Adjustable Shelves for Bookcases - The Hardware Hut
White Recess Mounted Standard
White Recess Mounted Standard

Adjustable Shelves for Bookcases

Most bookcases have adjustable shelves in them so that when you retire your old coffee table book about baby animals for the new one on gardens, you’ll be able to raise the shelf higher to accommodate the newcomer. If you’re inclined to make your own bookcase, you too will need a way to adjust those shelves. has you covered with a few options including shelving brackets.

Option #1

One of the more common ways is to run little holes along the front and back of both sides of the bookcase and use shelf pins. It’s called the 32mm cabinetmaking system. With this system, you drill 5mm holes, 32mm (about 1-1/4″) on center apart from each other. You then insert an L shaped clip, or a spoon clip, into the four holes at the level you want your shelf. Moving a shelf around is pretty easy. You just lift up the shelf, move the four clips, and then set the shelf back down. We sell both the guide jig with template from True Position and the clips in both brass and nickel.

Option #2

The other option would be to use adjustable standards along the same four places with matching clips. The standards (vertical pieces) are also called Pilasters (pronounced Pie-Laster, not Pill-Ister, as I so thought for many years). What’s nice about the standards is you don’t have to drill a bunch of holes. Instead, you just screw them to the sides of the bookcase. We stock them in five finishes: Almond, Brass, Brown, White, and Zinc. The other great thing about them is that they are adjustable in 1/2″ increments. With the 32mm system, you can raise or lower your shelf by 1-1/4″. But with the standards, you can move them by as little as 1/2″, giving you more control of exactly where the shelf will rest.

Brass Shelf Standards and Shelf Clips

If you go with the standards option, you can choose how you want to mount them. They can be surface mounted (easier), or you can router out the sides of the bookcase and flush mount them for a more clean look. You’d also eliminate the gap on the sides that the standards would make if you surface mount them. You can attach the standards to the bookcase with either screws, nails, or staples.

White Recess Mounted Shelf Standard

You can use these options on more than just bookcases. Use them on entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, medicine cabinets, and closets. When you’re ready to design your first project, come see us at, and we will get you hooked up.

Have any questions? Contact us or connect with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

About the author
In 2002, Johnny Quinn joined in Customer Service. He and his husband own three properties they rent as part of their retirement plans. When not in the office, you might find him in an airport heading out on a fun adventure. He's been to Italy, Australia, and Peru with plans of heading to Thailand next.