ikea hack, structural engineering question

im looking at creating a wall of bookcases in my loft that has 14ft. high ceilings.

im thinking of stacking 2 ikea expedit bookcases one on top of the other.

anyone have any idea of if they would take the weight of one put ontop of the other? any way to figure it out aside from doing it and waiting for it to crack/fall over?


should be fine in compression, for bending and for stablity tie them to the wall with some mollys or hooks and eyes on the inside of the vertical supports.

I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on the top unit and I would anchor the top edge of both units with mirror mounts or “L” brackets. I would also make sure no one gets drunk and tries to climb it.

Just wondering, why do you want to stack them? Won’t it be more hassle to get to the items on the upper decks? (Yeah I know it will look cool and what not)

I won’t trust the furniture to take double the weight though. It’s probably all particle wood inside.

I have one of these. It can hold a decent amount of weight. I re-enforced it with some L brackets in the back corners to make it a bit stronger.

thanks for the replies. was thinking about the l brackets and tieing them to the wall with a few anchors, and maybe not filling the top ones.

the idea is to make use of the height of my loft since theres not a lot of storage, and i do have lots of books and magazines. the plan would be to make a wall of these 3 units across by 2 tall.

might start with the 3 across first, and then go up only if need be…


I saw a display in Ikea that did just that. I think if both were reinforced and bolted directly into the wall studs, and nothing too heavy (your entire library) were placed on the shelves that you have nothing to worry about.

are you going to design/hack some matching ladders to go with it?

yup, was thinking of doing some ladder thing. maybe a commercial grade fiberglass ladder and rig up some sort of track thing.

got some of the bookshelves yesterday, and next issue i need to figure out is how to put one on top of the other. they are pretty heavy (about 150lbs?), so might need to get 4 strong friends or rig up a pulley system connected to a beam in the ceiling…


Ever think of assembling them in place…hummmmmmm? Get your eye bolts and hooks, put the verticals up and away you go…

did think of that. but how the ikea ones go together i dont think it would really work as you need to put in a row of verticals then a hortizontal, then another row of verticals, the verticals wont stay in place by themselves (damn gravity).


Pulleys rule…and would help if you ever wanted to move and take it with you.

Bummer, well then your best off with the block and tackle.

I helped a friend put one of these together last year, and they are not designed to be moved once assembled, other than some gentle shuffling around on the floor. Trying to hoist one fully assembled would probably end in tears and lots of shredded particle board – the corner connections are not designed to take much tension or rotation, and the unit gains most of its lateral stability from the cross-pieces.

I’d suggest building the second one in-place atop the first, tying the two main verticals to the wall as you go. Brackets about 2/3 of the way up should be about right. Probably wise to tie the lower unit to the wall near the top too, in case the extra load makes it rack sideways.

I put one together last year. You can’t move them with stuff on them, but a fresh one just built could be easily lifted by two people and placed carefully where you want it. The outside thick supports are laminated honeycomb, the thin sections are laminated partcle board.

If you’re really ambitious, you could attach solid wooden reinforcements on the back side, say 2-3 cm thick x however thick the main supports are, joining the two together. This would be done when both units are completed but still lying face down on the floor, and then tip the whole thing up into place.

Also, maybe you could try the thicker shelves with 4 openings in a row (lack?) and stack them horizontally instead. Or maybe a couple in conjunction with expedit?

I think it just depends how much hacking you’re willing to do. And like I said, I saw it done in a store display.

thanks for all the tips/suggestions. projects on a bit of hold for now as 3 bookshelves hold more than i expected and other projects are on the go.

if it happens though, ill be sure to post pics.