How to plan for floating shelves

Leverage your walls for additional storage with our quick guide on all types of floating shelves

The elegant design and simple lines of floating shelves makes them extremely popular. Traditionally, floating shelves come with no visible supports, giving the impression that they are an extension of the wall and as such ‘floating’ in the air.

The ‘box’

A wooden frame, usually made from MDF or engineered wood, is mounted on to the wall with screws. The frame looks like a comb where the ‘spine’ is attached to the wall and 3 or 4 ‘teeth’ form the support for the shelf. A ‘cover’ or hollow box made from hardwood is then slipped on to the frame and attached with the help of screws. Extremely sturdy and a little bulky, these are great for adding recessed lights as the wiring gets hidden in the hollow box.

The 'sleek'

Ready-made versions of the ‘box’ shelves with a metal back-plate or brackets. Being the most popular style, these floating shelves are available in a multitude of shapes and sizes from plain horizontal slats and corner shelves to hexagonal, cube and circular ones all of which are attached to the wall by hidden mounts.

The 'invisible'

This kind is made from ‘L’ or ‘U’ shape, powder-coated thin metal plates. The base of the ‘U’ or the spine of the ‘L’ is attached to the wall with the help of screws. These are best used as book shelves as when you place the books on them, the shelves are completely hidden and the books look like they are floating on the wall. Keep in mind weight restrictions that vary according to the size of the shelf.

The ‘L’ shape

The ‘L’ shape aren’t completely invisible but make for a great décor accessory. Usually made from wood, the spine of the ‘L’ is mounted on the wall with the base forming the shelf.  

The 'adjustable'

This kind comes with channels that are vertically mounted on to the wall. The shelves can then be placed horizontally at varying heights and adjusted whenever you want. The mounting hardware isn’t completely hidden so choose those that blend well with the décor.


Written By: Nadezna Siganporia

Contributing Writer

27 September 2017

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