How to Hang Floating Shelves

Floating shelves can help you add extra storage to any room in your home without taking up a ton of floor space. They're also modern and stylish, letting the items on the shelves stand out.

Hanging floating shelves in your child's bedroom can be a fun process if you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Use this guide from Pottery Barn Kids to get you started.

Narrow Down Your Placement Options

Shelving mounted right on your wall can save tons of space in your child's bedroom. For your kids, that means more room to play and have fun. Before you can hang your shelves, take your time to go around the room and figure out where they'll be most appropriate. In most children's rooms, you can utilize floating shelves anywhere that's not directly under their normal play area.

  • Hang floating shelves from floor to ceiling in smaller children's rooms. These can be used to store everything from items of clothing to stuffed animals and toys.
  • Add a floating shelf or two over your child's dresser. Floating shelves in this location are ideal for displaying wall art and decorative items your child enjoys looking at.
  • Put floating shelves over nightstands to add extra storage space to the room.
  • Utilize low floating shelves near a play area so your child can quickly and easily grab toys during playtime.

Tools and Supplies

Putting up floating shelves can help save space and give your child's room a smart, modern look. If you've never done it before, gathering the right tools and supplies before you begin is essential. Depending on how you hang your shelves, different tools may be required. A few items are essential no matter what method you pick.

  • Pre-made floating shelves
  • Mounting hardware, if required
  • Shelving brackets, if required
  • Metal shelf supports
  • Drill
  • #10 drywall anchors
  • Drywall screws
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Drill and hand screwdriver
  • Step stool or ladder

You'll also want to take the time to clear the area where you're going to mount floating shelves before you get to work. Doing this will make sure you stay safe while taking on your home improvement project. Use eye protection whenever tackling any renovation task.

Shelves with Mounting Hardware Included

Ready-made floating shelves often come with mounting hardware included and in many cases, using these is your best bet for a stylish, easy to tackle upgrade to your child's room. For these projects, the process is relatively simple.

  • Measure and mark the wall so you can begin installing the mounting hardware. Use a level to ensure your shelves will be straight.
  • Drill guide holes with an electric drill and a drywall bit. Insert #10 drywall anchors and drive them into the wall with your hammer until they are flush.
  • Put the mounting hardware on the wall using your electric drill and #10 drywall screws. Check the brackets to ensure they are level, making minor adjustments if necessary, before putting the screws completely in.
  • Hang your floating shelves on the mounting hardware bracket. Some models may require you to tighten the brackets to clamp down on the shelf for security.

Floating Shelves with Standard Wall Brackets

Wall brackets make it easier to mount shelves and help distribute the weight properly. Using them also makes the process easier if you're starting from scratch or with just pre-cut shelves.

  • Measure the wall at the top and bottom, marking where you want each wall bracket to go. Use a level to ensure they are straight if you're hanging more than one row. You'll need one bracket on each side of every shelf.
  • Starting at the bottom, use your drill to create guide holes for the wall brackets. Put each bracket in place and add drywall screws to secure them. Continue up the wall if you're using more than one shelf before moving on to the next.
  • Hook metal shelf supports into the pre-cut holes of your mounting brackets. Push in firmly to ensure they are in place, repeating this step for each shelf.
  • Add shelving on top of the metal shelf supports. Work from the top until all shelves are securely in place. Check with a level to ensure they are straight.

Difficult Materials

Floating shelves can be added to walls made of other materials besides drywall, but the process is often a little different.

  • Plaster. Although like drywall, may require extra supports. Use longer anchors and nails to ensure a steady shelf when working with plaster.
  • Wood walls or beams. Use standard guide holes, wall anchors and wood screws to mount ready-made hardware on wood walls.
  • Brick or cement. Drill guide holes with a masonry bit. Use shelves and brackets or mounting hardware with pre-drilled holes to make the job simpler.
  • Natural stone. Use a masonry bit designed for stone to drill guide holes. Use pre-made brackets and stone epoxy for extra support.

Installing floating shelves can immediately change the look of your child's room and give them a lot more floor space to play. Look for easy to install shelves and you'll be finished with the job in an afternoon.

Then you and your kids can enjoy their new room and all that extra space you didn't even know you had!

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