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Mounting a 3' Floating Shelf or Ledge

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

PROJECT LENGTH: 45 minutes

Shelves or picture ledges have become so popular, dominating decor trends in the last few years and no wonder why. In the kitchen for instance, it makes preparation and cleanup so much quicker, it looks stylish and it's fun to display your favorite pieces out in the open. Ten years ago when we remodeled our lake cottage on Upper Whitefish, I went all shelves above the counters, and I definitely got the puzzled look from our builder. But it made perfect sense and especially for a small galley style kitchen. I didn't regret it for a second.

Floating shelves and ledges are also so easy to install that you may as well put them up anywhere you need a little extra storage or you just want to show off a new piece of art or a group of family photos.

In this post I will walk you through the basic steps to mounting a floating shelf that I purchased from Room&Board. I will also share some other resources for purchasing a variety of affordable shelves to add style to any space.

If you read my last post, I talked about organizing your tools and making sure you have what you need. For this project I needed the following: Diagram A

A: Tools for mounting a floating shelf

1) Tape measure

2) Small level

3) Stud finder

4) Drill & bit

5) Pencil

6) Phillips screwdriver

7) My diagram with measurements

8) Manufacturer directions and hardware (came with the shelf)

Before you begin you need to determine approximately where you need the shelf placed on the wall. I like to find at least one stud if not two, but sometimes that is not possible and in that case you will need to use a sheetrock anchors to secure the shelf fasteners, provided you are going into sheet rock.

Once you have determined the placement of the shelf determine if it has predrilled holes; then measure and mark those on the wall and use your level to make sure they are even. Measure again!... :)

My shelf came with an inner bracket system, with predrilled holes, that you mount first, then slide the shelf on and secure. I did locate two studs and drilled the inner bracket directly into the studs. Now you might be wondering why there is glue in the image above - well a piece of the bracket system literally fell off and I needed to repair it. Not in the plan obviously, but it was repairable. [NOTE: I did see a couple of other complaints on the Room&Board site about the inner bracket not being the quality they expected.]

After the glue dried, I was able to slide the shelf onto the bracket, secure it with the supplied hardware and I was done. This all took roughly 45 minutes.

Good luck and feel free to DM me with questions or comments anytime.

Here are some links to a variety of floating shelf options:




Pottery Barn:



Tel: 320.267.3985

Minneapolis | Minnesota


American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)


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