How to Install Tough Stuff Wire Shelving in a Closet

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder

  • Measuring tape

  • Level

  • Drill

  • Drill bit and screwdriver bit

Customize your closet in less than a day.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Install Rubbermaid Tough Stuff wire shelving in a closet to organize and store heavier items. This shelving system was designed to hold as much as 300 pounds on each shelf when properly installed. While originally designed for garage use, Tough Stuff shelving can be used in an empty closet to create a storage space tailored to your needs. The key to installing the shelves is to mount the bracketry to studs in the walls for maximum support. This project can be done in less than a day with common household tools.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Find the studs in the wall where you want to mount the shelves. Turn on a stud finder on and run it horizontally along the wall. Depending on the type of stud finder you have, it will flash lights, beep or do both when a stud is detected. Mark the stud with a pencil mark. Studs are often 16 inches apart on center.


Step 2

Hold one of the Tough Stuff horizontal brackets at the correct height needed for your shelving configuration. Set the level on the bracket and adjust the bracket as needed until it is level. Line up the mounting holes in the bracket with the located studs. Make larger pencil marks in the holes.


Step 3

Drill pilot holes through the larger marks with a drill bit that is smaller than the screws that hold up the brackets. Often a 3/16-inch bit works well for this. Switch to a screwdriver bit, hold the bracket in place and attach it to the wall with the screws included with the shelving set. Repeat this procedure with the remaining horizontal bracket.


Step 4

Install the vertical mounting brackets onto the horizontal ones. These brackets have slots in them to hold the shelf brackets. Attach the vertical brackets to the horizontal ones with the included screws. Use the level across both vertical brackets so they are installed at the same height.


Step 5

Set the shelf brackets into the slots on the vertical brackets. These brackets have tabs that slide into the slots. The bracket is then pressed down, setting the tab into place. If the bracket does not want to be pressed into place, a rubber mallet can be used to gently tap it in.

Step 6

Set the shelves on the shelf brackets. The brackets have notches that help the shelves stay in place. Load the shelves as desired.


While it is still possible to find the Tough Stuff series at some retailers, the line was discontinued by Rubbermaid. It was replaced by the Fast Track System, which has a similar setup.



Report an Issue

Screenshot loading...