Shelving Spans

Determine the correct spacing in your shelving, based on load type and supports.


Shelf material (choose one)
3/4-inch plywood
3/4-inch particle board or laminated shelving
1x8 lumber
1x10 lumber
1x12 lumber
2x10 or 2x12 lumber

Weight to be placed on shelving (choose one)
Light weight-knickknacks, small vases, occasional books
Heavy weight-books or canned goods

 

Recommended spacing of shelf supports
in.

Important reminder: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculation. But before purchasing materials for any project, please check amounts with your suppliers or contractors.

Helpful Information

A few tips: The horizontal distance, or span, between shelving supports is a critical design consideration. If the supports are too far apart, the shelf will eventually sag. (A cleat supporting the rear of the shelf will provide only limited strength; a true shelf support must extend forward so that most of the shelf's width rests on it.) Recommended shelf support spacing depends on the type of shelf material, the width of the shelf, and the size of the load it must carry.

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