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How do I fit shelves to an uneven wall?

Am re-doing my pantry and have installed all ledger strips for the shelving.  Unfortunately, the walls are uneven on both sides and carefully measured shelves are a mess - totally askew!  Have already realized that I will probably need to buy new shelving material and begin again.  How do I do this the RIGHT way?
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Posted 2016-01-30T19:23:45+0000  by rolson746 rolson746

Hi rolson746,

Thanks for your question and welcome to the community.

To get to the bottom of your shelving install predicament, what specific style of 'ledger' shelving did you purchase?

And when you say uneven, I'm assuming you are still mounting the entire shelves flush but its the wall itself that isn't even.

Did you double check the wall's evenness with a laser level? No matter what type of shelving you use, making sure it's first level using one is extremely important. It's really the first step you should attempt to do before any installation, even with careful measurements.

Lots of track system style shelving can be forgiving on the shelves themselves, but let us know specifically the type you purchased. 

Keep us updated on your situation.


Posted 2016-01-30T20:39:56+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
The usual method for dealing with an uneven wall is to "scribe" the shelf board.  Scribing means to remove some of the material from the rear of the board to match the contours of the uneven wall.  I'm imaging that you have a number of shelves in your pantry and you'd like the front edges of the boards to line up.  Getting multiple boards to line up is a little tricky and doubly so if you have corner in there.  Some other thoughts on how you might deal with the problem:

  • Use thicker ledger boards so you can adjust the shelf boards in or out without having to worry about them falling off the ledger.
  • Use a different attachment method.  Generally, standards and brackets are pretty forgiving when it comes to uneven walls.
  • Build (or buy) freestanding shelving

Let us know if this helps or if we can offer any other suggestions.

Posted 2016-01-31T11:20:09+0000  by Adam444
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