Hackers Help

Published on February 5th, 2007 | by Jules IKEAHacker

5

need help choosing bookcases for heavy books





“i’m trying to figure out which bookcase would be best for lots of books (meaning something in which the shelves won’t be prone to sagging). the space for the bookshelf is approximately 76″ long by 18″ deep by 102″ high. i have a nice galant desk setup in beech veneer, and would like to match that finish if possible. i’d like the shelves to fill up the space as much as possible.” – kristine

kristine,
for heavy books, it would be better to choose shelving made from solid wood. the particleboard bookcases such as the billy or bonde system tend to sag under weight. as for solid wood bookcases, you do quite a few choices, though colour wise, you’re not so lucky. the norrebo (pic) in solid birch is a modular shelving system that lets you cover as much space as you want but the colour is not a great match. or you can also try the leksvik or ivar, which you could stain to match your desk.

other ideas?

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Jules IKEAHacker

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

5 Responses to need help choosing bookcases for heavy books

  1. For big/tall books, like textbooks, I am very fond of the tall/narrow Markkor wood shelves. The narrow spans are very solid. They are also lighter and easier to move than the particle board equivalents, and I like the trim. I am using a pair of these to fit in some narrow spaces around an air conditioner. You won’t get maximum density with these shelves, though.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My Billy bookcases bought in the UK were crammed full of softback novels and sagged in less than a year.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i used a glass shelf on top of my shorter billy bookcase b/c i was using it as a TV stand in a bedroom and no sagging! now i put a glass shelf on top of solid shelves that have a lot of weight on them. it is very humid in the summer where i live – i think that speeds the sagging.

  4. Coccyzus says:

    How about if I wanted to reinforce existing, sagging billy shelves? Or, does anyone have ideas on reinforcing a new purchase?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The ticker a shelf is the more resistant to bending, attaching a batten deeper (say 4cm) than the thickness of the shelf (usually around 15mm) but level at the top gives a lot of rigidity. It doesn’t have to be thick – 10mm is enough. If you’ve got an open backed bookcase (such as the Enetrri or Norebo) then you can add a further strip at the back – which if flush with the bottom edge of the shelf gives a lip to stop your stuff falling out!

    If you’re going to go down this route then a MDF or solid wood shelf gives much better attachment to the batten than foil over chip board.

    Screw and glue the batten onto the shelf edge or, if you’re handy with a drill, drill through the batten into the self and attach with dowls / glue and panel pins to hold it in place. Screws/dowels every 20cm or so.

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