How to Fix a Leaning Bookshelf

If you have a leaning bookshelf, don’t despair! Here are some tips to help you get it back on its feet. First, make sure the floor is level, and there’s no unevenness in the surface that might be causing the lean.

How to Fix a Leaning  Bookshelf

If this doesn’t fix your problem, try adding a little weight to one side of the shelf by placing heavier items at one end – but take care not to overdo it. You can also add brackets or supports if needed.

And finally, if none of these solutions work for you, then there may be an underlying structural issue with your shelving unit that needs fixing by a professional carpenter before anything else can happen. In this blog post, we will go over how to fix a leaning bookshelf.

Step to Follow on How to Fix a Leaning Bookshelf 

Step One: Figure Out What’s Wrong With It

The first step to fixing a leaning bookshelf is figuring out what is wrong with it. There are two major categories to consider. First, the bookcase itself might be leaning for several reasons. Second, it might have been installed improperly, which is usually an installation error.

Sometimes shelves are placed on surfaces that aren’t perfectly level, so they lean to one side. Another reason your bookshelf may be leaning is due to uneven weight distribution. This happens when you load the shelf with too much weight on one side of the shelf.

You can fix this problem by redistributing the weight on the shelf or by moving some of your books to another bookcase. You should also take a look at your wall. If you live in an old house, any walls made before 1978 are likely to be lath and plaster-style walls, which means nails can potentially loosen over time.

Step Two: Remove the Bookshelves From the Wall

The next step to fixing a leaning bookcase is removing it from the wall. To do this, remove all objects on your bookshelf. Then, take-down any pictures or other artwork hanging above it using a stud-finder to locate and mark out the studs in your walls.

You will need to place a level on the wall behind the bookcase and another across the top. Once you’ve found where they line up, drive nails into these spots. This will help provide a solid anchor for your new shelf. Next, find the center of the wall and mark it with a pencil.

Do this on both sides of the shelf. Next, you will use these to install your shelf brackets. At this point, take your bookshelf off the wall again so you can begin the installation of new shelves.

Step Three: Install Brackets for a New Shelf

For this step, you will need your wall anchors, your stud finder, and brackets. The brackets should come with screws or nails, but there are several options for fasteners at the hardware store if they don’t. You can buy nails that attach to drywall or plaster walls, or you can buy a particular type of screw that drill holes into the studs in your wall.

Bookshelves From the Wall

You can also use toggle bolts if your bookshelf is attached to brick or stone. Once you have your screws or nails, follow the instructions to secure them to the location on the wall where you’ve drawn out your anchors. Then, using your level, make sure the brackets are secure and level to each other before installing a new shelf.

Once you have a bracket in place, use a stud finder to mark out the location for the next one. Repeat this process until both brackets are in place, then attach them using hinges to create a solid mount for your bookshelf.

Step Four: Add a New Shelf

Now, it’s time to add a new shelf to your bookcase. You can do this in one of two ways, either by buying a prefabricated shelf and attaching it with brackets or by creating a custom shelf from scrap wood you have at home. If you decide to go with a prefabricated shelf, follow the directions on the package to attach it securely.

If you decide to create a custom shelf from scratch, you need some scrap wood and a saw. Just tape measure the width of your new bookshelf and cut two boards to those dimensions. Attach these using staples or nails. Your next step is to attach these boards to the brackets you already installed on the wall.

You can use either screws or nails with wood glue for this depending on what type of wood you are using, but be sure they are long enough to secure the boards well. Then, use your level to ensure the shelf is even before you begin loading it with books.

Adding  a New Shelf to The  Bookcase.

Step Five: Re-Install Your Bookshelves

Once you’ve added your shelf, it’s time to get your books back. To make sure everything stays even and level, begin by loading the heaviest books towards the center of the shelf. Then work your way out with lighter materials until you reach the edges of the shelf where it is lightest.

Once you’ve loaded your shelf, ensure its level by checking the levels on each side of the bookshelf. If everything looks good, attach them securely to their brackets using hinges and nails or screws. If your bookshelf is leaning forward instead of backward, this method will also work; start at the top with lighter books and work your way down.

For a leaning sideways bookcase, this method will also fix the problem; again, start at the top with lighter books and work your way down until you reach the bottom of the shelf where it is heaviest. Thanks for reading about how to fix a leaning bookshelf.

You Can Check It Out to Stop a Bookcase From Tipping Over

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Shelf Leaning?

The shelf lean is a term used to describe the condition of an unbalanced and unstable display case. It Can Be Caused by Many Factors Such as :

  • The shelves are too small or large for the amount of product that is being displayed.
  • There is not enough weight on the shelves to prevent them from leaning forward or backward.
  • Too much weight has been put on one side of the case, causing it to tilt toward that side.
Shelves Are Too Small

How Wide Can a Bookshelf Be Without Sagging?

The width of a shelf is dependent on the materials that are used to make it. There are different types of wood, metal, and other materials that can be used for making shelves.

Some Things to Consider When Determining the Size of Your Shelf Would Be :

  • What type of wood will you use?
  • How much weight will your shelves support?
  • What size is your room?

Will Plywood Shelves Sag?

Plywood shelves are sturdy and will not sag. They are designed to withstand the weight of your goods, which means they won’t break or buckle. There is no reason why these shelves would sag or break because they are made from plywood and it is a very durable material.

How Much Weight Should a Bookshelf Hold?

A bookshelf is a structure used to hold books and other publications. The capacity of a shelf varies depending on the height, width, and depth of the shelf.

The weight capacity of your bookshelf depends on the weight that it can support and the size of the shelves.

The standard height for a bookcase is 36 inches which would give you about 4 feet in depth and 3 feet in width. This means that if you have shelves with 1-inch thickness then they will be able to hold approximately 100 pounds per square foot.

Standard Height for a Bookcase

For heavier books, we recommend using steel shelving units instead of wood or laminate ones because these are much more durable than their counterparts.


To summarize, here are the steps to fixing a learning bookshelf. First, inspect the shelf and look for any loose hardware or damage that could be causing it to lean. Next, determine if you can fiax this problem by adding more support brackets on either side of the bookcase, so it is level again.

If not, consider replacing some of your shelves with less heavy items like DVDs instead of heavy books until you have time to get another solution in place. In the end, we also offer some practical tips on how to fix a leaning bookshelf.

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