How To Build Floating Shelves: A Comprehensive Guide

  • 5 min read
  • Nov 06, 2023
DIY Floating Shelves Little House On The Corner
DIY Floating Shelves Little House On The Corner from

Greetings, Ihsanpedia Friends!

Welcome to this step-by-step guide on how to build floating shelves. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or simply looking to add some stylish storage space to your home, this article will provide you with all the information you need. Building floating shelves is a great way to maximize space and create a sleek, modern look in any room. So, let’s get started!


Before we dive into the details, let’s first understand what floating shelves are. Unlike traditional shelves that rely on brackets or supports, floating shelves appear to be magically attached to the wall, giving them a unique and visually appealing appearance. They are a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers due to their versatility and the illusion of a clean, clutter-free space.

Building floating shelves may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, materials, and a little patience, it can be a rewarding DIY project. In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process, from planning and preparation to installation and finishing touches.

Now that you have a basic understanding, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of building floating shelves.


1. Maximizes Space:

Floating shelves are an excellent choice for small rooms or spaces with limited floor area. By utilizing wall space, you can free up valuable floor space and create an illusion of a larger and more open room.

2. Easy to Install:

Compared to traditional shelves, floating shelves are relatively easy to install. With the right tools and a basic understanding of carpentry, you can complete the installation process without professional help.

3. Versatile Design:

Floating shelves come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, allowing you to customize them to suit your style and needs. Whether you prefer a rustic wooden finish or a sleek, modern look, there is a floating shelf design to match your aesthetic.

4. Clean and Minimalist Look:

One of the main attractions of floating shelves is their clean and minimalist appearance. Without visible brackets or supports, they create a streamlined and clutter-free look, perfect for showcasing your favorite decor pieces or books.

5. Affordable Option:

Building your own floating shelves can be a cost-effective alternative to buying pre-made ones. By sourcing materials and investing your time, you can save money while adding a unique touch to your home.

6. Easy to Maintain:

Unlike traditional shelves with intricate designs, floating shelves are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Since they are attached directly to the wall, there are no hard-to-reach corners or gaps where dust can accumulate.

7. Adjustable Height:

With floating shelves, you have the flexibility to adjust the height according to your storage needs. This makes them ideal for displaying items of various sizes or rearranging them as your preferences change.


1. Weight Limitations:

One of the main limitations of floating shelves is their weight capacity. Since they rely on hidden brackets or support mechanisms, it is crucial to consider the weight of the items you plan to display. Overloading the shelves can lead to instability or damage.

2. Installation Challenges:

While the installation process is relatively straightforward, it may pose challenges for those without prior carpentry experience. Ensuring the shelves are level and securely attached to the wall requires precision and attention to detail.

3. Limited Depth:

Floating shelves are typically shallower than traditional shelves, which may limit their functionality for storing larger or bulkier items. It is important to consider the depth requirement of the items you plan to display before building floating shelves.

4. Wall Condition:

Before installing floating shelves, it is essential to assess the condition of your walls. Damaged or weak walls may not provide sufficient support, compromising the stability of the shelves. It is advisable to consult a professional if you have concerns about the structural integrity of your walls.

5. Time and Effort:

While building floating shelves can be a rewarding DIY project, it requires time, effort, and attention to detail. From planning and measuring to sanding and finishing, each step demands patience and precision.

6. Professional Help:

If you lack the necessary tools, skills, or confidence to build floating shelves, seeking professional help may be the best option. Hiring a carpenter ensures a high-quality and secure installation, giving you peace of mind.

7. Style Limitations:

While floating shelves offer versatility in terms of design, they may not suit every interior style. If you have a more traditional or ornate decor theme, floating shelves may not blend seamlessly with the overall aesthetic.

Table: Complete Information on How to Build Floating Shelves

Steps Description
1 Planning and Design
2 Gathering Materials and Tools
3 Measuring and Marking
4 Preparing the Shelves
5 Attaching Hidden Brackets
6 Installing the Shelves
7 Finishing Touches

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I install floating shelves on any type of wall?

Yes, you can install floating shelves on most wall types, including drywall, plaster, and concrete. However, it is essential to choose the right anchors or supports based on your wall material.

2. How much weight can floating shelves hold?

The weight capacity of floating shelves varies depending on factors such as the wall material, anchor type, and installation method. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight limits.

3. Do I need special tools to build floating shelves?

While basic tools such as a drill, level, and measuring tape are necessary, you may also need a stud finder, miter saw, and sandpaper for a smoother finish.

4. Can I paint or stain my floating shelves?

Yes, you can paint or stain your floating shelves to match your desired color or finish. It is recommended to apply a primer before painting and choose a stain that enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

5. How long does it take to build floating shelves?

The time required to build floating shelves depends on various factors, including your experience level, the number of shelves, and the complexity of the design. On average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

6. Can I use floating shelves in the bathroom?

Yes, floating shelves can be a stylish storage solution for bathrooms. However, it is important to choose materials that are resistant to moisture and humidity, such as waterproof paint or sealed wood.

7. How do I ensure my floating shelves are level?

Using a level and measuring tape, mark the desired height and position of your shelves. Double-check the measurements before attaching the brackets and make adjustments as necessary.


Building floating shelves is a rewarding DIY project that can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your living space. With careful planning, precise measurements, and attention to detail, you can create a stylish and practical storage solution that complements your decor. Remember to consider the advantages and disadvantages, gather the necessary tools and materials, and follow the step-by-step guide provided in this article. So, why wait? Start building your own floating shelves today!

If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below. Happy building!


Q: Can I install floating shelves without drilling into the wall?

A: While it is possible to find alternative installation methods such as adhesive strips or brackets that do not require drilling, it is important to consider the weight capacity and stability of the shelves. Drilling into the wall provides a more secure and long-lasting installation.

Q: Can I install floating shelves in a rented apartment?

A: Before installing floating shelves in a rented apartment, it is essential to review your lease agreement and seek permission from your landlord. Some landlords may have restrictions or require professional installation.

Q: Can I use floating shelves to display heavy items like books or kitchen appliances?