Ikea lack shelves are a fantastic option if you’re looking for simple floating shelves that look great and don’t cost an arm and a leg. The downside is they aren’t as easy to install as other Ikea furniture, and you’ll need a little DIY know-how and a few tools to install them correctly.
I’ve installed a number of these shelves while setting up an office, so I can confidently say I know the ins and outs of hanging these shelving units.
I’ll break down how to install an Ikea lack floating wall shelf correctly in step-by-step detail, so you’ll have no problem with your own installation.
Tools & Materials
- Drill/Driver and bits
- Ikea lack shelf
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Drywall screws with anchors
- Tape Measure
- Painters Tape
- Marker or pencil
- Stud finder (optional)
Ikea Lack Shelf Installation – Guide
Step 1: Measure and Mark Shelf Location
The first thing you’ll want to do before you start drilling holes in the wall is measure and mark the location where you plan to install the shelf.
These shelves measure 43” long and are 2” thick, so keep this in mind when planning out your installation.
Step 2: Mark Bracket Location
Mark the wall with the edge of where you want the shelf to install and then use your tape measure to measure 9 ½” over from there. The bracket is narrower than the shelf by 9 ½” on each side, so this is the location where your bracket will be installed.
Mark this location with a pencil or marker. Painters tape also works well as it won’t leave a mark and can be removed with no damage to the paint.
Step 3: Fit the Bracket
Now, hold the bracket up in the mounting position, lining up the bottom corner with the marks you made in the previous step.
As you hold the bracket in place, you’ll need to position your level on top of the bracket to ensure your installing it level with the floor. This can be a little tricky to do on your own, so if possible have someone give you a hand to make the task easier.
Once the level is leveled correctly, use a pencil or marker to mark the hole locations by marking them through the holes in the bracket. Ikea recommends 5 screws to secure each bracket, but the bracket has 18 holes in it, so if you want to add additional screws to beef it up, feel free.
I followed the Ikea directions and marked 5 holes per bracket. Be sure to keep a strong grip on the bracket as you mark your holes, as you don’t want it to shift around on you.
Step 4: Drill Holes
I’m installing the bracket into drywall, so I’ll be using drywall screws with anchors for the mounting. If you’re mounting the shelf into concrete or wall studs, then you’ll need different mounting hardware but the process will be essentially the same.
Keep in mind that Ikea doesn’t actually include the mounting screws with the shelf, so you’ll need to pick this up separately. I used large self-drilling drywall plastic anchors with 1 ¼” screws identical to these screws, which are rated to handle 75 pounds.
I’d definitely recommend this style of drywall anchor over the smaller ones as it results in a stronger, more durable hold.
With the first few brackets I installed I used a stud finder to diligently check for any studs, but as the bracket has so many screw holes available, I found this isn’t necessary as you can simply move over and try another hole should you hit a stud.
I used a ¼” drill bit to drill the holes, as this will make installing the anchors much easier. Even so-called self-drilling anchors are a lot easier to install with a pilot hole.
Step 5: Install Anchors
When you finish drilling your pilot holes, it’s time to install the plastic drywall anchors. Simply place the anchor into your hole and screw it into position using a Philips head screwdriver.
Don’t use a drill for this, as it’s easy to overdrive and damage or break the plastic anchors.
Step 6: Mount Bracket
Now, position the bracket in place, making sure to line up the holes in the bracket with the plugs in the wall. Hold the bracket in place and drive the screws into place with your drill.
One thing you’ll want to make sure of at this point is that your bracket is facing the right way!
The two holes on the bracket arms for securing the shelf to the bracket can either be faced upward or downward – depending on if you want these screws on the top or bottom of your shelf. I positioned the bracket with these holes facing down so the screws will be on the bottom of the shelf.
Step 7: Slide Shelf onto Bracket
Now, install your Ikea Lack shelf onto the bracket. Now is a good time to check and see that your bracket is indeed level.
If your shelf is level, all that’s left to do is drive the two small screws included with the shelf into place to secure the shelf to the bracket.
And that’s about it! Hopefully, now you know how to install an Ikea Lack shelf without issues.
If you’re curious how much weight this shelf will support, Ikea states it will support up to 33 pounds when installed with drywall anchors. I’d say they’re being a little conservative here, and you can probably get away with a bit more weight than that.