How to Fix Sagging Cabinet Shelves

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Try one of these three simple fixes to take out the sag

FH11NOV_FIXSHE_01-2Family Handyman
Try these three easy ways to take the sag out of cabinet shelving or to support heavy shelf loads and prevent sagging.

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Fix sagging shelves

Figure A: Install shelf brackets

Install brackets in predrilled holes or drill your own with a right angle drill.

Figure B: Bridges with center stile

For cabinets with a center stile, build 1×2 bridges. Nail the crosspiece on top of the uprights. Then slide the bridge into place under the shelf.

Figure C: Bridges without center stile

For cabinets with no center stile, position the crosspiece between the two uprights. Secure with decorative screws and washers.

Stocked up on canned goods, did you? Now the shelves are sagging and you’re looking for a quick fix.

If your cabinet has a center stile, check the back of the stile and the back of the cabinet to see if the manufacturer drilled shelf bracket holes to support the center (Figure A). They’re hard to spot and often ignored by whoever installed the cabinets.

If you find predrilled holes, just buy some brackets at the hardware store and install them. That’ll support the center of the shelf. If there are no holes, you have two choices: You can drill holes or you can make a “bridge” (Figures B and C).

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Circular saw
  • Drill bit set
  • Drill/driver - cordless
  • Hammer

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Decorative screws, washers
  • Shelf brackets