An Accomplished Woman

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Accomplished: Glass Shelves Installed in the Bathroom

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Ella helps me install glass shelves in the bathroom

This evening, a Wednesday, I mounted two glass shelves in my bathroom.

Total Time: 45 minutes, plus hours of drill charging and online/offline shopping for shelf brackets.

Difficulty: 3

Tools and Materials

  • Two 16″ x 4″ x 1/2″ beveled glass shelves found in the schwag pile at work. I actually took four of them, but they’re heavy, so two are still on my desk, waiting for the day I feel peppy enough to walk them home.
  • Two sets of “Trendo Aluminum Brackets,” purchased at The Container Store. These were an exchange. I’d first bought the “Shelf Clip Brackets” but when I got them home I looked closer and realized they were meant for wider shelves. Bad packaging!
  • Paddle hairbrush, because it was there, the hammer is loud, and I’m afraid of my neighbors.
  • Ryobi HP721K 7.2 volt cordless drill, charged overnight because if it’s not completely charged, it dies in about 45 seconds. It’s old and weak—not recommended—but I live in a 750-square-foot apartment. Who am I to buy real tools?
  • 1/4″ drill bit. For drywall installation Trendo called for 3/8″, but I don’t own one. Enlarge and hello hairbrush, meet molly.
  • KC Pro 15 in 1 ratchet action screwdriver. You’ll find these at the hardware store checkout counter. I don’t mean the counter where they mix the paint, cut new keys, or sort lug nuts. I mean the counter where you buy your Draino and lint roller. And maybe a humidifier. I used the third largest Phillips-head attachment.
  • 18″ ruler
  • Level!
  • Mechanical pencil


  • I measured the horizontal space within which I wanted to mount the shelves (22.5″ across).
  • I eyeballed the height. My goal was to get the bottom shelf aligned with the bottom of my bathroom mirror.
  • I penciled a cross-hairs at the center points (11.25″) and then measured 7″ inches on either side and made a mark to drill the holes so that each 16″ shelf would be centered in the available space, with one-inch-ish overhang on either side.
  • I used my drill fitted with its too-small bit to bore holes for the drywall anchors that came with the Trendo brackets. I wiggled the drill to make the holes big enough (of course that’s what she said).
  • I hammered in the wall anchors with the back of my paddle hairbrush.
  • Following the included instructions, I screwed the Trendos to the walls, fit the shelves in, and tightened the brackets’ grip on the glass.


  • All in all, an easy installation. The end result looks well enough, but I fear visual clutter. What will I put on these shelves? Toilet paper seems a bit crude, but it’s lightweight, useful, and when viewed in multiples, the rolls have a unexpectedly graphic appeal
  • I think the brackets are a little big for the shelves. I probably wouldn’t have put them up at all if the shelves hadn’t been free. They’re very narrow and I don’t know how much weight they’ll support.
  • Both shelves are level. I checked. This is satisfying. Nothing’s worse than drilling big holes, hairbrushing in bulky wall anchors, and then finding that you did a bad job with the measurements.


Written by kdka

April 22, 2010 at 2:54 am