Bookcase Buying Guide
People use bookcases for a number of reasons including adding more storage to a room or adding decorative elements that are functional as well. There are dozens of options available to choose from. We have listed some of the more common styles of bookcases below along with their characteristics.
- Standard Bookcase – These workhorses are usually made of MDF or wood and have a closed back frame so nothing can fall off the back. They also have adjustable shelving or shelves that are evenly spaced and fixed.
- Ladder Bookcase – These bookcases are unique in design and are made to lean against the wall. They have “step” style shelves that are largest on the bottom and get smaller as you move toward the top of the unit.
- Corner Bookcase – These shelves make great use of corners. They are built at a right angle.
- Etagere’ – This type of shelf is more delicate than standard bookcases. The back is open and in many cases it will have glass shelves. It is often used for displaying collectibles and other items you want to feature.
- Cube Bookcase – cube bookcases can have divisions vertically or horizontally. This creates a cubby-like design that is perfect for using as storage baskets, toy shelves and garage organization. Many people will place wicker baskets inside the cubes for a different kind of pulled together look for the kids’ rooms or bathroom.
- Scaffold Bookcase – This type of bookcase looks just like its name indicates. It has two ladder like side supports with shelving in between.
The size of the bookcase you choose is very important. This will determine how much space you get and how those shelves will look. The following points are what you need to consider when you are researching different bookcases.
- Bookcase Height – The majority of bookcases are going to be between 3 and 8 feet tall. The more expensive type of bookcase very tall and will fill up the space it is placed. Tall bookcases can be narrow and just take up a space about 2-3 feet wide or they can be much wider, 5 or 6 feet wide and take up a significant portion of the wall.
- Bookcase Width – Choose a bookcase where the width is relative to the height. If you prefer tall cases, get several that you can move around for different looks. If you prefer shorter bookcases, look for wider ones that are more substantial.
- Depth – The common depth of most bookcases is going to be 12”. This allows plenty of storage room on the shelves for your belongings. If it is ladder-style, the shelves will be narrower than a standard bookcase.
- Shelf Spacing – adjustable height shelves offer more flexibility for your belongings but if you know the spacing between fixed shelves you should be okay.
- Double check the space you have to work with before you choose your bookcases. You should measure the area where you want to put them to ensure that you don’t purchase a bookcase that doesn’t fit the space you have to work with.
- Some styles of bookcases include doors. This can be good for important books that you want to keep dust from building up or to protect important collectibles. The doors can be made of glass or made of wood. Wood doors do a better job of hiding items that you would prefer no one see.
Bookcases are available in a variety of different materials. The most common ones are listed below.
- Particle Board – bookcases made from particle board or MDF are the more budget conscious choice. You shelves will have some weight restrictions so make sure you know what those are. MDF or particle board bookcases will not last as long as solid wood or metal choices.
- Metal Bookcase – Metal bookcases offer sturdy storage capability with a lot less bulk. It is a great look for those who like contemporary décor. Metal bookcases are available in a variety of finishes.
- Wood – Wooden bookcases are the most popular choices that offer many different designs and options. Wood is a great choice for standard bookcases since it can hold a lot of weight per shelf. The other benefit to wood is the variety of wood choices that are available, from pine to oak to maple.
Bookcase Buying Tips
There are several tips that you can use to shop around for the perfect bookcase for your needs. We have listed these tips below so you will have a more enjoyable shopping experience.
- Where are you putting the bookcase? – Where you want to place the bookcase is very important. You will want to measure that space to ensure the bookcases you are considering will fit where you intend to put them. Measure height, width and depth of the spaces you want filled so you can compare that with the dimensions of the bookcases you like.
- How will you use it? – What are you going to be putting on your bookcase? Books? Toys? Tools? Do you need it for the office or living room? What you will be doing with the bookcase will play a part in the type of bookcase you choose. You will need to make sure that the shelve can handle the weight you need.
- Do you have a budget? – If you want to keep your cost down below a certain amount, you will be able to eliminate many choices based on your budget. You don’t have to choose the most important bookcases, but you definitely don’t want to buy cheap either. A well constructed wooden bookcase can last decades.
Bookcases are very popular pieces of furniture that provide extra storage and visual appeal. They are used for anything from storing books to holding food in a pantry. With all of the different choices available it can be really tough to choose one style that you like and that’s it.
The beauty of bookcases is that you can never really have too many. They are designed to create extra storage so you could technically add a different style to every room in the home and add storage and style to the whole house.
Remember that you should determine what you need the bookcases for and how many you need before you start you research. Take a look at the three top rated bookcases we have featured above to see if any of those appeal to your preferences. They are attractive well designed, quality bookcases that provide a lot of style and storage.
With the right information, you will not struggle to understand what you need to do to choose the perfect bookcase for your home. The hardest part will be deciding on the right style from so many unique and interesting options.
- Altra Lawrence – http://www.altrafurniture.com/eng/Products/Office/
- South Shore – https://www.southshorefurniture.com/ca-en
- Stony-Edge – https://stonyedge.com/