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How To Install Floating Shelves That You Built

Making your house a home is the most important thing you can do after you ensure that your house is safe. This means picking out the best furniture, hanging family pictures on the walls, and displaying all of your favorite things.

Install floating ShelvesView in gallery

When displaying your favorite things, you need to find the perfect shelves to do so. Floating shelves and really accent the items on the shelves without drawing too much attention to the shelves themselves. 

What Are Floating Shelves?

Floating shelves are shelves that are mounted on the wall without brackets. Or at least without visible brackets. There are many ways to mount floating shelves but the important thing is that only the self is visible.

It should look like boards magically floating above the ground when they are actually mounted on the wall. Glass and other transparent floating shelves can add to the magic, but today, we are sticking to the classics. 

How To Install Floating Shelves From Scratch

How To Install Floating Shelves From ScratchView in gallery

There are many ways to build and install floating shelves. You can build the shelves and then install them or for even more secure shelves, you can build and install the shelves at the same time. Let’s go over a way to do this.

Step 1: Build Your “E”

Step 1: Build Your "E"View in gallery

Since you can build this any way that you want, we will try to make the tutorial easy to follow no matter what type of shelf you build. You want to start with three short boards of the same length and one long one.

Using pocket holes and screws, drill the three short ones into the long board to create an “E” shape. The middle one should be centered and the other two should be drilled into the ends to be flush with the long one.

Step 2: Find Studs

Step 2: Find StudsView in gallery

You can do this either before or after you build the “E” but it can easily be done after. Using a stud finder is the easiest way to find studs. Although if you have experience, the knock and listen method also works.

Just be careful if you are not experienced as it is quite possible to mistake a hollow area for a stud. When this happens, you can create unwanted holes in the wall that need to be repaired with a  drywall repair kit. 

Step 3: Attach “E”

Step 3: Attach "E"View in gallery

Now after you have found and marked the studs, you can easily hang the E. Start off by marking where you want the shelf to be. Mark the wall and mark where you will add screws on the E. Use at least four screws.

After you mark the spots, pre-drill the holes to make things much easier and level. After you do, then you can screw the E into the wall and then ensure that it is level. If it isn’t, adjust as necessary, trying not to make extra holes.

Step 4: Add Bottom Plywood

Step 4: Add Bottom PlywoodView in gallery

Now it’s time to add the bottom of the shelves. This is an exciting step as the shelves begin to form. So start off by cutting your plywood to match the size of the shelves. Then, mark where the boards will hit on the bottom.

After you know where they will hit, you can glue that area and then clamp the plywood on both sides to the E-shape that is installed on the wall. Let it sit for as long as the bottle of wood glue or gorilla glue says.

Step 5: Attach Top And Bottom

Step 5: Attach Top And BottomView in gallery

This is actually a quite simple step. You can use screws or a nail gun just don’t use a hammer and nails as the pressure may affect the integrity of the half-built shelves. Start with the top board that you’ve chosen.

Attach it with your screws or nail gun and then attach the two side pieces. Be careful not to let the nails or screws hit each other, adjusting the places where you screw them in slightly when moving to the sides. 

Step 6: Attach Front

Step 6: Attach FrontView in gallery

This can actually be your last step if that’s what you choose. Attach the fronts just as you attached the sides. This is fairly easy with both a drill and a nail gun. Nail guns tend to leave a smoother finish for the next step.

But you can use screws just the same. If you do, consider using wood filler to smooth out the ends and sand it after the wood filler dries. This is a great way to get an even better finish than nails leave.

Step 7: Finish Shelves

Add a coat of paint 683x1024View in gallery

Now all that’s left is to finish the shelves. You can do this with paint or stain, it’s up to you. Just remember to lightly sand before you do finish so that the finish adheres better to the wood and it looks smoother. 

Alternatively, you can do something like whitewash or limewash. You can even get super creative and add wallpaper or tile. Just make sure you take the same measures you’d take when adding these to the wall or floor. 

How To Hang Floating Shelves

If you don’t feel like going DIY with your shelves, you can buy pre-built shelves and hang them. This is super easy and only requires a few steps, most of them included in the instructions that come with the shelves. 

Not all floating shelves hang the same. Some have mounting mechanisms that you install first and then slide the shelf over that mechanism. Others are screwed directly into the wall via pre-drilled holes. 

Best Amazon Floating Shelves

Though there are many places to buy floating shelves, one of the most reliable is Amazon. They rarely run out of inventory, they are available to everyone, and there are many options that can be shipped that same day.

BAMEOS Floating Shelves

If you only get one set of floating shelves and don’t want to think about the particular set, get this set. There are six alluring colors to choose from so you can be sure to find a color that suits your room.

They are easy to hang too, using the standard mechanism that is first installed to ensure that the shelves are secure. Then you slide the shelf right onto the bracket of sorts and you are good to go, with the bracket being hidden.

HOOBRO Rustic Floating Shelves

This set of shelves from HOOBRO is perfect for that farmhouse look. It adds a sense of magic and wonder to the rustic living room. There are three options available. Light, medium, and dark wood tones.  

The best part is that even though they look amazing, that doesn’t mean they aren’t practical. The shelves come with screws and anchors that work for concrete or drywall, so you can be set no matter what you have. 

BOMID White Crown Molding Shelves

Do you love crown molding? Then these shelves are for you. The white shelves look just like crown molding because they were inspired by crown molding. The set of two can be mounted any way that you like too.

So you can ensure that they go well with your crown molding. With these shelves, you just have to drill the anchors into the wall and then hang the shelves like a picture frame. It really is that easy with this one. 

Buhbo Metal Shelf

If you think that shelves can be commercial or industrial in the home and still look good, then think again. This thin stainless steel shelf looks great. You can hang it either way too, with the L facing down or up.

For mounting these, all you have to do is screw the screws into the pre-punched holes. Yep. That’s all there is to it and you can have a steel shelf that matches your stainless steel appliances perfectly. 

Minggoo Hanging Shelves

Some may call these shelves hanging shelves since they have a type of alternate bracket. But they still appear to be floating and fit under the category. They are truly more secure than most floating shelves.

This is fitting because they fit in-between most other things too. They have rustic wood paired with modern black metal. They really can fit any style and any room, especially since there are three color options.

Giftgarden Shelves

These shelves are cool for small objects that you want hidden or for objects that you don’t want to slide off. The lip gives a good edge so that the objects are secure. Perfect for your most prized display items.

There are four different sizes to choose from and each set comes with three shelves. Order to different sizes and get six shelves you can mix and match or stagger. This is a wonderful look that is hard to beat. 

Choosing Your Floating Shelves

White floating shelvesView in gallery

Now it’s time to find out exactly what kind of floating shelves you want in your home. The first thing you should do is decide where you want to put the shelves. This can help you decide what type to get.

Then, you need to decide if you want to completely DIY or buy shelves to float yourself. This isn’t an easy decision if you love to DIY but aren’t sure if you want to go for it this time. Just know that either way, they can look amazing.