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Hacker’s Help: Need advice on reinforcing LACK Shelf

Reinforcing LACK shelf without impacting the visual design?

I’m planning to install a LACK shelf (43 1/4” / 110 cm) on a drywall wall but this size is notorious for the support brackets failing.

What’s the best way to reinforce the shelf without severely impacting the visual design?

IKEA LACK

~ Sarah

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Hi Sarah

It seems there are 2 types of wall brackets for the LACK shelves. One with the prongs, like so …

reinforcing Lack shelf

And the other with a long L bracket for drywalls. It has holes all along the bracket so you can choose ones over studs.

LACK shelf with L bracket

Personally, I’ve not installed the one with the L bracket (and I don’t think it’s for sale here in Malaysia as we have brick walls in most houses).

If you have a choice at your IKEA, I would recommend the LACK bracket with prongs. It would be a tad more secure and stable than the L-bracket. From what I can see it’s impossible for the small lip to hold the wide shelf securely.

See a review of it below. (Or an installation tutorial, if you do get one with the L bracket).

Now, the ones with the prongs will hold a bit more weight (not concentrated but spread across the shelf).

When fixing the bracket to the drywall, the usual precautions:

  • Fix them in to studs
  • Use IKEA’s recommended hole usage (for the 43 1/4” / 110 cm LACK, fasten 5 holes according to the manual)
  • Use expanding drywall anchors with a proper setting tool

Do overload the shelf beyond the recommended weight loading. I also would not display heirloom china on it.

Reinforcing LACK shelf to hold more weight

If you want to strengthen it to hold more weight than the recommended IKEA load, there is a way.

Bino, reinforced his LACK shelf to take on double the IKEA recommended weight. He took it from 15 kg (the max. load specified) to 36 kg (about 80 lbs).

He used a couple of steel anchor bolts and threaded rods through the hollow tubes of the LACK bracket. And basically gave the brackets new bones. 

reinforcing Lack shelf

However, his hack was for a LACK shelf against a solid brick wall.

I found this similar fixing for drywall, though not specifically for the LACK wall shelf.

Probably not the easiest reinforcement to do. But it will hold up.

Good luck on your installation. Let us know if you learn anything new from the process.

Anyone else has advice for Sarah?

Jules