Types of Shelf Brackets

September 18, 2022

Different types and styles of brackets for wood shelf.

One essential component you will surely need when making a shelf is brackets. Shelf brackets usually get categorized according to shapes and made. You will find, for example, wooden brackets, and they are pretty common. Besides, wooden brackets are perfect for supporting wooden shelves, and they also come in various styles and designs.

You will also find metal brackets that are sturdier and capable of supporting various materials and systems. Being sturdier than wooden brackets, metal brackets can support heavier weight loads. But when choosing brackets for your shelf projects, you can always choose the best bracket types, depending on your mounting types and needs.

12 Different Types of Brackets

If you’re at a loss as to which bracket type to use for your shelf project, it will help to know the following types of shelf brackets. Understanding these different types of brackets can help you pick the type that best suits your shelf project:

1) Angle Brackets

The angle brackets also get referred to as angle braces or angle cleats. These brackets are L-shaped fasteners with a 90-degree angle. For this reason, it gets referred to as angle brackets. You can use these brackets for jointing furniture pieces. Moreover, you will find angle brackets made of plastic, metal, and wood.

These brackets sport a straightforward look and a perfect right angle. They also come with flat bits for attaching to the wall. Besides, they can support the shelf from above and below.

2) Heavy-duty Brackets

Another type of bracket is the heavy-duty bracket. These brackets can support heavier furniture. They are also durable and robust and are designed for heavy loads. These brackets are perfect for support shelves for storing heavy tools and materials. Their carrying capacity, of course, is far greater, allowing them to handle heavier objects with ease. 

You can also find reinforced shelf brackets with an extra brace for additional carrying capacity. Heavy-duty brackets have other mounting hardware. Moreover, you need to drill walls onto the wall stud to install these brackets.

3) Lip Brackets

These brackets show a distinctive appearance that makes them unique. You can see a lip-like configuration at the end of every lip bracket. This lip prevents the slipping of the shelf. This lip bracket also can fit nicely underneath the shelf, supporting the frame from the bottom. 

The shelf’s front edge shows the visible lip. This design makes the brackets more unique and noticeable, as well as versatile. The lip helps avoid slipping on the furniture’s end while acting as a stylistic element. It also provides a rustic look for your shelf.

4) Floating Brackets

Floating brackets are brackets that are invisible when you install them. hey also get referred to as hidden shelving brackets. They get hidden at the back of the shelves, giving the shelves a floating look or appearance. The floating brackets offer ease of installation. However, these brackets do not have greater holding capacity.

5) Wood Shelf Brackets

Another type of bracket is the wood shelf bracket. These brackets can provide your shelf with that fantastic rustic look. This rustic and vintage look is always popular, and its popularity sees no wavering. These shelf brackets may come in angled, L-shaped, or other styles. 

You can also stain, paint, or just leave them unadulterated. These brackets are perfect for the interior of your home. You can also customize or carve them, and they are durable and versatile. Hence, these brackets are always the primary options of many.

6) Clever Brackets

The clever brackets will suit well with shelves that range in sizes from 200 to 420 millimeters. They are capable of supporting a maximum of 40-kg load. You will find these brackets in various colors like red, green, black, grey, white, copper, and aluminum. 

You can mount these brackets in three distinct positions. Besides, these brackets are rust-resistant. You can also clean them easily using a soft cloth. Lastly, these brackets are perfect for indoor usage. 

7) Decorative Shelf Brackets

The decorative shelf brackets come in various styles and designs. Hence, you have a wide range of options with these brackets. You will find vinyl, wood, rubber, fiberglass, plastic, and decorative metal brackets. 

You can also customize them to suit the space you have. The decorative shelf brackets, of course, can spruce up your space and add a tinge of style and an upscale look to your space. 

8) Brass Shelf Brackets

You can also opt for the brass shelf brackets that offer rustic looks to your shelves. These brackets are the perfect choice if you want a finer-looking shelf. You can buy coated or uncoated brass shelf brackets. Besides, you can buy high gloss and low gloss types of these brackets. You can use these brackets when making shelves in your toilet or want heavy shelving. 

9) Pipe Shelf Brackets

The pipe shelf brackets are heavy-duty ones. They are designed to support weights up to 70kgs. You can use them for outdoor and indoor fixtures, and they work well as a restraint for tubing or plumbing, heating, and electrical applications. 

10) Folding Shelf Brackets

The folding shelf brackets allow you to save space because they fold. You can use these brackets to support workspaces, tabletops, and shelves and fold them away when you want more workspaces. You can quickly dismount the clip folding of these brackets. 

11) Adjustable Shelf Brackets

The adjustable shelf brackets can be adjusted depending on your preference and need. It features connected metal clips that you can attach or detach. You can adjust their length depending on the furniture’s weight you would like to mount. The maximum carrying capacity of each metal clip is around 25 pounds, while the adjustable plastic ones can carry up to ten pounds. 

12) Invisible Shelf Brackets

These brackets are invisible, not in the strictest sense of the word. “Invisible” here means you can hide them from plain sight. Of course, these hidden shelf brackets are easy to hide, and they got designed for this purpose. 

So, after installing your shelf using these invisible brackets, you can look at the shelf and see that the shelf appears to be floating because of the absence of brackets. You can use these shelf brackets in your bedroom, living room, or office.

Guide on Choosing the Suitable Shelving Brackets for Your Shelf Project    

When choosing the model and brand of a product like a shelving bracket, you need to set standards and consider several factors. First, you need to consider the quality of the brackets. You don’t want to shortchange yourself by using cheaper products devoid of durability and sturdiness. 

You want something that would last longer and can support your shelves. 

Besides, you want something that would fit your shelves. You don’t want something that collapses because it can’t keep a large overhang or heavy load. Plus, you don’t like something awkwardly large for your shelves. 

Yet, among these factors, of course, you need to be mindful of the load capacity of the brackets. Before making a shelf, you should have a clear idea of how much weight you want the frame to bear. The brackets, therefore, should match the intended maximum weight load of your shelves. 

Choose something heavy-duty for heavily loaded racks. You will need smaller brackets, however, for light loads. Lastly, you should choose brackets that add styles and beauty to your shelf. Brackets are not solely for practical applications. They are also excellent in providing styles and designs to your frames.

What is the Maximum Weight that Shelf Brackets Can Hold?

When you make shelves, your number one enemy is gravity because gravity will be tugging on your shelves and brackets. So, it will be best to choose something sturdy. However, the other factors to consider include the bracket design, the materials used to make the brackets, and the installation process. 

The bracket design will complement or amplify the beauty and design of the shelves. Bracket designs, of course, come in different varieties, giving you ample options to select from. The material that makes up the brackets should also factor well in your choice. As mentioned above, shelf brackets can be wood, metal, or plastic. So, your choice will depend on your preference and needs. 

The last thing you need to fret about when choosing brackets is installation. The load capacity is usually proportional to how you install the brackets. So, before choosing a bracket, it will be best to inspect your walls. Does the wall have studs, or are you installing the brackets on drywalls? 

If you want a durable and sturdy installation, always ensure that the shelves are attached to the central studs. Drywall, of course, will not hold much weight, and you can’t expect your brackets to be sturdy enough. But when attached to central studs, your shelves can be very sturdy and robust.


Building shelves from scratch, nowadays, are super easy. The reason is that brackets are widely available, and they come in a wide variety of options. Thus, you don’t need to weld or make brackets for your shelves. That being said, the only thing you need to worry about is whether the bracket is suited to your preference and needs. 

As a woodworker, you must select the appropriate brackets for your shelves. Besides, you should plan your shelf projects scrupulously, even if making a shelf is not a challenging task. Remember that you can use different shelf types for various applications. So, you need to list down your requirements based on your needs and preferences and select the appropriate brackets for your shelf project.

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