Keeping a Bookcase from Tipping Over

Typical bookcases locate shelves of heavy books and decorations, these items are hazards for anyone who is near to the bookcases if they are not secured. According to “The Paranoid Parents Guide” by Christie Barnes, children are mostly at risk near unsecured bookcases. Children will tip bookcases into themselves by using the shelves as a grabbing point for pulling up the books or climbing on it. Barnes states the wall restraints for heavy furniture is among important items for a home with small children. To keep the bookcases contents from tipping off, secure all of your bookcases to the wall. Here are the steps on how to prevent a bookcase from falling over.

You will need:

  1. Bookcase
  2. Two “L” shaped metal brackets.
  3. Power drill with drill bits.
  4. Two short wood screws.
  5. Stud finder.
  6. Ladder.
  7. Pencil.
  8. Two 3 inch wood screws.



  1. First, turn on the stud finder and place it against the wall directly above where your bookcase sits. If necessary, you can stand on a ladder to do stud finding process.
  2. Make sure the ladder is stable and use a slip resistant if your floor is smooth before climbing it. Let the stud finder to calibrate for the wall’s thickness.
  3. Begin running the device horizontally against the wall when the indicating beeps or the flashing appears. The finder will indicate when you have passed over a stud.
  4. Then, place the bracket against the wall and on top of the bookcase over the stud’s location. The “L” shape of the bracket should fit nicely into the similarly shaped corner where the bookcase and the wall meet. Mark with a small “X” or dot through the bracket’s two screw holes.
  5. Continue along the wall with your stud finder until you find another stud. Studs are usually about 16 inches apart although some are as far as 24 inches apart. Place the other bracket there against the wall and the bookcase’s top surface when your finder indicates it has found another stud. Mark the screw holes.
  6. Next, drill pilot holes into the top of the bookcase where you have made the two marks. It should be slightly smaller than your screws, make sure not to drill through the top of the case.
  7. Place the brackets against the drilled two holes and the two remaining marks on the wall. Screw your 3-inch wood screws through the brackets screw holes and through the mark on the drywall and directly into the stud beneath.
  8. Finally, attach the bracket’s bottom pieces to the bookcase with your remaining wood screws. Screw the pilot holes into the predrilled holes to avoid splitting risk. The bookcase will locate firmly and be secured to the wall. You could also use peel and stick Velcro strips to secure heavy and breakable objects.

Image Credit:

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Additional Reading:

Shelves Cabinets & Bookcases

How to Plan & Build Bookcases, Cabinets & Shelves