One of the most annoying things you can ever see around your home is shelves sagging under the weight of their contents, or even collapsing entirely. A collapse is very inconveniencing and may even lead to losing your valuables, or damage to the walls.
Most of the time shelves bend or collapse because they are made of flimsy materials. This is why spending a little bit more to get a shelf that can comfortably and adequately hold anything you put on it is a great idea. The amount spent will be forgotten in little time, but your shelf will remain ever strong.
Below are some of the materials you should be looking at when you are thinking of getting a new shelf.
Shelves made of this material are strong enough to hold most of the things you will want to place on them without caving in. The strongest shelves are made of two inches plus of solid wood. These have a very long life span. However, solid wood, like Oak (If you want a few facts on oak there are some blinders here) are a little pricey so people resort to buying cheaper soft woods, such as Spruce and doubling them up to create something strong and long lasting. Spruce shelves will last long but they may cave under heavier weight, so the decision to use hard wood or soft wood should be based on what type of materials you want the shelf for.
One problem you may have to face, however, is getting a wooden shelf that will fit into the décor theme of your home. Wooden shelves will look out of place in certain homes, regardless of finish and gloss applied.
Medium Density Fibreboard
More commonly known by its acronym MDF, this is a sheet product sold in 4×8 ft. sizes. It is made up of reprocessed paper waste. As expected, it isn’t as strong as Oak or Spruce but it can be useful if you are only looking for closet shelves. You can make the MDF stronger and less likely to sag by not using a span that is more than 3 feet. You can also add strengthening strips to the bottoms of the MDF shelf to make it strong. You will still need to be extremely careful about the weight placed on it though, even after taking measures to strengthen it. Here is a great discussion about the pros and cons of MDF.
Many home owners don’t see steel shelves as an option because they are often associated with the garage. Ken, Expert Steel fabrication London By Cannonsteelsltd.co.uk employee says “it is possible to find beautiful steel shelves regardless of where you want to place them. Steel shelves are the strongest because of the sheer load bearing ability of steel. This means you get more flexibility in terms of size and weight of materials that can be placed on the shelf.” Cannon Steel are an industrial company, and don’t deal in residential shelves, but they know a thing or two about steel.
The shelving you choose is down to you, but make sure you think carefully about their function.