If you’re working in improving your home, floating shelves are an elegant way of displaying relics, collectibles, photos, travel souvenirs, or other decorations. Most people are fond of these shelves since they feature this unseen mounting system that helps save place and acts as a functional home decor that floats on the wall.
If you are planning to engage yourself for a DIY job, then putting up a floating shelf is one of the simplest and most impressive DIY tasks that you can challenge yourself and easily achieve. Putting up a floating shelf may vary with how you want to use it, whether you want a book storage in your living room, a place to store your stuff for your home office, or space where you can display your pictures and other collections.
Before you start, here are some of the things that you need to consider:
- Think about the materials. It’s either you choose MDF (medium density fiberboard) or wood to make your floating shelves. MDF is more affordable and flexible to work with, but it needs to be finished and painted after construction. On the other hand, wood will look nicer and last longer, but more expensive. Regardless of which you’ll use, you can stain it, or go au-natural.
- Use a stud-finder and look for your preferred placement. You have to come up with a decision where you’d want to install shelves and check for studs. Determine also how many shelves you’d like to add. If you want a secured shelving, you can use a stud finder to check your wall to determine where studs are available. However, that’s not the only option you have. If you feel like you’ve found a stud you may able to use, you can conduct a test nail and check. If you notice that the nail goes through, you’re in a drywall. If you meet resistance, it’s sure that you’ve hit a stud. If you’re having the difficulty in locating studs where you can install the shelves, you can also use anchors as an alternative.
- Have the right anchor for the job. Butterfly anchors are used for drywall. For plaster, you can use hollow wall anchors. Go for an anchor rated to hold more than the weight of the shelf and the items you plan to put on it. You can up the ante if you plan to use the shelves to store other/heavier items later. Take note that if you’re installing in a stud, you don’t need anchors anymore.
After keeping those in mind, here is your checklist for the materials and equipment for installing your floating shelves:
- A shelf
- Floating shelf support brackets (1/3 longer than shelf width)
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
- Proper wall anchors
- Power drill
And finally, here are your steps for installing your floating shelves:
- Examine the Construction of the Wall. Check how the wall is constructed before you start, this will help you to identify what type of fixing you need to use. If the wall is made of solid brick or masonry wall, you will need wall plugs and for a plasterboard wall use worm-style fixings.
- Secure the Wall is Free of Cables and Pipes. Before you start drilling some holes, you can run over the area with a digital detector to guarantee if it’s free of any pipes and cables.
- Point Out Your Fixings. Determine the height that you like by holding the shelf bracket on the wall. Use a spirit level to make sure it is straight. Then, grab a pencil and mark the fixing hole positions. Double check your pencil markings are straight using the spirit level. Get a counterpunch and a hammer so you can make a small dent in the center of each mark, this will prevent your drill or screwdriver from slipping.
- Add Your Wall Fixings. Remember that this step may differ since it will depend on the shelf you are using and the wall you are mounting it on to. If you are drilling and using wall plugs to mount your shelf, drill a hole in the center of each pencil mark and then tap into your wall plugs with a hammer. Meanwhile, if you are using a worm-style fixing, you can cover the mark in Sellotape to stop plaster cracking and screw in your fixings.
- Attach the Bracket to the Wall. If you’re done drilling the holes into the wall, you can now screw on the blanket. Grip it into position and, using either a drill or a screwdriver and insert the screws where they are necessary, ensuring the bracket is tight to the wall.
- Slip on the Shelf Onto the Bracket. After your base is fixed securely, slide the shelf onto the bracket.
- Fasten the Shelf to the Bracket. On the bottom of the shelf, there will normally be fixings to ensure the shelf doesn’t slide off the bracket. Place the screws into these holes, screw upwards and the installation is done.