How to Make Non-Adjustable Kitchen Shelves Adjustable

Lead Image for How to Make Non-Adjustable Kitchen Shelves Adjustable
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-45
What You'll Need
Dowel pins

Kitchen shelves may have two main different formats, they can be either non-adjustable or adjustable. Keep in mind that shelves are not important only in the kitchen, you can use them in a very efficient way even in your bathroom, attic or basement. Adjustable kitchen shelves are better than non-adjustable shelves because non-adjustable shelves are fixed and when you store objects in such shelves, they may not fit in them. However, you can turn your non-adjustable kitchen shelves into adjustable ones by a few basic steps.

Removing the Non-Adjustable Shelves

Many people find it difficult to remove the non-adjustable kitchen shelves from their locations because they are fixed in place, either with nails, screws or glue. In other cases, the edges of the shelves can be formed into a dado cut.

If you want to replace the non-adjustable shelves with new adjustable ones, you should not mind getting rid of the old shelves. In this case, you can remove the old shelves by sawing each one into two pieces if necessary.

Installing the Adjustable Shelves

A dado cut located at the sides can be useful for both non-adjustable and adjustable kitchen shelves. However, you must keep in mind that even though a dado cut can be useful in both cases, the depth must differ from one another. Adjustable kitchen shelves require deep dado cuts whereas non-adjustable shelves need shallow dado cuts.

If you do not want the dado cut to be visible, notch the front of the shelf. Another adjustable kitchen shelf type that you might want to try is to cut the wood on the sides at an angle of 45 or 90 degrees. You can then cut the wooden shelf at the same angle so that it will fit when you insert it into the slot. Such kitchen shelves are ideal if you tend to store heavy objects on them.

Keep in mind that the support of the kitchen shelves which are cut at 45 degrees is slightly weaker than that of the shelves which are cut at a right angle. Make a notch progressively along the sides in order to have an adjustment at approximately every inch.

Make sure that you cut the notches properly. In this way, the entire shelving system will have a beautiful appearance. If the shelving system is large enough, you can install box units in the slots as well.

Fitting the Brackets

You can purchase brackets that are made from wood or metal for your shelves, but most people prefer metal brackets as support for adjustable kitchen shelves. This is probably because metal brackets are cheap and easier to install than their wooden counterparts.

Use a drill to cut holes at the sides of the shelves so that when you install the brackets, they will fit in these holes. You can purchase special metal brackets and insert them into the drilled holes and then place the adjustable wooden shelf on them.

Adjust these special brackets up and down according to the size of the objects which you want to store on the shelves. If you want, you can use dowel pins instead of brackets. Remove the dowel pins and put them again in another drilled hole so that the shelves will fit your needs.