls--heavy load

hanging shelving in plaster walls--heavy load


  #1  
Old 09-19-05, 10:40 AM
gracie0814
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hanging shelving in plaster walls--heavy load

I just moved into a house this weekend and need to mount several shelves to use as a bar (30 bottles) and to hold textbooks (~45). We have already purchased several laminate shelves and metal brackets, screws, drywall anchors, etc., but discovered when we got home that the house was built in 1909 and the walls are plaster. The shelves are 12"x 36" and need to hold at least 200 pounds each. We were planning on using 3 metal brackets per shelf. We're pretty sure we've found 2 of the 3 studs we wanted to use, but are having trouble locating the third.

What is the best way to attach the brackets to the plaster? They're just the standard white metal kinds you'd get from Home Depot; two screws go into the wall and two more up into the shelf. Someone told us to just use heavy wall anchors and put them anywhere, but someone else told us to find a stud, predrill a hole, and use a lag bolt instead of a screw for more support. These shelves are going to be holding a lot of weight, and I know plaster can be messy and hard to repait if it's done the wrong way. Which way is better: wall anchors or using a lag bolt on a stud?
 
  #2  
Old 09-19-05, 10:55 AM
T
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If your brackets are the ones that come to mind........ a lag bolt will look pretty goofy with the head sticking out of the bracket... a long flathead wood screw into the stud will work fine - make sure you get at least 1inch into the stud.

If you can't find the last stud........ a wall anchor that "butterflies" will work best. Get behind the lath with the expanding portion and you should be fine, especially if you've got a couple of brackets with screws into the studs...

Plastic anchors are meant for light duty work......... not the best product for this application.

Free advice..... and worth every penny....
 
  #3  
Old 09-19-05, 11:24 AM
gracie0814
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zster:

Thanks for the info. I was thinking the brackets would look weird with the bolts, too. Now, what should we do to make sure that we're actually going to hit the studs? Our studfinder worked pretty consistently over the 2 studs we think we've found, but we'd like to be sure since it was really erratic in other areas. Should we just take a short nail and tap along to make sure we hit a stud or is there a better way? And when we do put the screws into the studs, do we need to pre-drill at all or can we just screw them right in without damaging the plaster?
 
  #4  
Old 09-19-05, 12:39 PM
T
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I like to take a tiny drill bit and "explore" where my stud finder says I've got a stud... You can tell the difference between plaster and a stud... The tiny holes are easily patched with any number of compounds (used toothpaste in my college days to patch nail holes and get my deposit back)..

I like to drill a pilot hole for my screws just a size smaller than the screw I'm using for easy of entry and to avoid tearing up the surface of my finish....
 
 

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