HOW TO PUT UP YOUR FLOATING SHELVES.
HOW TO FIX FLOATING SHELVES
In this day and age more and more people are renovating there homes. With more and more people building home extensions and remodeling, floating shelves are a great way to transform the look of an old room.
In this section, we look at how to install a basic set of floating shelves.
We will look at what bits are needed to complete the job and the type of equipment you will need.
First off though…
WHAT IS A FLOATING SHELF?
A floating shelf is a shelf which appears to “float” on the wall, unsupported.
These make a simple and effective method of storage, which work equally well at home or in the office.
A floating shelf works well in any minimalist designed room, be that the bedroom or the living room, the office or the kitchen.
They are multi-purpose and although we don’t advise you store the entire works of Shakespeare in large print hardback on them, they are surprisingly sturdy and will bear more weight than you give them credit for.
Furthermore, installation is less fussy than you might think and below, we will show you how to do it.
THE TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
- A COMPACT CORDLESS DRILL
- DRILL BIT SET FOR CORDLESS DRILL (7 PIECES)
- SPIRIT LEVEL – APPROX 1 METER
- ONE STRAIGHT LINE CARPENTERS PENCIL
- STUD DETECTOR (OPTIONAL)
- WHAT TYPE OF WALL HAVE I GOT?
Before starting to do anything, the first thing that you need to establish is just what type of a wall you are dealing with.
Broadly, they fall into two categories, these are;
Look for the vertical studs in the plasterboard wall. The unit should then be screwed straight into these.
If this is not compatible or possible, then there are other options.
You will have to then use a nylon toggle fixing or a Redidrive spring toggle.
SOLID BRICK WALL
If your wall is a solid wall, then you will need 6-10 mm screws and some red wall plugs for them.
PREPARE YOUR WALL CAREFULLY
If you have got a stud detector, this is when to run it over the area that you are going to fix the shelf to.
A stud detector is a device that will find any bits of piping or cable or anything else that might be under the surface of the wall.
It is as well to check this properly before you begin your project, than start drilling into a wall and hitting something hard which will stop you being able to mount your shelves and make a pig’s ear of your wall to boot!
DRILL YOUR FIXING HOLES
Now you are ready to start drilling your fixing holes.
If this is plasterboard that you are drilling into, then as we said before, you want to drill straight into the stud timbers.
Your stud detector will help you to find these. When you have located them, use the pencil to outline the edges of them.
A lot here depends on the length of the shelf you are thinking of fitting and the width in between the vertical studs on your plasterboard.
If you need to, you can place one end on the vertical studs and the other actually into the plasterboard.
Then take your bracket and mark out where the shelf is to go. With the pencil put a mark in the top left hole. Then place the bracket on its side for the time being.
Now you need to find the right drill bit for the job, depending on whether you have a plasterboard or brick wall.
So, for a masonry wall you need a 6mm drill bit and for the plasterboard then it is a 2.5 to 3 mm multi-purpose drill bit.
Then place the drill bit into your drill and place the tip straight onto the mark. Slowly drill and speed up gradually as the bit goes into the surface of the wall. Make sure you go down as far as you need – but not any further and then remove the drill.
THE FIRST FIXING
Before you put in the wall plug, it helps to clear out the dust from the drilling – preferably with a hoover. This won’t take a second to do and it makes the whole job a lot neater.
Insert your wall plug. If it doesn’t go all the way in, then just use a hammer to gently tap it.
Now get the bracket and place the top left fixing hole on top of the wall plug. Take a screw and screw it most, but not all, the way down.
This means that you can still move it around whilst you are getting the positioning right.
THE SECOND HOLE
Now you must fix the bracket by its top right hand hole. Bring the bracket to what looks like the right level.
Then get the spirit level across the parallel shelf support poles and position the bracket until it is exactly level. Now mark the top right hand hole.
Put the spirit level down and move the bracket, so you can get your drill and drill the next hole exactly into the hole you have marked on the wall.
Once again, clean the hole out of the dust and debris and then place the wall plug in.
Position the bracket the right way and screw the fixing hole. Remember, not to screw this all the way in just yet. Just do this enough to mark all the remaining holes that need to be fixed.
In most brackets, there are a lot of points for fixing. This may be up to ten points or more.
Naturally, the more that you want your floating shelf to be able to bear in terms of weight, the more fixing points you will require.
We think it is always better to put too many fixing points in and make the shelf stronger than you require it to be, than have it be too flimsy.
A minimum of four fixing points is required, though.
PUTTING THE BRACKET ON THE WALL
Now you have drilled all the holes, you can place the bracket to the wall. Place it into the correct position and screw the screws down securely and firmly in the wall.
Now your floating shelf bracket is safely in place.
PLACE THE SHELF ONTO THE BRACKET
With the bracket secured to the wall, you can now go ahead and place the shelf onto your base.
FIXING THE SHELF TO THE BRACKET
Underneath the shelf are the screws to be placed into the fixing bracket. This will stop the shelf just sliding off the supporting poles.
Place each screw in place and then secure it down properly.
Then check all the points are properly secured.
Once satisfied, congratulate yourself on having successfully installed your floating shelf!
Here is a run down on video of the process.