Floating (substantial) shelves?

dmwbccDecember 31, 2010

Hi, I've got floors, cabs, counters, appliances, ect but STILL looking for floating shelves for uppers. I am flexible on width but depth needs to be 12".

At this point I'd consider any shelving as long as the depth is 12".

Any ideas?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been researching this for a friend.

Best I've found are here: http://www.ennospace.com/woodshop/index.php/wall-shelves/floating-shelves/12-deep-houston-floating-shelves.html but they never got back to me about how much load they can carry. I fear it's not enough for stacks of plates, etc.....

I also found lots of sites with how-tos for building custom ones. You may need to hire a carpenter to do that for you if you're not handy enough.

Here is a link that might be useful: 12

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just want to add that the same shelves are advertised on Amazon with a VERY bad review.... so maybe disregard them!!! Sorry about that.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Look at French Cleats?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 10:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you talk to Frigo yet? I chatted with them a while back about custom panels and found the woman there to be very helpful. They do custom work IIRC. Check out the pic of the concrete block on the floating shelf!

Here is a link that might be useful: Frigo

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As with anything, prior to reaching the physical limit, (in this case a mechanical limit), one must be prudent. Methinks your wall structure is the big thing. Blocking. Studs. How you attach to that frame under the drywall. French Cleats are good, but you still have to think about the crushing force when weight and leverage combine to compress the drywall under the lower edge of the shelf body. How much weight, how much leverage, hmm, that many inches.. hmmm...

Selling a product means keeping the product design well within those limits. The product could be poorly installed, by anyone anywhere, and then the finger-pointing blame game starts. It will drag you down for years, if you manufactured it or sold it.

Saying you want it to be floating = = means no visible bracket (or...?)

I think you are better off building your own. Easy as pie. Parts available everywhere.

One retailer that seems to care less than average if the homeowner messes up and tries to blame the store, is Ikea. It seems to me they have more confidence than average in their ability to be teflony. So, among all the things they sell, that you can't find in other stores, are some things that can seriously fail due to user installation error. I haven't bought their shelves that appear substantial, so I cannot say whether they "seem" great after being solidly installed. I have noticed that Ikea's latest products have returned to having a visible bracket : E.g.
The bracket is small and made to be as discreet as possible.

Look at this one:
This one is glass (so floating, but not "substantial")
Its base is elegant.
I bought a big one and a small one. It's impressive.
The base occupies more wall surface area and more height than an average "substantial" shelf, so the compression force is less.
Being made of glass, it encourages people to feel impressed when it holds a heavy weight.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the Pottery Barn floating shelves. They have 2 ways to hang them depending on if you are using studs or just the sheet rock. They have the weight limitations included in them . I have very heavy plates etc on them and have used them now for 4 1/2 yrs w/o failure. I weighed the stacks prior to placing them on the shelves. Here is a pic.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We put a floating solid walnut shelf (~82" long) over our buffet.

First, DH and a contractor friend installed 4 lag bolts (~1/2" x 10") into the studs, leaving 7-8" sticking out. Then they sawed off the heads of the bolts. *Note: make sure the bolts are screwed in so they are straight, and level coming out of the wall (they pre-drilled holes in the studs before screwing in the bolts, and they made sure to go in straight, and made the holes slightly smaller in diameter than the bolts).

They then held the shelf up to the bolts to mark the shelf in the correct spots. They used a big drill press, and bored holes into the shelf along the back edge (where they had marked). *Note: the holes needed to be slightly larger in diameter than the bolts.

Last, they aligned the shelf's holes with the headless lag bolts (sticking out of the wall), and slid the shelf onto the lag bolts. Very secure, very sturdy.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did custom powdercoated metal. I wanted them to run the entire length of the walls and I planned to stack all of my everyday dishes and select serveware so they had to be strong. They're strong enough to park a car on. They're attached with big metal T brackets to the studs behind the drywall. Then the shelf slid into the brackets and was also anchored to studs. They weren't inexpensive, but they're exactly to my own spec in terms of depth, thickness, color etc. They're a real focal point so it was worth the $ to me.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hi lolog72 - I'd love to see a picture of your shelves. It sounds like the t-brackets were installed prior to the drywall, and maybe the shelves went up before the drywall too? Hope you don't mind sharing a bit more about them!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, the T brackets and shelves had to be installed before the brackets. They actually shaved/routered a channel in the studs so the portion of the bracket that was screwed into the studs didn't bump out from the stus and thus bump out the drywall. I think there were 5 brackets for the expanse that was about 10'. Then the shelf slid onto the bracket and was also anchored to the studs in places... The shelves had a little lip top and bottom. Then the drywall went up and covered the lip and brackets so all you see is shelf. Here's a pic (if it works). I also did two more shelves on a smaller 6' wall above a desk area.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oops. Looks like I did that wrong. trying again...

Here's a pic before drywall went up. You can even see a bracket on the work table.

and finished kitchen...

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, that is a gorgeous kitchen! Nice work :)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks lolog! Cool to see the pre-drywall phase and then the final product. Those shelves turned out great, as did the whole kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are your floating shelves between 2 walls? If so, that's a bit easier. I'm pretty happy with ours-we used an L bracket installed into the studs and drywalled over. They are not completely invisible, but blend pretty well.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pps7- I love it! I will have a wall on one side and back. What do you think?

Thanks for great ideas all! As usual you've all helped a bunch!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 4:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our cabinetmaker made iron dowels that are bracketed to the studs to support floating shelves. The tilers tiled around the dowels. The shelves are MDF with fir veneer and have "tunnels" drilled in them for the iron dowels. I think the shelves will be very strong. They were designed to line up with the muntons of the adjacent double-hung windows (when they are closed).


    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

well said. Rods / dowels inserted into the studs, meeting matching tunnels in the shelves. Since the shelves are substantial, they are thick enough to be tunneled into.

Use something called a "drill press" to make the tunnels.

One thing you can do to make the rods, is a series of rods sticking out from a strip of metal which you bolt to studs. To see this, find
"jackww's ABSTRAKT White Kitchen" in ikeafans.com
probably here :
(Custom 'floating' shelving using welded brackets and sections of NUMERAR Oak counter finished with 3 coats of TUNG Oil)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is a "before" picture of the dowels projecting from the studs, with tiles laid over:

And here is an "after" picture of the fir shelves with some dishes already up. Our cabinetmaker also glued the shelves onto the dowels, which is probably overkill: barring earthquakes, they weren't going anywhere!

Great pictures of floating shelves in this thread!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please help me with my layout options. Again.
Hello! Several months ago I posted to get layout advice...
New to Kitchens? Read Me First!
Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you...
Soapstone with runnels: How are they holding up?
If you have runnels in your soapstone, could you tell...
The perfect pad for a kitchen runner!!
I use a 12' long runner in my kitchen. It is an old...
Induction cooktop > no slow cooker?
Can the low settings, timer and a good pot replace...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™