how to install floating shelves without brackets

Are you impressed with wall-mounted shelves that don't reveal any supporting hardware? It makes the whole thing look neat and pleasant to look at. So, “How to install floating shelves without brackets?” This article will have the answer for you!

Tools and Materials

  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • Finish nailer
  • Stud finder
  • Miter saw & table saw
  • Tape measurer
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Wood boards
  • Square dowels
  • Eye protection glasses

Instructions for Installing Floating Shelves Without Brackets

Installing floating shelves without brackets creates a neat look with no excess pieces of iron that cause unsightly aesthetics, opens up a larger visual space, and is the true love of those who love modern, minimalist style. Here's how to hang shelves without brackets:

Step 1: Determine the number of floating shelves

Based on the available space, your storage needs, the dimension of each floating shelf, and the desired distance, you can determine the feasible number of shelves that can be installed on the wall. Remember to consider whether you need to install more in the future!

Estimate the number of floating shelves you need
Estimate the number of floating shelves
Credit: Canva

Step 2: Measure the actual free space

If you place the floating shelf between two walls, then measure the distance between them with a tape measure and use a pencil to mark. Move near and far to get an overview and see if it's skewed!

Measure and mark the available space

Measure and mark the shelf installation space
Credit: ©PavelRodimov on Canva

Step 3: Proceed to cut wooden planks and square dowel

Measure and use a miter saw and table saw to cut wooden planks and complementary square dowels to the length you desire.

Measure and cut wooden surface and square dowel

Cut wooden surface and square dowel
Credit: ©Anastasia Shuraeva on Canva

Step 4: Start installing shelves

Measure and mark the position from the floor to the desired distance. Use a stud finder to find and mark studs in the wall.

Use a stud finder to seek and mark wall studs
Find and mark wall studs with a stud finder
Credit: ©tab1962 on Canva

Step 5: Glue and nail square dowels to the wall

To increase the sturdiness and stability of the shelf, apply wood glue to the surface that will be previously nailed to the wall. Use the ruler again to make sure the dowels are aligned before proceeding with the nailing.

Apply wood glue to square dowels
Apply wood glue before nailing it to the wall
Credit: ©ronstick on Canva

Step 6: Complete installation with wood board

Place the wooden board on top of the square dowels, add a little glue around the contact of both, and make final adjustments if there is any movement.

Place the wooden panel on the base
Complete installation by placing the wooden panel on the base
Credit: @pundapanda on Canva

Some Notes Related to Installing Floating Shelves

Throughout the process, from before to during installation and use afterward, there will be some notes for you as follows, to bring about the desired results.

  • Shelf selection: Choose sturdy, thick wood and your favorite color for the shelf to handle the intended weight without warping.
  • Weight distribution: Evenly distributes the weight of items on the shelf to avoid excessive pressure in one location, causing the shelf to warp, break, or collapse.
  • Distance between shelves: If you find it difficult to determine the distance between floating woods, refer to the rule of thumb. Most DIYers and interior designers choose 12 inches of space between each shelf, which can be increased up to 18 inches depending on need.
  • Seek help: If you're unsure about any aspect of the installation, consider getting help from others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of wood is often used to make hanging shelves?

The ideal wood for floating shelves depends on several factors, including the desired weight capacity, aesthetic pattern, and each person's budget. Hardwoods like oak, maple, or walnut are good for heavier loads and are also more expensive than softwoods.

Which locations and areas are floating shelves usually installed?

Floating shelves for the kitchen to store cups, plates, and spice jars

Use many floating shelves for the kitchen to store cups, plates, and spice jars
Credit: ©Keegan Checks on Canva

Floating shelves have flexible applications in many indoor locations, both indoors and outdoors. Some popular positions include:

  • Living room: Above fireplaces or TVs for displaying artwork, books, plants, or decorative items.
  • Kitchen: Above countertops for storing cookbooks, spices, or mugs.
  • Bathroom: Above the toilet or sink for toiletries, towels, or decorative accents.
  • Bedroom: Above nightstands for books, lamps, or small electronics.
  • Home office: Above desks for organizing files, books, or plants.
  • Entryway: Placed near the entrance to hold umbrellas, keys, wallets, or small stuff.
  • Outdoor patio or deck: For displaying plants, books, or decorative items.

Are there any special considerations for installing floating shelves in the bathroom or outdoor?

Bathrooms and outdoors are two areas that need more attention due to the impact of humidity.

  • Bathroom: Choose wood naturally resistant to moisture, like teak, mahogany, and cedar, or moisture resistant engineered wood like MDF with a water-resistant sealant. Besides, ensure bathroom ventilation to minimize moisture and prevent warping or mold growth.
  • Outdoor: Select weather-resistant wood like cedar, redwood, or pressure treated lumber. You can apply a high-quality exterior sealant for added protection against the sun, rain, and extreme temperatures. Consider using awnings or locations that minimize direct exposure to sunlight.

How to install floating shelves without brackets” is not as difficult as you think. With just a careful, specific plan and calculation and considering useful tips, you can create the floating shelves yourself as you want.

With Flowyline Design products, we are ready to answer all questions and support customizing table leg height according to your needs. Please contact us via email at customerservice@flowyline.com or call directly at 1 (323) 990-2487 for the earliest support.

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