How to put up floating shelves

By on 17th April in Guides

Although Kindles and iPads are removing the requirement for the printed book, CDs and DVDs, having them creates a visual representation of your personality and adds an almost nostalgic feel to a room. In a world where everything is being done digitally, you can still keep your classic novels and have a modern looking home by using floating shelves to store them.

Now the question is, how do we make these fantastic shelves?

Floating shelves with accessories

Source: Nina Hale


  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Spirit level
  • Electronic wire & Pipe Detector
  • Drill
  • Screws or fittings – 40mm screw and plug for a light load, 50mm for a heavy load. You may want to use a 65mm screw if fitting to plasterboard.
  • Screwdriver
  • Bracket


  • Decide where you want the shelves to go. If you’re fitting multiple shelves, make sure the gap between them is big enough for what you want to store.
  • Use the detector to make sure the area you want to fit your shelves has no wires or pipes running behind where you will be drilling.
  • For floating shelves the screw holes will be hidden behind the shelf itself, so bear this in mind when positioning.
  • You will now need to fix the bracket or shelf mount to the wall. These can take a couple of different forms – it either has fittings that slot into the shelf itself or is just a slice of wood that fits into the back of the shelf.

bracket for floating shelves

  • With the spirit level, mark with a pencil where the screws need to go into the wall. They should be about 20-30mm in from the edge (or, if prefabricated shelves, the bracket will have holes or check the instructions).
  • Once the marks are made, drill holes into the wall about 45mm deep, fit the necessary wall fitting and screw the bracket onto the wall. Check it is level with the spirit level.
  • It should then be a simple case of mounting the shelf onto the bracket, ready to hold your books, CDs and DVDs.

You can apply this method to most types of shelving and create all sorts of unique designs for floating shelves. Here’s a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Honeycomb shelves


floating shelves with wine and beer glasses


Floating zig-zag shelf



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