How to Make Floating Shelves Part of Your Home Design

Floating Shelf Guide 1200 x 657 px

Looking for ways to increase your home organization? Do you have a smaller space that tends to clutter up quickly? Do you want to organize your belongings but also want to make sure to keep a stylish aesthetic? One wonderful answer to all of these questions is floating shelves. Floating shelves can be used in a wide range of ways but one thing is always true – they have an impressive appearance. Whether you want to create more organization or you are looking for ways to incorporate more decor without the use of large furniture, you may want to consider adding floating shelves to your home!

There are a variety of ways you can utilize floating shelves or floating shelf hardware in your next DIY project. You can create a floating shelf using the material of your choice and adding sturdy installation hardware, or you can buy a complete kit with the shelf and mounting hardware included. Osborne offers both of these options for you.

What floating shelf kit should I buy?

There are so many options available for floating shelves online and we also have a variety of designs to choose from. How do you determine which one is right for you? Of course, you want to do a little research to ensure the the manufacturer is of acceptable quality. Then, you can narrow down the selection by size.

Floating Shelf Guide Sizing

Our shelving includes three different floating shelf kits. Our main floating shelf kit is part #8919 and it is available in three different widths (22”, 34” and 46”). Each of these shelves has an 8” depth and 1 ¾” thickness. A sturdy metal wall mounting system is included and the wooden shelf will be sanded, and ready-to-finish.

Another option provides more depth – our Large Floating Shelf (part #8918). This shelf is 24” wide, 10 ¾” deep and 3 ⅛” thick. It has a recessed channel on the back which accepts the metal wall bracket included with the kit.

An additional kit option is our Slotted Insert Shelf (part #8917) which is 24” wide, 8” deep and 1 ¾” thick. Instead of using metal bracket hardware, this shelf features a wooden mounting piece with a level and dowels that can be attached to the wall and then the shelf can be secured onto the mounting piece.

Can I just buy the floating shelf hardware and use my own shelving material?

If you are interested in creating a more custom piece, you may want to check out our hardware options. We have a Floating Shelf Metal Bracket (Part #89181), as well as two sizes of Floating Shelf Bracket Kits (a 1” wide with several lengths available, and a 1 ½” wide with several lengths available). These brackets can be used in your build with whatever material you prefer for the actual shelving unit. Incorporate live edge slabs for a truly unique look or you can even create larger builds such as floating nightstands, like we did in this video below. The possibilities are endless!

How do I install a floating shelf?

Once you have determined what type of shelves you want, how many shelves will be installed and the sizes that you will need, you can source your materials and finish the shelves (if needed) so that they are ready for installation. There are several tips to keep in mind prior to installation:

  1. Keep note of the amount of space available as you would like to keep plenty of gaps between each shelf. If you are installing the shelves in a straight line or creating a staggered effect, the space required will differ. It is often recommended to keep a gap of at least 11” and at most 18” between the shelves for appearance and functionality purposes.
  2. Shelves are often seen at eye level which can be, on average, around 5” above the floor. If you are hanging shelves above furniture or countertops, you will want to keep a distance of at least 10” above the surface (this distance can go all the way up to a maximum recommendation of 24”).
  3. Floating shelves may appear like they have no support but they are heavy duty storage options. At the minimum, install the floating shelf brackets into at least one stud within the wall. Foregoing wall studs will not guarantee shelf stability.
Floating Shelf Guide Infographic

How do I decorate my floating shelves?

One of the best things about floating shelves is their versatility. Not only can you add aesthetically-pleasing shelves to your space, but you can use those shelves to highlight some of the things most important to you or as a way to organize your belongings. What you use the floating shelf for is highly dependent on the location of the shelf. Here are some common use cases:

Floating shelves in the kitchen

Not only can floating shelves act as beautiful design elements within your kitchen space, they are also incredibly functional. Use these shelves to display some of your favorite kitchen decor pieces, picture frames or plants. These are also useful surfaces to organize spices, condiments, tableware, containers and more.

Floating shelves in the living room

A great way to elevate your personal living space is by adding floating shelves. These do not take up a lot of space and can be used to showcase your favorite things. Items often seen on these shelves include picture frames, plants, decorative signs, candles, and other decor pieces.

Floating shelves in the pantry/laundry room

A pantry or laundry room can never have enough storage space which is why you want to take advantage of every corner of the room. Floating shelves can be added above your washer, dryer, sink, countertop and more where cabinetry is not feasible. Use these shelves to house your laundry essentials or dry goods.

Floating shelves in the bathroom

Bathrooms are often the most functional if they are kept simple with little clutter. If you want to add extra storage or decor without creating a cluttered look, floating shelves are a handy tool. These can be used to house towels, soaps, tissues, and other toiletries. They can also hold a few decor pieces that can help liven up the bathroom space such as plants, baskets and signs.

Floating shelves in the bedroom or office

Make your bedroom or office a truly personalized space with floating shelves. The shelves are incredibly useful because they can be placed on the wall out of the way of your main furnishings (beds, dressers, desks and nightstands). They provide a great opportunity to keep important things easily accessible and in view. You will often see several framed photographs, books and mementos in these areas along with other decorative items.

Custom Shelving Options

If you are looking for a shelving option that is not available in our current inventory, we would love to discuss a custom design. Reach out to our customer service team or submit a free custom quote to learn more!

© All rights reserved, Osborne Wood Products, Inc