Before you can buy any floating shelving system, it’s a good idea to define the space and create a quick sketch up of your plans. With a tape measure, you can easily get some basic dimensions written down on paper to help you decide which materials will best suit your table decorations and other home décor. That way, when you get to the lumberyard, you can choose the right materials for your floating shelving system.
One of the biggest concerns with any floating shelving project is the main spine. Widths between spines shouldn’t reach over 36 inches. So for every three feet, you need to pick up another steel spine and the corresponding amount of clips for the shelving panels. Shelving that is going to support stereo equipment or other heavy table decorations, needs to have a support spine every 24 inches to prevent sagging in the shelves from heavy equipment.
Installing the Spines
The metal tracks or “spines” hold the floating shelving in place. These support structures carry a heavy weight that pulls hard at the top of the spine and pushes even harder into the bottom of the spine. That’s why spine support is crucial to getting the most out of your floating shelving system. A good backer board like a 2×4 or other deadwood is necessary behind any wall covering to support the load of most house decor. Sometimes a plywood veneer can be hung behind the floating shelving to allow the spine to gain purchase on a wall with little deadwood behind it.
Mark the top and the bottom of the shelving spines. Use a level to ensure they are balanced perfectly. If wall spaces tend to be un-leveled, you can easily adjust the shelving to match similar wall lines, so long as shelving isn’t too far out of level.
From wood to MDF to plastic to glass, materials for shelving in a floating shelf system are wide and varied as your home accessories and décor. As long as your floating shelf system has the right hardware to attach itself properly to the spine, you can hang just about any material as a shelf. Some clips are designed specifically for glass while other clips can be used in unison with wood, aluminum or steel. Always ensure you get the right connecting clips for your shelving materials. Now enjoy your new home accessory!