Find out how to build pantry shelves that will hold substantial weight. Get tips on using a tracking system rather than individual brackets.
LESLIE: Ann in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
ANN: Hi. I was wanting to ask some questions on doing shelving , like what’s the best choice to do some shelving in a pantry – I want it to kind of be able to hold some serious weight – and maybe any pitfalls I should watch out for.
LESLIE: OK. So you need a lot of depth and a lot of different-height shelves, correct?
ANN: Yeah. Well, mostly canning and then, of course, your standard [candy goods store] (ph): five heights for shelves.
LESLIE: OK. And are you looking to do one wall or create an L-shape or shelving on all three sides?
ANN: I’d like to do an L-shape because the pantry runs under the stairs .
LESLIE: OK. There’s a couple of different options. When you head to your home center, you’re going to see individual brackets or you’re going to see a tracking system that would be like a vertical track that you would attach to a stud in the wall. And that’s really important, because you want to make sure that you get into actual structure since you’re going to have so much weight on it, rather than using a system of anchors. So you want to make sure that you can get right into the studs.
Now, when you figure out where those studs are on the wall, that’ll help you sort of determine which system might be better. Because the individual brackets, you place those in the stud and hope that they space out and sort of fit very well in your L-shape. Or those tracks could run up the entire stud and then it’s a bracket that sort of locks into it and the shelf sits on top.
And you’ll find, also, in the home center – in their aisle – you’ll find shelving panels that are made out of melamine; they’re white on all sides and all finished. You’ll find unfinished wood. The price points are going to vary depending on what you choose but it’s not a difficult project. Basically, get yourself a stud finder  and really make sure you get into the structural components in there.
ANN: OK. I appreciate the information.
TOM: You’re welcome, Ann. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.