How to build a super-strong floating-shelf

by | Oct 2, 2015 | DIY Project, Kitchen | 0 comments

This post will take you through the steps of creating a strong load-bearing floating shelf. Our shelf is over 2 metres long and runs across the end wall of our kitchen. As you can see, it is solid enough to be an extremely useful storage space. I decided to use a plank of plain pine, but if you are after an industrial look I can see it working just as well with a reclaimed builders plank. This is an immensely satisfying DIY. It is relatively cheap, looks great, and can hold a lot of weight – unlike a lot of the flimsy flat pack solutions.


Hand Saw 18v Cordless Combi Drill Drill Driver – Corded Masonry Drill Bit 14 x 200mm Masonry Drill Bit 6 x 100mm (for pilot hole) Wooden Drill Bit 8 x 200mm Wooden Drill Bit 6 x 100mm (for pilot hole) Spirit Level Hacksaw Workbench & Clamps


Projecting RawlBolts M8 x 125mm (Pack of 5)Threaded Rods M8 x 300mm (Pack of 5)Plank of wood (I used pine)


1. Measure and cut plank of wood to desired length 2. Use a spirit level to mark a horizontal line on the wall where you want the floating shelf to sit 3. Use 6mm Masonry Drillbit to drill pilot holes at desired points along this horizontal line (I made four holes to support a 2500mm shelf) 4. Use 14mm Masonry Drillbit to widen the holes and drill to the depth of the Rawlbolts 5. Insert Rawlbolts into the holes (see below for image of Rawlbolt – they can be picked up in packs from DIY stores (e.g. Screwfix). You want the casing for this job, you can discard the bolt inside.

6. Use a Hacksaw to trim your threaded steel rods to the desired length (this should be the length of the Rawlplug PLUS two-thirds the depth of the shelf). See picture of trimmed steel rod below.
7. Carefully thread your steel rods into the Rawlplugs
8. Once the rods are in place your wall should look like this:
roda in wall
9. Place your plank of wood on top of them to check they are all straight and level. It is important to make adjustments at this stage if necessary – I had to redo one hole (the middle one in the picture above) because the rod was wonky. 10. Once you are satisfied, and with your shelf still resting on top of the rods, use a pencil to mark on the shelf where your corresponding holes need to be drilled. 11. This is where you need to be exact. Clamp your shelf so that you can drill holes straight down. Use 8mm wood drill bit to drill down to approx. two thirds of the shelf’s depth. There is probably a method for doing this accurately, but I just tried to hold my hand straight and steady – and drilled slowly. 12. The moment of truth. You should now have several holes in your shelf of the same depth and position as the rods sticking out of your wall. Slide the shelf on to the rods. Do this slowly. There will be a little wiggle room and you might need to give it an encouraging tap with a mallet here and there.

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