Proper Nails to Use for Indoor Shelving


When hanging indoor shelving in your home or office, nail selection is almost as important as choosing a location for the shelves. Using the incorrect nails for the application can result in shelves that are not as strong as they should be. Picking the proper nails can ensure that your shelving can hold anything you put on it for years to come.

Nail Head

  • The heads of nails can have different designs. While flat-head is the most common design, you can also find checkered flat-head and countersunk heads. For the best holding power for your shelving, flat-head nails should be used.

Nail Size

  • Nails come in different lengths, which are generally in 1/4-inch increments. When choosing nails for your shelving, you first need to know the thickness of the board you will be nailing through. This lets you know which size nail you need. The size of the nail needed for the shelving should be one that is about three times the measure of the board it is going through. This gives it ample length to go through the shelving board and to secure itself in the wall.

Nail Finish

  • Nails are available in a variety of finishes and coatings. These finishes are designed to offer an array of benefits, such as rust resistance from a hot-galvanized finish. When hanging indoor shelving, stick with vinyl or cement finishes because they are designed to offer better holding power than other finishes. This can be important if you intend to put a lot of books or other heavy items on the shelving.

Other Considerations

  • For homes in a humid climate, you might have a concern about the nail head rusting. Home Depot recommends using aluminum nails in this situation as opposed to rust-resistant nails. For a home with wood walls inside, such as redwood or cedar, stainless steel nails should be used to put up the shelving. This type of nail will prevent streaking and staining on the wood. It also will not break down in the wood.

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