Poll: Where to place floating shelves

brightmAugust 21, 2014

The bricks are about 3.5"h, with grout, about 4".




DH said whatever.
He actually said just make sure that whatever you plan to put on them fits. But what I was planning to put on them evidently isn't what he was planning to put on them. I was thinking the lower one for everyday dishes (which are very nice) and the upper one for more pretty bowls/casseroles. All he envisions is these three pretty casseroles (which we didn't even have when the reno started, so I don't know what his plan was at that time). I've looked at the bookshelves I've been using for things during the reno and I think at least 10" between shelves, but 12" is better, so that's 3 bricks. Or in this case, 2 full bricks and 2 half bricks. If you think I should put one in the lowest position and one in the highest position, let me know. We'll call that C.

And I think I'm leaning towards A now that I've lived in the kitchen for a bit with no shelves. I'm worried that the shelves will feel 'imposing' above the counter. I think the higher position will lessen that.

(please ignore the fact that I can't draw straight lines in photobucket)


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Where do the bottoms of your upper cabinets fall? Usually 16-18" above the counter is a good place to start and for a cohesive look this might be your answer.

I agree 12" between is better but it depends on how tall your plate stacks are - might feel too big if the whole stack only reaches 6" or something.... maybe stack up all the things you're planning on putting on that shelf on the counter, and then hold a board above at 10" and then again at 12" and see which looks better?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:25AM
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If you HAVE to go for it, my vote for 2. The height of the items on the top shelf could be more than the left window otherwise, which will upset the visual symmetry.

BUT -is there any way you can do without them? They are not really going to hold much other than quick grab cups and bowls while taking away from your lovely clean BS.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:26AM
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I think A is too high for comfortable use, and actually think its too high visually anyway. So I'd vote for B.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Another vote for B. I think shelves will look really good there.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I think B, as well. Is that about 18" above the counter? If so, that's where an upper cabinet would be.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far. Like I said, not entirely sure what will go on the shelves. But I hadn't thought about the fact that, if I went with A, the stuff on the shelves could be above the windows. That's a great point. I'm now leaning towards B.

Here's a pic showing the cabinet on the other side of the over-sink window. It should be getting it's light rail today...if he shows up.

Sorry, with the junk to the right, it's hard to see the bricks. But you can see the bottom of the cabinet is in the middle of the second brick above the window sill. I wouldn't want the floating shelves that low, I wouldn't think. I think I want them at least one brick higher. That would be B. (I think).

Another option, given the fact that we're not sure (or at least not in agreement about) what will go on them, I could just mount one. But you usually see things like this in twos. I actually HAVE 3 of them because of a miscommunication about what was received and not received. I will be finding somewhere else in the house for the one. I could just as easily find another place for two.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:33PM
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I would put the lowest shelf at the same height as the bottom of the cupboard.

When I look at the wall I see a jumble of elevations. I see the bottom of the cupboard, the bottom of the window, the window divider, the plug, the change of the counter, the bottom of a second window and another window divider and already 2 different window heights as well. (they couldn't have been made the same height?).

So, same height as the bottom of the cabinet and hopefully (please tell me so) same stain as the cabinets. And the second shelf around 12" above the first. (but measure your stuff first)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 1:01PM
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My vote is 2 shelves, B. Happy to vote again if you mock up Blfenton's suggestion.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 1:23PM
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I also think the lower shelf should be the same height above the counter as the cabinet on the right. IMO it won't look too low. If you had opted for a cabinet there instead of shelves it would have been the same height as the one on the right. I think if it is a just little bit higher than the bottom of the cabinet like your line shows in picture 2, it might look like you made a mistake with you measuring. Picture 1 definitly looks too high.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Ha, this sounds exactly like the conversation we had with our shelves! ;)

Anyway, just measured ours because I was curious. Bottom of lower shelf is 21" off the counter, and bottom of upper shelf is 33" off the counter (and shelves are an inch thick, so I guess that's 11" apart, more or less?) I think we set them at that height because originally our stand mixer was going to go underneath, but it's since moved. However, we still have a fruit basket that takes up the full height below it, so it hasn't been bad to have the lower shelf up that high, and has never felt particularly out of reach.

We don't have upper cabinets on the wall with our shelves, though, and in your case I think I might line the lower shelf up with the bottom of the cabinet, as someone suggested. The key (at least for us) to not having the shelves feel like they're looming has been the depth, more than the height. Ours are 11" deep so a lot less intrusive than the 16" deep upper that was there in the old kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:16PM
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Agree with blfenton and had earlier noticed all the elevations. As for what to put on them, I'd put glassware since it's close to the DW and you'd have to trot glasses over to the wall cabinet in twos. Most people don't put glasses in drawers.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Stick a couple of cardboard boxes up there for a while to get a feel for the heights and what you might want in them.

I'm still opting for B, because it's closest to your cabinet height.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:52PM
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Well, the cabinet guy's truck broke down, so the decision is delayed 'til who-knows-when. Sigh. I may try some cardboard. You think I can get enough blue tape going to suspend it?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:18PM
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I am no help at all in regards to your question, but this made me snigger:

" All he envisions is these three pretty casseroles (which we didn't even have when the reno started, so I don't know what his plan was at that time)."

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:09PM
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What type of support is your cabinet guy planning to use?

Seems like a tricky install if you are planning on putting all that much on those shelves

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:46AM
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The shelves are rated by the manufacturer at 15lbs per sq foot (off the top of my head). They're 13" deep and 33" long, so we'll definitely be fine putting the casseroles on them, as DH suggests. Other things we considered were some Le Creuset pieces and heavy-ish mixing bowls. And while they'd probably be within the manufacturers guidelines, it sounds scary. I think that was DH's fear with our dishes. But we'll put them up and see what we think.

Initially, they had the installer and me baffled. I read the spec book again and something I saw made me realize there's a cleat that we couldn't tell was a cleat. It's wedged in nice and tight. We pryed it out.

You mount the cleat to the wall with whatever appropriate mounting methods would be (in this case for masonry) and then the shelf slides onto the cleat.

Since we're not putting dishes on them (maybe), I do wish they were less deep. I think.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:16AM
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I would love to see a picture of the cleat if you could snap one

And also who made the shelf?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:10PM
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ajc71 - Ours are packed away since the cabinet guy is coming who-knows-when. The cleat is similar to the one shown in the link below, I think it's photo 3 or 4.

The shelves are from our cabinet co. - Innermost. It's an Elkay product, frameless and exclusive to HD. It's the same as Design Craft via independent KDs I'm told. Other Elkay lines may have the same shelves. If you go to the Innermost or Design Craft sites (easily googleable) they show them in several inspiration kitchens.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to build floating shelves

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Also, I put this in my FP thread too, but I'm glad I pulled out the Cuisinart before I decided to mount the shelves too low.

It's 17.5" high and that's higher than the cabinets will be once they get their light rail. So the shelf will definitely go higher in case I want to keep the FP there.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:34PM
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