Supporting closet uprights?

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Forum topic by CompMan86 posted 05-25-2016 03:12 PM 1722 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 973 days

05-25-2016 03:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: closet melamine upright

My question is about how to support the uprights and the adjacent shelves in a melamine closet.

It’s a reach-in closet, about 8 feet wide and 2 feet deep, with a 5 foot wide bi-fold door opening. In the left “pocket”, I’ll put a stack of corner shelves. My current plan is to support those on the left and back with 1.5” x 0.75” ledger boards. In order for clothes to not fall off the shelves I want a melamine upright board next to them. I also want a hanger rod on the other side of the upright.


1. Should the upright rest on the floor? The floor has carpet so I worry about the upright sinking in as it accumulates weight. I considered leveling feet that thread into embedded sockets—but for some reason I can’t find that part anywhere, what should I search for?

2. Should I cut off the upright and only have it extend down to the bottom shelf? This would leave the floor wide open which would be nice, but I feel like it would put a lot of weight on the shelves?

3. Should I cut off the bottom (like in #2), but attach the upright to the back wall? Let’s assume I won’t hit a stud—how would I secure it?

4. In any of these cases, should I support the hanging rod with a plastic cup screwed into the upright, or should I solely rely on triangle brackets mounted to the back wall? (In other words, should the weight of the rod be supported by the upright or not?)

Thanks for any and all help!

7 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3484 days

#1 posted 05-25-2016 04:04 PM

I have built quite a few closet storage units. I build them as a stand alone unit; that is it has sides, a back and shelves that may be fixed or adjustable. I would cut the carpet out in way of the side pieces so all the weight bears on the hard floor. That is how I would do it.

View CompMan86's profile


2 posts in 973 days

#2 posted 05-25-2016 07:03 PM

Thanks Ron, sounds pretty sturdy :-) I’d like to avoid cutting away the carpet if I can help it though. Next best alternative?

View 01ntrain's profile


259 posts in 1311 days

#3 posted 05-26-2016 02:36 AM

When I used to build mine for customers I had a grooved “foot” that I put all of the uprights into….made it on the tablesaw and would cut it down to length on the job-site. I would also shoot screws into the foot to give it a little more stability.

View jerryminer's profile


944 posts in 1682 days

#4 posted 05-26-2016 06:19 AM

If you can attach a vertical cleat onto a stud, you can attach the vertical panel to that.

Or, you can attach the panel to horizontal cleats at each shelf location.

Or, rather than individual shelves, you can build a box with hanging cleats (and shelves, adjustable or fixed) and hang the box like a cabinet, hitting two or more studs.

Your goal is something like this, right?:

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1161 days

#5 posted 05-26-2016 02:22 PM


1. The upright, setting on the floor, should structurally support a fair amount of weight. But when it is time to replace the carpet, this vertical panel must be removed. If the vertical panel will set on the floor, then either the back of the panel where it meets the floor and wall must be notched or cabinet levelers installed. There is probably a tack strip holding the carpet in place located parallel to the back wall some distance from, but close to the back wall. A Google search for “Cabinet Levelers” will return a variety of solutions for mounting adjustable legs that could possibly be mounted to a single vertical panel.

2. & 3. Cutting the vertical panel so that it floats above the floor solves any problems when it is time to replace the carpet. It also eliminates the need for figuring out how to set the panel on the floor. Unfortunately it presents a challenge of handing the panel securely to the wall. One possible solution is Z clips, where its two parts fasten to the panel and the wall and act similar to a French cleat. Since the panel mounting component of whatever wall mounting hardware used will be secured to particle board, multiple mounts are probably required since particle board does not hold screws well. The second problem is that the vertical panel must be secured to the back wall into structure. If a stud is not nearby, drywall could be removed and blocking installed within the wall’s framing, probably something you would rather not do. Otherwise, the wall side of the Z clip could be left long enough to be secured into studs at each end of the Z clip. If the longer Z clip is painted to match the wall, it will go largely unnoticed but will be ever-present nonetheless.

An alternative to a single panel is to place it with shelves in a box that has a sturdy back. The back could then be used to secure the shelf box and its vertical panel in place.

4. I personally like the idea of securing the end of the hanging rod to the vertical shelf panel (because it leaves a more finished appearance) and then install three or four L brackets to support the weight of the closet rod so that the vertical panel supports no weight, unless the vertical panel is supported by the floor. The weight of clothing hanging on 4’ – 6’ of hanging rod can become a lot, so adding extra support for the rod is probably a good thing.

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3484 days

#6 posted 05-26-2016 04:36 PM

If you can determine that you have studs to attach to, then I would stop the vertical at the carpet.

View JIMMIEM's profile


43 posts in 1082 days

#7 posted 05-29-2016 12:42 PM

If you can’t find levelers make your own. Use threaded inserts or T nuts in the bottom of the right panel. Use hex nuts for the adjustable leveler feet. All hardware stores items. Put some weight on the shelves and then level. For the rod I’d attach one end to the panel and the other end to a cleat on the right side of the closet wall. To keep the panel plumb attach it to the end of the back wall cleat or attach it to the back wall cleat with a small right angle bracket.

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