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Share to PinterestHow to Install Floating Shelves
HomeDesign Ideas

How to Install Floating Shelves

By Habitat Staff Writer
Share to PinterestHow to Install Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a sleek, space-saving solution that add a modern touch to any room. Unlike traditional shelves, they don't require bulky brackets or supports, making them appear as if they're magically suspended in mid-air. This minimalist design not only saves space but also turns your wall into a stylish display area for books, plants, and your favorite décor. Installing floating shelves might seem daunting at first, but it's a surprisingly straightforward DIY project that can dramatically transform the look and feel of your home. With the right tools, a bit of planning, and some patience, you can install floating shelves that are both functional and visually appealing.


Choosing the right shelves

Share to Pinterestwooden Hexagon shelf and empty shelf, copy space, mock up, hexegon

The first step in installing floating shelves is selecting the right ones for your space. Consider the room's aesthetic and the items you plan to display. Shelves come in various materials, including wood, metal, and glass, and each has its own weight capacity. It's crucial to choose shelves that can support the weight of your items without sagging. Additionally, think about the length and depth of the shelves to ensure they fit your space perfectly.


Gathering your tools

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Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary tools on hand. You'll need a stud finder, level, drill, screws, anchors (for walls without studs), a pencil, and a tape measure. Having the right tools from the get-go isn't just convenient—it's essential for a smooth installation process.


Locating the studs

Share to PinterestMan using stud finder to locate framing studs located behind the walling surface. Using a wall scanner to identify hidden electrical wiring. Space for text.

For a secure installation, you need to mount your shelves to wall studs. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall and mark their positions lightly with a pencil. If you can't find studs or they aren't where you need them, you'll have to use wall anchors designed for your wall type (drywall, plaster, etc.) to ensure your shelves are securely mounted.


Marking and measuring

Share to PinterestMature woman using a spirit level and marking the wall with a pencil in her kitchen.

Once you've identified where your shelves will go, it's time to measure and mark the wall. This step is crucial for ensuring your shelves will be level and positioned exactly where you want them. Use your level and pencil to mark the drilling points, making sure they align with the studs or where you'll place the anchors.


Installing the bracket

Share to PinterestMan installing wooden shelves on brackets wall installing a shelf

The secret to a floating shelf's seamless appearance is its bracket, which must be securely attached to the wall. Drill holes at your marked points, insert the anchors if you're not drilling into studs, and then screw the bracket into place. Double-check that the bracket is perfectly level before moving on.


Placing the shelf

Share to PinterestMan installing wooden shelves on brackets

With the bracket in place, you can now attach your shelf. Slide it onto the bracket according to the manufacturer's instructions, ensuring it fits snugly and securely. For some shelf designs, you might need to screw the shelf onto the bracket from below for added stability.


Checking for stability

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After installing your shelf, give it a gentle tug to ensure it's firmly attached to the wall. It's better to discover any stability issues now, rather than after you've placed your valuable items on the shelf. If the shelf moves or feels unstable, double-check your bracket installation and make any necessary adjustments.


Decorating your shelves

Share to Pinterestminimalist floating shelf made of wood with books and a picture on it

Now for the fun part—decorating your new floating shelves! Balance is key when styling your shelves. Mix different textures, colors, and sizes to create an eye-catching display. Remember, less is often more. Avoid overcrowding the shelves to keep the focus on your favorite pieces.


Maintenance and care

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Floating shelves are low maintenance, but they do require occasional dusting and cleaning to keep them looking their best. Be mindful of the weight limits specified by the manufacturer to prevent sagging or damage over time. If you notice any issues, it's usually a simple fix to tighten screws or adjust the bracket.


Troubleshooting common issues

Share to PinterestMan's hand finger pointing to cracked wall in house. Building problems and solutions concept. Closeup.

Even with careful installation, you might encounter issues like uneven shelves or slight sagging. Often, these problems are due to the wall not being perfectly flat or the anchors not being properly installed. If your shelf isn't level, try adjusting the bracket or adding shims behind it for a better fit. For sagging, ensure you haven't exceeded the shelf's weight capacity and check that the bracket is securely fastened to the wall.

Floating shelves are more than just a place to store your things—they're a statement piece that can elevate the design of your home. By following these steps, you can install shelves that aren't just practical, but also add a touch of elegance to your space. Whether you're displaying a collection of books, showcasing your favorite plants, or creating a photo gallery, floating shelves offer a versatile and stylish solution. So, grab your tools, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to transform your walls into a curated display of your personal style.



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