Published on August 3rd, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Hacker help: Can I stack the larger Expedit on the smaller one?

Materials: Expedit/Vika Amon

Description: I want to stack the 4×4 Expedit on top of a 4×2 with a counter sandwiched between them. They will be secured to the wall.

Will the smaller Expedit shelves support the larger ones? I have seen many stacked, but they are always smaller on top. I haven’t seen a bigger shelf on the smaller unit.

I have a carpenter who is questioning my plan and I want to know what people think. I have a mixture of household stuff and books.


~ Maryanne, Brooklyn, NY

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Jules Yap

"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".

23 Responses to Hacker help: Can I stack the larger Expedit on the smaller one?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Use 2×2′s on the bottom. The smaller size gives you more outer frame to serve as a structure.
    The 4×2′s when placed horizontal place a lot of strain on the outer frame that is suspended between the frames and not directly on the frames .
    Also the 2×2 are the only ones that you can mount on walls because of their tighter structure so these will serve as a great foundation for the countertop and other shelves.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have for over 2 years a 5×5 on top of a 1×5 and a 4×4 on top of a 2×4 both filled with books. And haven’t found any problems yet. They aren’t secured to the wall and stand on a carpeted floor. I even have some stacked books on top of the shelves.

  3. Av0BW8o9 says:

    You’ll need to anchor the 4×4 expedit to the wall. The 2×4 expedit will not support the weight, nor will the vika.

    Use the railing system for kitchen cabinet to secure the 4×4 expedit. I believe that is your safest bet.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, the middle of the vika amon tabletop appears to be of the zigzagged cardboard variety – not too sturdy.

    Even if you replace the ‘counter’ in the middle with something of solid wood, i’d be concerned how that would be supported, as it would overhang the bottom expedit shelf. Maybe some metal L brackets above or below attached directly to studs in your wall.

    Personally, I’d just do the bottom row, and if I needed more space above, I might consider hanging a 2×4 expedit on the wall attached to studs. (http://www.ikeahackers.net/2008/12/home-office-make-over.html)

  5. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine also has stacked the 4×4 on top of the 2×4. Works fine. He even has the books stacked in to the bottom 3 rows (so the entire 2×4 and the bottom row of the 4×4). The rest of the 4×4 is filled with old heavy materials.

    so yes, I do believe the 2×4 expedits will be able to carry the 4×4 expedits, including the stuff inside.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would bet that you’ll have no problem (from an engineering perspective) on stacking those expedits… They’re made from pressboard, and stacked counter to the weight loads. But are you really planning to spend more than $600 on pressboard? I’m pretty sure you could hire a carpenter to build something custom, of better quality, and better aesthetics for less money.

  7. ------------------------------- says:

    I agree with the previous comments about securing the 4×4 Expedit to the wall. As long as you have it secured to the wall properly, the the true weight will actually be on the units brackets. The biggest issue is will you be able to hit a stud in the wall with your hanging brackets to insure a good grip on the wall. Note the construction of the orientation of the 4×4′s. I think you should be bracketing it from the top set of boxes as well as the middle row. And i think the middle row has a board that runs all the way through it. If so, place the unit so that the board that runs all the way through the unit is also horizontal.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would scrap the Vika Amon table tops. They aren’t all that strong and don’t last too fantastically either. Go with a solid benchtop or MDF/wood from a hardware store.

    Make sure everything is wall mounted and it should be fine. A friend has a 2×4 under a 4×4 and it seems good – been there for 5+ years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Using a kitchen counter/ worktop (from ikea?) would be better as fewer joints and also will spread the point loads across all the base units equally.

  9. Samantha says:

    Couldn’t your carpenter just buy the wood and do it for close to the same price, and have the guarantee it’d be solid?

    • Anonymous says:

      If the carpenter friend decides to charge only for the price of the raw materials, and not for the price of the labor, then maybe. But good carpentry tends to cost.

  10. Christian says:

    Honestly… You have a carpenter? Then, by all means, TRUST HIM! Most of us here are merely a bunch of more or less experienced hobbyists.

    That said, i like your design concept, though :-)

  11. fab says:

    i would say expedit should have no problem. the BIG problem in your project is VIKA AMON. remember they are really light (and cheap) table tops, which are made in the same way of a cheap door, i.e. they have a solid wood structute (aprox 5 cm all around) but apart from that they are EMPTY (actually they have paper in it), so VIKA AMON will definitely NOT suit your project. pretty sure you will make a big hole in VIKA AMON if you place expedit on it!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got 75lbs of tv sitting on a 2×4 Expedit (laid down flat instead of tall). The TV has been on it for probably 1/2 year with no problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 4×4 Expedit weighs 138lbs to begin with, not to mention whatever else Maryanne here is going to put in in, plus the weight or the Vika Almon. We’re talking about a lot more weight then a 75 pound TV.

    • Anonymous says:

      Going to add to this (and will try to work on my spelling and grammar along the way). Maryanne states she wants to put books into this setup. Books tend to be heavy (about the only thing heavier are records – those things are dead-weight). If you’re only putting paperbacks in this thing then maybe OK, but it seems risky.

      Would putting those right-angle metal plates (the name of which I can’t remember right now) help strengthen the 2×2 Expedits?) They could be painted black before installation to hide them from sight…

    • Alice Aitch says:

      Part of the problem with the 2×2 vs the 2×4 would be the reduced number of dowels. The 2×2 has four less than you’d expect if you’re used to building the larger units.

      I don’t think I’d try wall-mounting anything as heavy as a 4×4, but I can’t give a reason as to why mounting a series of 2x2s in this pattern would be acceptable but using the same bracket placements on a large unit would not.

  13. Jackie says:

    I would be wary of simply stacking the larger Expedits on top of the smaller ones. The smaller ones might give out over time.

    I agree with the others that the larger shelves should be attached directly to the wall as if there was nothing underneath them. The Expedit shelves seem sturdy, but the exterior frames are literally cardboard on the inside.

    Good luck! and post a picture when it’s done. We’d love to see it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    you could attach the bigger Expedits to the wall properly, like you’d do with a kitchen cabinet or like it was done in the floating billy hack. Then you put the smaller ones underneath with the counter fitted in between. That way, the look will be stacked but the weight will not lie on the smaller Expedits.

  15. ibn_battuta says:

    I’m about to embark on a similar project (3 pieces of 2×4 units laid horizontal, plus a 5×5, a 2×4 standing and another 5×5 above them).
    What I had in mind was that the lower units will be shifted away from the wall by about 10 cm (4″). I’ll secure consoles to the wall and the bottom of the upper units to support them. In this way, the 40 cm depth of the upper Expedit units will be distributed between the consoles (1/4 of the depth) and the lower units (3/4 of the depth). plan to use 1 console for each column, i.e. 10 consoles altogether for the entire width. I’ll also place L-shaped fittings to secure the upper items to the wall – one for each row on both sides.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think the big question is what are you PUTTING in the bigger Expedits? If they’re empty they should be fine, if you have lead weights, probably not.

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