How Deep Are Floating Shelves?

A floating shelf is durable, easy to construct, and only has two sections. It also has no apparent support. They're also sturdy despite the lack of visible support. But how deep should floating shelves be? Here is what we found from researching this topic.

Floating shelves are typically 10" to 12" deep. You might opt for 10" if you use floating bookshelves. While for floating kitchen shelves, 12" is the best choice since most kitchenware is 12" or less deep.

But let's get to know what a floating shelf is and what factors should you consider should you want to have these shelves. How much weight do floating shelves hold? How high should you put your floating shelves? And how to install them? Read on to know more.

Empty wooden shelf on old brick wall texture, How Deep Are Floating Shelves?

What Are Floating Shelves?

A floating shelf is mounted to the wall but has no visible support. To keep in place, they need some internal hardware such as brackets.

minimalist floating shelf made of wood with books

These brackets normally include at least two rods on the interior that support the shelves. The brackets slide into position through perforations in the shelf casing. The shelf is then fastened to the wall with screws hidden beneath the shelf.

A simple cleat that is mounted directly to the wall and a hollow box that fits snuggly over the cleat make up floating shelves.

What Factors Should You Consider In Choosing Floating Shelves?

In choosing the best floating shelf for you, you need to look into these factors first:

  • Weight it needs to hold
  • Material durability
  • Shelf color
  • Cost
  • Space for the shelf

How Much Weight Do Floating Shelves Hold?

There are several factors determining the weight a floating shelf can hold. It usually depends on how the shelf is hung as well as the material used to construct it.

The flimsiest shelves can only hold 25 lbs, while the most durable shelves can support up to 100 lbs or more.

How To Make Your Floating Shelf Hold More Weight?

When choosing a floating shelf that is durable, you must keep these things in mind:

  • Know how much weight you'll need to float and what the shelf's size should be to fit everything on it comfortably.
  • Only float as deep as you require. You will lose weight capacity if you go deeper than necessary.
  • The more rods you have the more weight your shelf can hold.
  • Increased screws into studs or blocking equal more weight capacity on the floating shelf.

Why is material durability important?

When purchasing a floating shelf, be certain that it is built of a long-lasting material. Certain materials are unable to withstand the excessive weight and will crack or snap if large objects are placed on them.

Consequently, choose what you want to put on the floating shelf before purchasing it. Wood and steel are the most durable materials for shelves.

How To Install Floating Shelves?

loating wooden shelf with a big ceramic jug of pink pastel flowers

Installing floating shelves can be done in three ways:

  • using floating shelf brackets,
  • by utilizing cleats, or
  • by placing figure-eights.

How To Install Floating Shelves Using Shelf Brackets?

To do this, you must follow these steps:

  1. Locate your wall studs using a stud finder.
  2. Mark the wall and drill a hole to where you'd like your shelf to hang.
  3. Place and secure the bracket to the hole.
  4. Level the second bracket to your first.
  5. Using a drill, insert the second bracket and tighten it.
  6. Measure the distance between each bracket with a ruler.
  7. Drill holes in your shelf for the brackets.
  8. Remove any dust from the shelf's holes and slip it onto the brackets that have been put in the wall.

Remember to ensure that the distance between the two brackets does not exceed the length of your shelf. Also, when drilling the bracket hole, be careful not to go too deep.

And always check the label on the package of the brackets to ensure that the thickness and depth of the shelves are appropriate for the brackets you've chosen.

Click here for this bracket on Amazon.

How To Make And Install A DIY Floating Shelf Using Cleats?

Three decorative wooden, floating, hexagon wall shelves, with decorative plants

If you're up for some DIY, you can follow these steps to install a floating shelf:

  1. Cut boards to desired shelf size.
  2. Cut the spacers to fit your shelf.
  3. Drill pilot holes through the longer spacer.
  4. Put glue to the shorter spacer.
  5. Secure spacers with wood screws.
  6. Layout and assemble the shelf boards.
  7. Cut the cleats that will support your shelf.
  8. Prepare and assemble cleats.
  9. Find wall studs using a stud finder.
  10. Mount the cleat to the wall studs.
  11. Finish off by mounting and fixing the shelf to the cleat.

How To Install Floating Shelves Using Figure-Eights Fasteners?

Another way to hang your floating shelves is by placing figure-eights. But what are figure-eights? These clever tiny fasteners are used to secure table and desktop aprons. They are, however, a useful solution for floating shelves.

To install, you can follow this guide:

  1. Locate your wall studs.
  2. Measure the distance between studs.
  3. Mark and measure the location of your figure-eights on the shelf.
  4. Fasten the figure-eight to the shelf with a screw.
  5. Mark the wall to know where to put the shelf.
  6. Align the shelf to the mark you have previously drawn.
  7. Drill the screw to the fasteners.

Click here for this product on Amazon.

How High Should Your Floating Shelves Be?

Wooden floating shelves in a modern kitchen space

The height at which your floating shelf should be situated depends on where you want it to be used.

For example, the ideal height between the counter and lower shelf of your kitchen floating shelves can range from 28 to 23 inches. In addition, your lower and higher shelves are recommended to be 15 inches apart.

Here are some recommended heights for specific floating shelves use:

  • Above a desk, the shelf height should be between 22 and 24 inches.
  • A toilet shelf should be around 2 feet above the tank.
  • Floating shelves above couches should hang 10 inches from them.
  • Hallway floating shelves are placed 5 to 6 feet from the floor.
  • For shelves located in dining or living rooms, 4 to 4.5 feet high is ideal.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Floating Shelves?

If you are still undecided to opt for floating shelves, here are some benefits of using them in your home to help you decide:

  • Floating shelves add extra storage space to your home.
  • For their aesthetic appeal, many homeowners choose floating shelves. These shelves have a minimalist design thanks to the hidden brackets that wrap around the panel.
  • Floating shelves feature a simple but effective design that can be beneficial in almost any environment.
  • These shelves also utilize unused spaces, such as corners, in your home.

What To Do With Floating Shelves?

Here are some design ideas you might use for your floating shelves:

Recessed Floating Shelves

Equip alcoves, niches, and bays with floating shelves that span the recess's rear wall to give the appearance of built-in bookcases.

When choosing shelves, keep proportion in mind. Large and deep niches require thick shelves, but shallow, narrow niches require slimmer wood, metal, or glass shelves.

Storage Floating Shelves

In almost any room, properly placed shelves make things easier. Place them within arm's length of a desk chair or in a location where they can be accessed while standing.

Floating Kitchen Shelves

Floating shelves not only add storage to your kitchen, but they also allow you to put items exactly where they're needed. Open shelves allow grab-and-go storage for daily dishware in the kitchen area. For quick breakfasts, keep mugs, cereal bowls, and tiny plates on hand.

Bedroom Floating Shelves

Floating shelves in bedrooms allow you to keep essentials close at hand while keeping other surfaces, such as nightstands and dressers, clear.

Floating Shelves In Bathrooms

Standalone shelving pieces and other storage equipment are frequently unavailable in bathrooms. Floating shelves are a smart bathroom storage solution that doesn't take up any floor space.

Sagging Floating Shelves: What To Do?

Your floating shelves are modern and chic. They're also practical and functional. However, they begin to sag after a while. Sagging shelves are not only ugly, but they are also a safety threat.

Any sagging shelf is trying to support the weight of the items it holds, putting you in one bad earthquake or even a slammed door away from accidents.

To fix sagging floating shelves, you must first remove everything and detach the shelf from the wall. Then, add weight to the surface of the shelf for it to return to its original form.

When the shelf surface is back to its original state, reattach it to the wall. Make sure to add enough brackets, screws, and rods for stability.

To prevent sagging to happen again in the future, consider putting less weight on your floating shelves.

In Closing

Empty wooden shelf on old brick wall texture

Floating shelves are a great addition to your home. Not only does it add storage capacity but it also adds aesthetic value to your interior. Knowing what things you want to put on the shelves can greatly affect the depth in which your shelf should be.

The right floating shelf depth is important to avoid accidental falls, especially for kitchenware.

Before you go, check these articles from this page:

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