Who knew there were SO many ways to DIY (and install) a floating shelf?! I dived into researching this while developing my design plan for the One Room Challenge.
However, I could not find one post detailing the installation of a long and relatively slim floating shelf. We were trying to cobble together information from a few different sources only to be left coming up short, and kinda sorta pulling our hair out. And I just don’t think I would look great bald – Sinéad could pull it off back in the day. Me? Not so much.
The Requirements (Challenge)
I didn’t want a big beefy shelf. The thickness should be roughly the same as the butcher block countertop, to keep the look clean and light. I also wanted a one piece shelf for continuity, storage and displays.
Listen, though we’re lucky to have a 10’ ceiling in the laundry room, trying to keep this project on budget means we couldn’t tile to the very top of the wall. So having a continuous shelf seemed like a logical solution. But to my dismay, both of these requirements (long and lean) go against the floating shelf gods I suppose…. until now!
How to DIY and install a “long and lean” floating shelf
- Lee Valley Blind Shelf Supports (my floating shelf hero!)
- Stud finder
- 10x8x2″ Pine Board (this is what we required – measure to suit your space)
- Stain or paint of your preferred colour
- 7/16” Drill Bit
- Drill or Impact Driver
- Orbital Sander or Hand planer (if your wall is not perfectly straight)
- Cross-line Laser (or you can kick it old-school and use a measuring tape/level)
- Grab your stud finder and mark on the wall where the studs are located
- Measure from counter (or floor) the height you want to install the shelf (measure each side to ensure level) and mark on wall, or use laser.
- Drill Lee Valley shelf mounting plates into studs
- Mark holes on center of floating shelf (where you will be sliding onto wall support rods)
- Drill out 7/16” holes on floating shelf (match depth to length of support rods)
- Screw Lee Valley posts on mounting plates
- Slide shelf onto support rods (see note below if shelf is not sliding on properly)
Amazing, you did it!!
Now remove your shelf and add paint or stain of your choice (let dry), and remount shelf on posts.
Note: If your shelf does not slide on easily, chances are that your wall is not perfectly straight, or the support rods don’t perfectly match your drilled out holes in the shelf. To check if your wall is a little crooked, get up on a ladder and see where it is getting stuck. Mark on the shelf where the problem is and then take an orbital sander or hand planer and sand down in the marked out area. Try remounting shelf – might have to do this a couple times.
I changed a few elements of the design during the installation process due to unforeseen issues – but that is the design life (AKA real life). I am totally going to write a separate post detailing all of the things that changed, because who doesn’t like to see the blooper reel, amiright?! However, I think most of the design pivot points made the room even better.
In case you missed a few updates and/or to recap:
Week One – Where we started, before photos, design concepts
Week Two – Floor tile prep and installation
Week Three – Progress update, installing cabinetry
Week Four – Hell hath no fury like refinishing an old staircase
Next week is the BIG reveal and I’m so pumped to share it with you! It looks even better in person that it did in my head, when does that ever happen? I am super proud of how it turned out and can’t wait to share all the details with you.
When you have a moment, definitely check out the other participant’s progress, there’s a whole lotta design awesomeness to soak in.