Do It Yourself: How To Build Floor To Ceiling Bookcases

If you are an avid reader, you have quite a collection of books. And, you need somewhere to store them. Find out how you can build your own bookcase.

If you have a love of books, you probably have an extensive collection of them. And, you probably need a place to store them in an organized manner. A built - in floor to ceiling bookcase will probably fill your needs!

The first step in building your bookcase is to find a spot in your house where you can put it. Ideally, a wall in a den or office would be an excellent place. Or, you can even choose to use a wall in a spare room. Wherever you choose to build your floor to ceiling bookcase, you must have a sufficient amount of free space for it. You can build it as wide and as deep as you wish.

Many bookcases are as small as thirty - six inches wide, or as wide as the entire room wall. On the average, a bookcase that measures eight feet tall and is two feet wide can hold over two hundred paperback books.



The next step is to determine how large you want your floor to ceiling bookcase to be. Let's say that the wall you have selected is eight feet tall and is eight feet wide. Let's also say that you have a small, eclectic collection of books that range in size from small paperbacks to tomes. You will probably want to use the entire wall. This will ensure that you have enough space to hold your small collection, plus allow room for expansion. You will also need to choose the type of material that you are going to use. Hardwoods, such as maple, poplar, oak, walnut, or cherry will hold the most amount of weight and look the nicest. You can use plywood or pressed wood, but they are not near as sturdy. And, if you use either of those types, you will also need to finish the raw edges by adding veneer or a similar material. The wood you choose should be at least a half of an inch thick for added durability. The boards should also measure about twelve inches wide.

To begin the actual construction, measure the distance between the floor and the ceiling. Then, measure and cut two boards, one for each side of the floor to ceiling bookcase. Measure and cut two boards - one for the top and one for the bottom. You can use either nails or wood screws to fasten your bookcase together. If you use wood screws and hardwood, you will need to use an electric drill to make holes in the wood first. Lay the bottom board down, then position the left side so it is straight against it; fasten the pieces together securely. Repeat this process with the right side, then fasten the top board to the structure.

Now that you have your basic frame built, you will need to cut the boards for the shelves. If your bookcase is going to be eight feet tall, for example, you will want to space the shelves evenly so they are about twelve inches apart. Therefore, you will also need to measure and cut about six pieces of wood for the shelves. In order to make sure you get them positioned evenly inside the frame, measure the frame and mark both sides every twelve inches. The next step is to position and fasten the shelves inside the frame.

As a rule of thumb, book shelves made of hardwoods shouldn't be left unsupported if they are longer than thirty-six inches long. They can and will bend and sag in the middle if they are not properly supported. So, since your floor to ceiling bookcase measures eight feet across, you will need to install vertical support pieces. These supports can be made from veneer, wood edging, or one by two's. Measure the space between the shelves, then measure and cut four supports for each shelf. Two of the supports will be placed evenly in the back, while the other two will help to support the front of each shelf. Fasten the wooden supports into place in between every shelf.

Finally, you can add decorative woodwork to your floor to ceiling bookcase, if you choose. You can then finish it by applying paint, varnish, or stain.

© High Speed Ventures 2011