Follow our step-by-step guide to putting up floating shelves and get handy extra storage in an afternoon
If you thought putting up shelves was a job best left to the professionals, think again. Floating shelves can be fitted easily on a Saturday morning or afternoon, giving you plenty of stylish storage space.
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What you will need to put up a floating shelf
- Retractable tape measure
- Electronic wire and pipe detector
- Spirit level
- Screws or fittings: 50mm screws and plastic Rawlplugs if fixing to concrete or brick, 40mm screws if fixing to wooden joists, or 65mm metal plasterboard anchors is fixing to plasterboard.
- Hammer (to push in Rawlplugs)
Try B&Q, Wickes or Homebase to order any tools, screws or fittings online.
How to put up a floating shelf
Step 1: First, decide how many shelves you would like, and how high you want them. If you want to put storage baskets underneath, the lowest shelf should be no less than 90cm from the floor, and the space between each shelf should be at least 30cm, which will fit most books.
Step 2: Using an electronic detector, check that the area of wall where you plan to hang the shelves is free from hidden pipes or cables.
Step 3: Place your first bracket against the wall, using a spirit level to make sure it’s level. Mark the fixing-hole positions with a pencil.
Step 4: Using the pencil marks, drill holes into the wall. Our floating shelves required five screws, which weren’t included with the shelf – check when you buy. Always choose screws or fittings that are suitable for the material of your wall (see previous page). Screw the bracket into place.
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Step 5: Slide the shelf onto the bracket to check that it’s level (use the spirit level to make sure). Once you’re happy with the position of this shelf and the way it looks, slide it back off the bracket so that you can position the rest of the brackets.
Step 6: Once all the brackets are in place, slide the shelves on and fix into place with the small screws provided with the shelf, using the pre-drilled holes on the underside of each shelf.