How to Install a Floating Shelf

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How to Install a Floating Shelf

Floating shelves are an impressive way to install a shelf along a wall. From all angles, the shelf appears to hang on the wall without any supports. In actuality, the shelf is a sturdy alternative to a full shelving unit, and the shelves can be used singly or in multiples. Although homeowners can contract someone to install floating shelves for them, the job is simple enough that even beginners can handle it on their own.


Benefits of floating shelves

Floating shelves do not take up as much space as a traditional bookcase, and they look sleek and clean once installed. Because of the floating design, the supports are not visible from any angle. The shelves are strong, and able to hold everything from books and knick-knacks to small flat screen televisions.


Materials needed to install floating shelves

When installing floating shelves, it is important to make sure everything is on hand before the installation process begins. Although flat-pack floating shelf kits are available, it is just as easy for homeowners to make their own system from a hollow interior door and a few additional supplies. Some items to gather include:

  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • 2x4 and a hollow door without pre-drilled holes, or a floating shelf kit
  • Cordless drill and bits
  • Wall anchors
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush


Installing floating shelves

Using a floating shelf kit has the advantage of convenience, but it is not difficult to put together a homemade set of floating shelves. Many of the required supplies may already be on hand around the home, or are available for purchase at a local store.

Homemade shelves

Begin by locating the studs in the wall where the shelves will hang. Mark each spot indicated by the stud finder with a pencil mark, and then use a level to lightly draw a pencil line where the shelf is going. Measure the halfway point lengthwise on the door, secure it on a workbench, and cut it in half with a circular saw.

Next, measure the interior opening of the hollow door. Cut cleats from the 2x4 to fit that space, and secure the cleat to the wall with screws. If the purpose of the shelf is to hold heavier items, use wall anchors to give the screws more than just the studs to grip.

Cut away any interior cores within the shelf piece, and then dry fit the shelf to the cleat. Paint the door, if desired, with the desired paint colour. Apply wood glue to the cleat and to the interior opening of the shelf, and then slide the shelf over the cleat. Use finishing nails 15 centimetres apart on the top edge of the shelf to secure it to the cleat.

Shorter shelves

If shorter shelves with a hollow door are preferred, make sure to cut the door to length. Then, cut a 2x4 to fit the end and cover the new opening. Finally, use wood glue and secure with finishing nails. This technique works best for shelves that homeowners intend to paint.


Shelf kits

Shelf kits contain the shelves, screws or bolts to attach the brackets to the wall, and the necessary brackets. Use a stud finder to locate the studs, and a level to ensure that the shelf is even once mounted. Pre-drill holes for the screws before using wall anchors, especially if plans are include placing anything heavy on the shelf.

Attach the brackets to the wall using the screws provided, and then slide the floating shelves onto the brackets. If the kit includes any clamps, nails, or screws to secure the shelf to the bracket, make sure to put them in place. Test the shelf before putting anything weighty on it to make sure it is attached securely to the wall.


How to buy items to install a floating shelf on eBay

If you want to find a full kit to install floating shelves from sellers on eBay, be sure to search directly for "floating shelf kits". You can do this from the search box on any eBay page. Once you run a search query, sort through the available listings until you find the products you are looking for. If you are making your own floating shelves, search for individual items such as a hammer or paint brush. Do not forget that the knowledgeable sellers on eBay also have the tools you need for this job, such as levels and cordless drills.

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