Secure floating shelves without clunky brackets or braces. Our step-by-step guide to hanging floating shelves will help you safely display your family's mementos with style.

Floating shelves are a stylish and practical storage solution. However, you'll want to make sure you're hanging them correctly. One misplaced screw or uneven surface can send your books, trinkets, and art tumbling to the floor. Follow our detailed step-by-step instructions for hanging floating shelves. This method uses a built-in bracket system that makes it easy to see where you're placing your shelves and provides extra support. 

What You Need

  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Drill with drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Shelf with shelf bracket
  • Screws

Step 1: Mark Placement

marking level for DIY floating shelves

Look at your wall and plan where you want your shelves to go. Once you have an idea, use a level and pencil to mark a straight line across your wall. If you're hanging multiple floating shelves, measure an equal distance between each desired shelf placement, accounting for the width of your shelf, and repeat the process.

Step 2: Find Wall Studs

finding studs for DIY floating shelves

Use a stud finder to locate the nearest wall studs. Wall studs are traditionally 16 to 24-inches apart and are easy to find with a stud finder. Mark on your line where the wall studs are located. 

Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes

marking for floating shelf

Measure on the wall where the studs are in relation to the line. Transfer that measurement to the shelf bracket and mark where the screws should go. Use a drill to make pilot holes at the location of the studs.

Step 4: Attach Bracket

attaching frame to wall for DIY floating shelves

Hold the shelf bracket up to the wall at your marked line. You may want a partner to help with this step. Drive screws through the pilot holes you created on the bracket and into the wall studs.

Step 5: Hang Shelf

DIY floating shelves final install

Finally, slide the floating shelf onto the wall bracket. If built correctly, the shelf should slide right up to the wall. Drill screws into the underside of each corner to secure the shelf to the bracket and prevent sliding.

Comments (4)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 18, 2018
There are MUCH easier setups sold for floating shelves. The shelf is a kit system, sold with a bracket that screws to the wall. The bracket has long pins that go in to the backside of the shelf. The bracket is easily leveled. Just make sure you find the wall studs or use good drywall anchors, and DON'T exceed the shelf's weight limit guidelines. Here's a link to a product suggestion on Ebay.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 17, 2018
To hard to put up.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 15, 2018
Fascinating idea
Better Homes & Gardens Member
May 14, 2018
How much weight will it hold?