Options for stabilizing a bookcase on carpeting
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Option 1: Carpet shims
Pull back the carpet. Measure from the
wall the width of the bookcase, cut away
the padding, then insert shims for the
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Option 2: Adjustable feet
Drill holes and install adjustable feet on
the bookcase corners to level it from
front to back and side to side.
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Close-up of adjustable feet
Tap the adjustable foot into the drilled hole to fully seat the plastic sleeve.
A freestanding bookcase set on carpeting often wobbles and can even tip over. The problem usually occurs because carpet
is held in place by tack strips placed
along the perimeter of the room. When
you set your bookcase (or any other furniture)
over the strips, it won’t sit level.
You have a couple of options. The first
is to pull the carpet free of the tack strip,
cut out a strip of padding where the front
corners of the bookcase will sit, and
replace the padding with a strip of wood
that’s the same thickness as the tack strip,
usually 1/4 to 3/8 in. (Option 1).
A second option is to install adjustable
feet (called gliders; at home centers) on
the corners of the bookcase (Option 2).
They’re simple to install—just drill a hole
and insert the feet. You won’t have to mess
with the carpet, but the feet may be
noticeable, which you might not like.
Resist the temptation to simply remove
the tack strip. The carpet can move, even
under the weight of the bookcase, eventually
resulting in a carpet wrinkle in the
Regardless of the option you choose, we
recommend securing the bookcase to the
wall so it can’t tip over. A child climbing or
pulling on an unsecured bookcase could
knock it over (hundreds of kids are
injured each year by falling furniture).
Fasten a furniture strap to the wall and the
bookcase to keep it from tipping over. The
straps cost about $6 at Target and hardware
stores. Or, fasten the bookcase to the
wall by driving 3-in. screws through the
back of the bookcase (at obscure locations)
into studs (be sure you hit studs). A
total of four screws—two screws into two