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Floating Shelves

I’ve installed a few sets of floating shelves, but never anything like I was asked to do by one of my favorite customers. They wanted floating shelves in their kitchen, and they live in a straw bale home!

(Note: Click image to enlarge.)

Except around the windows and doors, vertical studs were not used anywhere in the walls, but the owner assured me that the framers installed flat backing in that wall—they were certain of it, because they had planned on hanging cabinets there during construction. Of course, I wasn’t so certain. After all, what would they fasten the backing to?

Needless to say, I was feeling a little shaky going into this one. Before ordering any materials, I poked around a bit and found there was some backing in the walls, and it felt like 2x. But when I placed a 4-ft. level across the area, I found the walls were far from flat and I knew I’d be in for some serious scribing.


8 Responses to “Floating Shelves”

  1. Emanuel

    Hey Scott,
    Great job. You do nice work.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Kimberly Cacho

    These look really nice, I like the aesthetic of the open shelving in a place like the kitchen, where it is easy to over-collect cups and dishes. Another fabulous job done with your trademark of quality and superb attention to detail!!!

  3. Scott Wells

    Thank you very much, Emanuel. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. If this is Silva, you do nice work, also….

  4. Larry Maloney

    Scott, use the lag bolts for the deep 8/4 bookshelf and save the cost of the steel bracket, router, bit, and router attachment. Cutting th4e heads off is a great tip. You need say nothing more. The deep shelf is so thick it would support a car. The bracket pins are way over-kill for what the shelf will ever support. The pins are too thick in diameter and way too long! Besides, the strength of the huge pins is limited by the screws attaching the steel bar to the wall (much smaller, I’m sure.) Most of us don’t attach floating shelves to “straw houses.” Sorry, but simple and cheap is my style, as long as it doesn’t affect quality, safety, or appearance. The cost of over-kill is always the burden of the customer.

    • Scott Wells

      Thanks for your comments, and I totally agree with you – when you know you have adequate backing in the walls. Remember, I didn’t know where my backing was before I started the job, and I needed to feel confident that when I went to install those shelves, that I could be done that day on that trip. The brackets that I chose weren’t cheap, but I knew that if I could find two points of backing behind those thick shelves that I could attach the brackets, get the job done, and move on to the next one. That works for me. Thanks, again.

  5. Skip

    Would you mind listing the tools you used in this project or at the very least, links to where I could maybe buy the jig? the bracket?

    • Scott Wells

      The router guide can be found at or probably even It’s called a “Plexiglas Router Template.”

      The steel supports that I used were from and I bought them about two years ago. They worked out great, and I bet that there are other suppliers these days.

      As far as other tools, I used a standard cutter in my router and paddle drill bit for boring the holes.

      Thanks for reading/watching.


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