Shelving FAQs

A definitive guide to shelving and shelving products from City Shelving.

A lot of the time, we do have used products although it pays to contact us and ask as stock comes and goes all the time. There are some considerations when purchasing second hand and the primary concern is that the product won’t have the warranty associated with a new item. In addition, one-off items such as used stationery cabinets rarely have keys with them and additional shelves can be hard to source due to wide variety of brands on the market.

Of course this will all depend on the type of shelving product that you are referring to. With Rolled Upright Type shelving there are light and heavy duty shelves with load carrying capacities from 100kg to over 200kg UDL. The other most common type of shelving is Long Span shelving that usually has increased load carrying capacity due to the width of the bays. Widths can range from 1200mm to 2400mm or even 2700mm and can carry many hundreds of kilograms depending on beam construction and frame capacity. Generally speaking though, the longer the beam the less weight it will be able to support.

Uniformly Distributed Load is the terminology used that relates to the carrying capacity of a shelf or beam. As the term suggests, it refers to a load that is uniformly distributed over the entire shelf or beam surface. If a shelf has a load carrying capacity of 100kg UDL, it does not imply a point loading of 100kg. A load of 100kg at any one point on the shelf or beam will cause undue deflection or even collapse.

This is quite a common question and there is no such thing as standard shelving. There are however commonly sought after sizes of shelving. With Rolled Upright Shelving the most commonly requested size is 2175mm high x 900mm wide x 400mm deep. Long Span shelving is mostly requested in 2200mm high x 1800mm wide x 600mm deep. Load carrying capacity will vary and it is always best if you know the weights of the products you intend to store.

Good question, and before we recommended any particular shelving system for you we would have some pertinent queries for you to answer. Firstly…what are you storing? How heavy are the items? How big are the items? Do you have lots of small items? Does it need to be in a dust free environment? Do you need the items to be stored securely? How often do you access the items? Is it for a retail, domestic, commercial, office or warehouse application?

So depending on all these considerations we may recommend Rolled Upright Shelving which great for parts storage, Long Span shelving for bigger weightier items, Display shelving for retailers, Mobile shelving to save space in a office situation, cupboards for secure storage or a variety of bins for keeping smaller items together. Our website is brimming with solutions for just about any storage problems you may have.

In shelving speak we never refer to length as it can create confusion. Shelving sizing is always Height or how tall a unit is. Width or how wide the unit is from left to right and depth or how deep the unit is from front to back. Simple isn’t it? And a lot less ambiguous than how long is it?

The majority of shelving systems available nowadays are quite simple to install yourself. Most of the Long span shelving available on the market will be supplied with the end frames preassembled (well ours are anyway) and the beams just clip in, with the panels or decks just slipping in or retained with clips.

Rolled Upright Shelving would be the most fiddly to assemble but with the right advice even this can be put together by the home handyman. I would recommend that most mobile shelving units be installed professionally as they require the tracks or bases to be perfectly level.

Additionally, the mobiles and cabinets have many parts to assemble in the correct way to enable the unit to function properly and carry the loads intended. Regardless of whether it is within your scope to install your shelving and you would like us to take care of that for you, we have teams of professional installers to perform these tasks.

More often than not, you can. Most shelving systems allow for ready adjustability and it can be just a matter of removing the panel/deck and beam safety clips to move the beams to your desired position.

Alternatively with Rolled Upright Shelving removing the shelf and adjusting the clips to the new position and replacing the shelf is all that it takes.

Shelf level adjustability can range from 25mm to 50mm. There are some shelving systems that require some tools to adjust levels but it still can be done.

In most cases, shelving systems are designed to be free standing with no requirement to be fixed to the wall or floor. For additional stability, we recommend that you load any shelving system with the heaviest items on the lower levels and the lighter items towards the top.

This theory also means less heavy lifting and safer working. However, there is a rule that we abide by and that is the 6:1 rule. If your shelving is taller than 6 units high and only 1 unit deep, it will need to be fixed to the wall or floor.

To clarify this, if you had 1800mm high and 300mm deep shelving, this is right on the limit of stability when loaded. If you had shelving 2100mm high x 300mm deep then it would need to be fixed back to the wall or floor for stability.

Regardless of whether your shelving is fixed to the wall or floor you should never use the shelf or beam levels as steps to access items stored out of reach.

Standing on a beam or shelf level will incur a point loading and possibly damage the shelving or risk tipping over with you underneath it.

We have solutions for all of your shelving needs!