Stylish floating shelves are a space saver that adds contemporary or traditional storage to a room. A properly installed floating shelf can hold plenty of weight, and eliminates the need for the extra cost of using brackets for support. Without the need for shelf brackets that can make the room look too busy, floating shelves create a clean look, adapting to any style with elegance and subtlety.
A floating shelf can be made with little effort. Depending on how much weight the shelf will hold, the installation may be a simple set of drywall anchors through a flat wall bracket, or require extra steps for the installation of multiple shelves for a large section of wall.
For a shelf that is going to display pictures or collectibles, or even store some light books, a store bought floating shelf can be used. It comes with drywall anchors and a bracket that fits flush with the wall. Simply attach the bracket where you want the shelf, and slip the floating shelf onto the bracket.
For shelves that will hold considerably more weight, a framing structure should be erected. This is simpler than it sounds, and amounts to fitting 2×4 ledgers to the wall for additional support. The 2×4’s will be cut to the same length as the shelves, and must be mounted onto the studs, which can be found with a stud finder. For best results, adhere the 2×4 to the wall with construction grade adhesive. From here, shelves can be added from plywood, and directly attached to the ledgers with more glue and a nailing gun.
Another option is to cut a hollow core door into shelf-sized pieces. These doors are surprisingly inexpensive at home improvement stores, and one door can yield several shelves. When using this method for creating floating shelves, paint the shelves first and covered the exposed edges with wood trim. For an easier to clean shelf, purchase laminate to cover the shelves. This is also helpful to protect the surface of the shelf from scratches and dings.
For an invisible version of these shelves, there are two great options: black floating shelves, which add a monolithic quality to the space or a powerful accent, and floating glass shelves, which put all the emphasis on the objects being displayed.
For large floating shelves being built to hold very heavy objects, purchase solid wood or plywood for best results.