Learn how to install floating shelves with our simple guide
Installing floating shelves is a chic and stylish way of adding storage space to a room. They have a minimalist design — a shelf that looks as though it is magically hovering on the wall — and can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you want a new place to display photos, store some books, clothes, or even kitchen supplies, a floating shelf can be a wonderful addition to any room.
With the right tools, safety considerations and know-how, installing shelves is a perfectly achievable DIY task. Read on, and we’ll show you how easy it can be to install your own floating shelves.
To put up floating shelves, you’ll need the right brackets. High-quality Carinya Zinc Floating Shelf Brackets are perfect for the job. You can get them, plus the tools you’ll need, from your local Bunnings Warehouse.
Things you need to install floating shelves
Before you install your floating shelf, you will need the following tools:
- A spirit level
- A pencil
- Protection for your eyes, such as goggles
- A stud finder
- A drill
- A Phillips head drill bit
- 22mm spade head drill bit
Additionally, you’ll need the following materials:
- Floating shelf brackets
- A shelf
- Appropriate screws – recommend 5.5x50mm panhead screws
How to install floating shelves:
Installing your own floating shelves might sound daunting, but it’s actually one of the easiest DIY tasks you can do around the house. Learn how to install a floating shelf by following these four simple steps.
1. Mark a level line
First, you’ll need to take your spirit level and make a mark on the wall where you want your shelves to go. It’s vital to use the spirit level to make sure the shelf is flat — otherwise, the shelf won’t be much use to you! Use a pencil to mark a level line on the wall.
If fixing the shelf to a plaster wall, use the stud finder to find an appropriate location for the shelf. You can also use the stud finder to check for wires.
2. Drill some holes
Next, hold your bracket on the wall where you want it to go, and use your pencil to mark where the screw-holes are. Take the bracket down, and put it to one side. Then, you’ll want to drill some holes into the wall on the screw-spots you’ve marked. There are different ways to drill holes in a wall, depending on what material you’re working with. If it’s a cement wall, use plugs and a masonry drill bit. For a plaster wall, you can just drill into the stud.
3. Screw in the bracket
Hold the bracket up to the wall, lining up the holes you’ve drilled with the screw-holes on the bracket. Then, screw the bracket into the wall. Don’t screw it fully tight against the wall yet; leave yourself some wiggle room until all the screws are in place — then tighten all of them.
4. Fix the shelf in place
Slide the prepared shelf onto the bracket, and tighten any screws on the shelf that will keep it in place. Note: to prepare shelf for bracket installation, use a 22mm spade drill bit to carve out rebates of 76x20mm and drill 12mm holes at right angles for each bracket to sit in. Refer to our floating shelf bracket page for step by step instructions and how to video.
Safety considerations for your floating shelf
Stay safe when installing a floating shelf, and be aware of the possible hazards.
Safety when installing the shelf
Make sure to use all equipment safely and as directed, and wear protective glasses where appropriate. A power drill can be dangerous if used in the wrong way, and an incorrectly installed shelf can be hazardous.
Additionally, make sure you’re aware of any hazardous materials in your home before embarking on DIY work — beware of things like asbestos and lead-based paint. Also, ensure that you’re not drilling into any pipes or electrical wires.
Safety when using your floating shelf
Floating shelves look great, but they’re not as strong as some other shelves. Our zinc floating shelf brackets can support 9 kg per pair, including the shelf. If you’re looking somewhere to store your bowling ball collection, a floating shelf probably isn’t the right choice. However, you can check out our other brackets, some of which are able to support up to 200 kg.