How do I Choose the Best Oak Shelves?

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  • Written By: Koren Allen
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Kadmy, Wicker Paradise
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2019
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Oak shelves are a great way to add stylish beauty and functional convenience to your home or office. There are endless varieties of shelves available both online and at your local retailer, so you will need to do a little planning before you buy. Determine first where your shelves will go, what they will hold, and how often they will be accessed. Will kids need to be able to reach them, or would a shelf mounted out of their reach be better? Finally, how much are you willing to spend?

Before you go shopping for your oak shelves, you will need to know where the shelf is needed, as well as a rough idea of what you will be storing on the shelf. If it will be in a moisture-prone area such as a basement or bathroom, you will need to look for shelves that have a sealed finish that will resist moisture damage. For shelving in a child's bedroom, you will need a low sturdy shelf that the child can access easily. If you opt for a taller oak bookshelf, it will need to be anchored to the wall so that children cannot pull it over on top of themselves. For keeping items out of a child's reach, consider wall-mounted oak floating shelves, which can be mounted individually at any height you desire.


Another task before you shop is to take careful measurements. Of course you will need to measure the area that the shelf will occupy, but it is also a good idea to measure the height of the tallest object you will store on your new shelves. Imagine the frustration of finding the perfect shelf, buying it, lugging it home, and then finding out that it will not hold the items you bought it for in the first place! While you are writing down measurements, you may also want to note how heavy your items are. Oak, especially solid oak, makes sturdy shelving, but some design styles are stronger than others, so you want to buy a shelf that can handle the weight you'll be putting on it.

Oak shelves come in many different styles and types to suit your storage needs, while adding beauty and warmth to your home. Wall-mounted oak shelving consists of individual shelves hung at whatever height you desire, and ranges from the simple elegance of floating shelves, to the ornate carved beauty of decorative shelves to display fine collectibles. Wall-mounted shelves are a good choice if you have items that need to be kept out of reach of children or pets. For a more substantial look, freestanding oak bookshelves come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, ranging from a simple 3-shelf box, to beautifully carved oak and glass curio cabinets.

Oak shelving can vary greatly in price, depending on the size, style, and type of shelf you choose. If you are on a tight budget, consider pre-packaged shelving units that you assemble yourself. If you prefer not to hassle with building and installing the shelving yourself, you can purchase beautiful, fully assembled oak shelves and cabinets from your local furniture retailer. Don't forget to check out antique dealers and second-hand shops as well; you might be able to save a little money and still find a beautiful addition to your decor.


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