Shelf Help!

Here are the answers to the questions our customers ask us most often.
If you can’t find the answer to your query here, please don’t hesitate to give us a call; we’ll be happy to help!

At ShelfDirect, we want to deliver the best quality at the lowest possible prices, so we always aim to match any online quote for bespoke shelving, provided that:

  • You are able to show us a like-for-like, full quote for bespoke shelves (the quote must include any charges for shipping, VAT, fixings, finishing etc.)
  • You are able to show us evidence of the quote, including a link to the relevant website

Just drop us an email with your requirements and the details of the quote you have and we’ll get straight back to you.

Contact us for more information; we’re always happy to help!

If you have any particular size requirement, we will always do our best to help and make your shelves to your exact measurements. For example: if you require a shelf at 25.5cm long, simply order your shelf at 26cm long and then let us know the exact measurements you’d like in the order notes section at checkout. We will then make the shelf at 26cm long and trim the .5cm off. Please note: we will endeavour to get this measurement exact, but slight differences between your measurements and ours are inevitable! Please feel free to talk to us before ordering if you are at all unsure; we’re always very happy to help!

If you are not able to calculate the shelf you want on our website, please contact us and we’ll be happy to make your shelves to suit your requirements.

All of our shelves are carefully hand-made and individually manufactured to your specifications; our current lead time is 12-15 working days from the date of order and when your order is ready for dispatch, we will email you with your delivery information.

If you need your shelves urgently, or would like your delivery to take place on a specific date, please contact us and we will do our best to help. We can arrange for Saturday deliveries, but these do incur an additional charge; please contact us for a quote for this service as the prices vary according to the dimensions of the packages being shipped!

Please note: We are a small, family-run company and, while we do all that we can to ensure the most prompt delivery possible, circumstances outside our control (such as problems with suppliers) can sometimes lead to delays and extended delivery times. Please be assured that we are working at all times to manufacture and deliver the highest possible quality products and sometimes this takes a little while longer! Please bear this in mind when placing your order.

We deliver anywhere in the UK; shipping orders going to Mainland UK addresses for over £75* is free of charge  (the shipping charge for smaller orders is £8.25*). Deliveries to Highlands & Islands and remote areas are charged at £15.00 as courier charges rise significantly to those areas.

As standard, we deliver on workdays, to the address of your choice, and can arrange Saturday and morning deliveries at a small additional charge; please contact us for further details.

*excluding VAT

Our floating shelves are primarily decorative, and are usually used to display a number of small items such as photos, trophies and ornaments. The weight-bearing capacity of every shelf depends very much on the type and quality of wall into which it is being installed. If you need your floating shelves to hold more weight, we can supply a range of brackets which will bear up to approximately 50kg per shelf. Our floating shelves with batten fixings,when installed onto a plasterboard wall, may not be suitable for heavier loads such as books, but can be used very successfully to hold light ornaments, photos etc. Our batten fixings can also be used on a masonry wall, and can hold up to 10kg. Please note: any weights quoted include the weight of the shelf.
Because of the unique fixing system we use, our alcove shelves are able to hold up to 50kg per shelf; comfortably holding all of your books and more.

If you have any particular requirements, please feel free to contact us and we can advise you.

Our shelves with brackets (2cm & 3.5cm) are suitable for holding heavier loads. On our 2cm shelves each bracket will support approximately 12 kg; our 3.5cm shelf brackets will support approximately 15kg. If you have any particular requirements, please feel free to contact us and we can advise you; it may be as simple as supplying you with a few extra brackets!

All of our shelves can be fitted to solid or plasterboard walls. Our standard fixings are appropriate for masonry (solid) walls, but not for plasterboard walls. We are happy to provide plasterboard fixings on request at no additional cost.

It is difficult to be precise about how easy our shelves are to install, as it depends entirely on your level of experience and expertise! We would say that a skilled, experienced DIY enthusiast would find them straightforward to install. If you are in any doubt, you may wish to consult a skilled tradesperson.

As standard, on our Mezzo, Piccolo and Twin -Slot shelving, we recommend two brackets with each shelf, with an additional bracket for approximately every additional 50 cm of shelving (so a 100 cm shelf will have 2 brackets, a 150cm shelf will have 3 and so on).

Before your shelves are dispatched, they are given a coat of Danish oil. The shelves are then lightly rubbed down and a final coat of finishing wax is applied.

To maintain the appearance of your shelves, you may wish to occasionally apply a light coat of Danish oil, which can be purchased at most DIY stores.

Full details of after-care and tips on how to achieve a great finish on our ready to paint shelves are sent out with your delivery information and are available on request.

Our ready to paint shelves are made from MDF and come to you finely sanded to give a nice clean finish (the front edges of the floating shelves are finished with a paintable solid wood veneer strip). They are lovely and easy to work with and we recommend the following:

  • Use a glossing roller kit to help ensure a good smooth finish. These are available in a pack which includes the roller, heads and a small tray from most good DIY shops.
  • Apply two primer coats, sanding lightly in between. You can use an acrylic primer to give your top coat a good base, but if you have any spare emulsion you can use that.  If you are using expensive, thick emulsion it’s worth watering it down slightly (around 10% water:90% paint); if the emulsion is a cheaper, thinner type there’s no need to water it down.
  • Sand the shelves lightly between each coat.
  • For your top coat, use any paint suitable for painting interior wood, choosing the colour and finish you prefer (gloss, matt, silk etc…)

It is important to use a primer, as the MDF will be very absorbent and the primer gives a good foundation to get a good finish when you apply your top coat(s). As you’ll see from the information above, you don’t need a specific product; a bit of watered down emulsion does the job really well!