How to Attach an Ikea Bookshelf to the Wall

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If you own an Ikea bookshelf or any bookshelf or other heavy furniture pieces, it's important to be sure they are properly secured to the wall to avoid tip-over accidents. This can prevent injury and even death. Most items from Ikea, like the popular Billy bookcase, come with an enclosed wall-anchoring device, but you can also request a restraint kit for certain chests and dressers on the Ikea website.

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While Ikea commonly provides brackets, there are other robust kits available online that utilize straps and cables to keep your furniture secure. Once you've chosen the anchoring method that suits you, gather any needed supplies, such as a drill and stud finder. Safely fastening your furniture to the wall should only take a few minutes.

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Bracket-Style Anchor Kits

With bracket-style anchor kits, like what is provided with Ikea bookcases, two L-shaped brackets are mounted to the back of the furniture item. Once in place, the wall is marked and prepared for the proper anchoring device per the Ikea wall-anchoring guide. If a plug or toggle is needed, insert this at the marking. Push your furniture piece against the wall so the screw holes line up with the holes in the L-shaped brackets and fasten the other sides of the L-shaped brackets to the wall. If done correctly, this should prevent future accidents and any possible tipping.

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Tethered Furniture Restraints

Unlike bracket-style anchor kits, which require the anchored furniture to sit flush with the wall, tethered furniture restraints consist of two brackets — one attached to the wall and one to the furniture piece — connected by a strong strap or cable, allowing some extra space between the wall and the anchored item.

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First, mount one bracket into the back of the furniture. You don't need to worry too much about the bracket being centered but try to install it as high as possible on the furniture and into solid wood if available. Next, attach the other bracket into the wall at a stud or with a proper plug or anchoring device if a stud is not available. Finally, line up the two brackets and connect the strap or cable to both brackets (nylon webbing or braided steel cable are both strong connecting materials). Always test the straps to make sure they work properly.

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Using the Right Hardware

You must be sure to use the right hardware when securing your furniture to the wall in order for your work to be effective and safe. Always follow anchor kit instructions and consult the Ikea wall-anchoring guide to know exactly which anchoring device to use for your wall material.

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If the wall is drywall or plaster with access to a wood stud, a wood screw is sufficient, but if the drywall lacks a wood stud or if you have a solid masonry wall, a plug will need to be inserted prior to the screw. Further, if the wall is hollow masonry, you will need to insert a toggle-style anchor into the wall before the screw to ensure the mounting system is secure.

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