Published on January 30th, 2013 | by Jules Yap


How to: Mount a SAFE floating 2 x 4 EXPEDIT shelf

Materials: 2 EXPEDIT 2 x 2 shelf units,

Description: This is slightly a hack, but more of a work around for those who want to mount an EXPEDIT 2 x 4 shelf on the wall.

The instructions clearly state that you cannot mount a full 2 x 4 bookshelf on the wall (fig. 2). Also, I have baseboards, a power outlet and a phone jack (yes, we still use a LAN line). I wanted the book shelves flush to the wall and not cover up the outlets.

So, to bypass that and still have a safe structure towering over your kids, I came up with this solution. I mounted the two shelving units using the included wall brackets. One of the brackets was screwed in with a wood screw, the other bracket was secured using a 90 lb. dry wall screw. For added insurance, I put a two small brackets on the top and bottom of the lower unit. These L-brackets were secured with two wood screws each along the studs. I put one underneath the unit and one just under the top board of the unit. This lower unit poses a risk of climbing, plus I wanted to put some books in it.

I found that the easiest way to mount was to place an L-bracket on the wall first, then gently set the unit up against the wall on the bracket. This made it easier to hold the unit flush against the wall for centering and leveling. I then penciled in the spot for the screws and removed unit. The included wall brackets are uniquely designed so that you can make small adjustments after the two screws are already in place (fig. 3)

You will notice a small space between the two units. This makes for a great place to store mail or papers. Without a small gap, the unit is simply a heavier version of the 2 x 4 shelving unit. At least, that is my logic.

I originally wanted to create a gap large enough for additional IKEA baskets. Thus, the empty space would become a shelf. My wife did not like the added height of that idea, so we went with the smaller gap. I don’t really like the amount of space under the lower unit, but it was the only way to clear the outlets.

~ Ed Flowers, Atlanta, GA

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The Author

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".

9 Responses to How to: Mount a SAFE floating 2 x 4 EXPEDIT shelf

  1. Mattp says:

    im also after mounting mine to a wall. trouble is i live in an stone walled 500yr old cottage. After drilling a few hole and no finding stone to secure it to, am now looking for an alternative.
    Could i for example fit wooden boards to wall first, then use 2/3 L shaped shelve brackets to “hold the weight”, while screwing the top of the unit to the boards?

  2. Aread says:

    Is there a reason why the brackets are mounted sideways instead of supporting the “roof/ceiling” of the shelf unit?

  3. Choctop says:

    This post should be titled ‘How I didn’t actually mount a 4×2 Expedit/Kallax Shelf’.

  4. Phil says:

    I went to our local IKEA today. They had a 4×2 kallax mounted floating and horizontal. It failed under its own weight due to all the dowels coming out. Nothing but friction to keep them in.

    I’ve just put mine up the same way but glued all the dowels in when I built it. That should solve the issue!

  5. brian-au says:

    Interesting post…I have an EXPEDIT 4×2 and my instructions (Australian) don’t have those images in there about not mounting to wall, so I did wall mount it without considering too much. The other day it failed and all the stuff fell out onto the floor. I admit it was overloaded (full of books). I have taken some pictures of the insides now that it is smashed up, and I can tell you that these units should _not_ be wall mounted without some serious hacking!

    I have a hacked solution to trial for the replacement shelf and will post pictures soon

    • Monica says:

      I am a little scared now. We have just purchased a 4×2 kallax which we were going to mount onto of our new desk in the study. interested to hear how you have gone brian-au with your revised hacked solution. I have told my husband what happened to you but he is still wanting to go ahead and mount it tomorrow.

  6. cordy says:

    great job. I like the way the 2 units look like one when placed this closely together though I think I too would have gone with a larger space in between for trays/baskets for keys and whatnot. thanks for sharing.

    I’m about to wall mount a 2 x 4 kallax horizontally as a headboard. its a tight fit or I would use your idea instead. wish me luck.

    • Dan says:


      How did your headboard work out? I would like to mount a 2×4 Kallax above the washer and dryer to use as storage. Let me know!


  7. Anonymous says:

    I suspect a single 2×4 could’ve been wall mounted without much of a problem. Have seen others mount larger units with little fuss. Recently, I think, someone even wall mounted a 5×5.

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