How to Hang Floating Shelves Properly – Step by Step Guide – Brick Mill Furniture

My Cart


Call 570-932-1964 or chat for your FREE Custom Furniture Consultation.

Text us at 570-932-1964 for more information.

How to Hang Floating Shelves Properly – Step by Step Guide

Floating shelves are great for those who love a more minimal look because they're wall-mounted shelves that have no visible shelf bracket, making them look like they're floating on your wall. They're great for showing off your knickknacks and dishes without looking like clutter.

They look amazing once they're hung up on your walls, and hanging them up isn't difficult if you know how to hang floating shelves properly. In this article, we're going to talk about how to hang floating shelves the right way the first time, so you don't have to waste time trying to do it more than once.

So, if you want to learn how to hang floating shelves, keep reading!

Required Tools:

  • Floating shelf
  • Hardware for floating shelf
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Level
  • Wall stud finder

How to Hang Floating Shelves

1. Find Wall Studs

The best thing you can do when hanging floating shelves is attaching them to wall studs. This is because wall studs make them stronger, which means that they can support more weight. The more wall studs you hit, the more weight the shelves can hold.

The first thing you should do before hanging up your floating shelves is to use a wall stud finder to locate wall studs. Once you find a wall stud, mark it with some tape or pencil markings, so you know that's where you want to try to place your floating shelves.

2. Measure Out Where the Holes Are Going to Line Up on the Wall

Hold up your floating shelf to where you want to hang it up. You might have to center the shelf on the wall with a tape measure. Then flip the wall shelf surface back up against the wall. This means that the top surface of the shelf is facing the wall.

Place your level on top of the shelf and level it out. Now that the wall shelf is flipped, you can clearly see where your screws need to go into the wall. Mark these spots using your pencil, making sure that you're marking right up against the board, so the marks are level.

3. Drill Holes for the Screws

You need to correct the sized drill bit to make pilot holes in your wall. The best way to know if you have the right-sized drill bit for your floating wall shelf is to follow this rule of thumb: If you're putting an anchor in first, match the drill bit to the diameter of the anchor. Otherwise, you'll need to match the drill bit to the diameter of the screw. Now that you have the right-sized drill bit, drill the pilot holes directly into the marked wall spots.

4. Secure the Anchors and Screw the Screws in

Now that the holes have been made, you can hammer the wall anchor into those holes if you're using them and then screw your screws into those same holes. Make sure that you're leaving some of the head of the screw protruding so the wall shelf can catch it.

Remember that you need to use a wall anchor to support your floating wall shelf if you're not using wall studs!

5. Hang Your Shelf

Check that the screws are in the right place by replacing the shelf flat against the wall so you can see the holes on the bottom of the shelf. Then line up the protruding screws with the hardware on the shelf and slide the shelf into place.

Ta-da! You're all done hanging up your floating shelves, and you did it right the first time around. Hopefully, this guide has given you enough tips and tricks to show you how to hang floating shelves in no time.

If you're hanging more than one floating shelf, all you have to do is follow these five steps for each shelf that you're hanging up, and you'll be all set.

floating shelves with cups and glasses

Final Thoughts

How to hang floating shelves is a commonly asked question, especially if you're new to DIY. We hope this article has shown you how easy it is to hang floating shelves properly the first time around, so you feel confident in doing it yourself.

Floating shelves are perfect for any home or office and add a unique, modern look to any room. And decorating them is as simple as putting up your dishware, books, pictures, and more!


Still have questions about how to hang floating shelves? We've put together a small list of some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the topic to help you out.

How Far Apart Should You Hang Your Floating Shelves?

A good rule of thumb to follow for spacing out your floating shelves is 12 inches between all the shelves. But if you want more accessibility and exposure, you can bump it up to 15 to 18 inches. It ultimately depends on what you're planning on putting on your floating shelves and how tall the items are.

Do I Need to Attach My Floating Shelves to Wall Studs?

Ideally, you need to attach your floating shelves to wall studs. This is because the wall studs add extra support to your floating shelf, making it so your floating shelves can hold more weight. For floating shelves made by Brick Mill, Co., each wall stud hit equals 50 pounds of weight support the shelf can hold.

How Far Off the Ground Should My Shelves Be?

We recommend hanging your floating shelves about 60" off the floor or eye-level distance. But ultimately, how high you hang your floating shelves is entirely up to you and your personal preference.

Can You Hang Floating Shelves Without Using Wall Studs?

If you don't use wall studs to hang your floating shelves, then you'll need additional hardware to hold up and support your floating shelves. This hardware includes a wall anchor or toggle bolt, and these can be tricky to work with if you aren't sure how to use them. However, if you plan to put heavy objects on your floating shelves, such as dishes, you should use wall studs to support your shelves.