Jeff7 wrote:I suggest using metal shelves, or shelves that are at least reinforced with metal. In my experience, particleboard shelves will warp over time, under the simple weight of what they were allegedly designed to hold. Some of the cheaper ones will warp under nothing more than their own weight.
Can you suggest specific brands? I'm not sure what I'm looking at on Amazon, and official metal library shelves cost 6-8 times as much as a Billy.
I'm afraid it was more of a general recommendation.
I use steel wire shelf sets
for shelving needs (storage, or recently, for my collection of succulent plants), or in one case, I built a shelf set out of an old waterbed frame, which was made of cherry wood. That turned out quite well, and each shelf was strong enough to hold my own weight.
The downside of those wire shelf sets is that each shelf is held in place by plastic "sleeves."
A rib on the inside fits into a groove on the post, and the compressive force of the shelf pushes that rib firmly into place. But...it's still just a thin plastic rib holding up everything, though I've yet to have any problems. Still, drilling a hole and driving a screw through would certainly hold them in place very securely.
For storing books, I suggest laying down some kind of flat surface on the wire racks - for this, laminated particleboard would work fine. Storing books on the wires will likely result in indentations forming in the edges of the book covers.
Another option for particleboard shelves: Drill and countersink some holes, and add some reinforcement to the underside of each shelf
. Your allowable weight per shelf will still be limited by whatever is securing them to the sides, but they'll at least be resistant to bowing.
I found these shelves
on Amazon.com. They look sturdy and are highly rated. Right now I have 25-year old IKEA shelves. They are sagging and may collapse soon.
25 years? Impressive.
Most of the particleboard furniture I've seen or used lately will be visible sagging within 2 years.