The 7 Best Floating Shelves for a More Efficient Space

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On many occasions, rental apartments are short on storage space, display space and they lack exciting architectural details. One solution for this is to install bookcases and storage units, but when there’s not enough room to incorporate a large piece of furniture, you should consider floating shelves.

If you’ve just moved into a studio apartment and realized that your items cannot fit, a floating shelf is the perfect remedy for three main reasons. One, it takes zero square feet. Two, it provides a medium for natural light to flow freely throughout your apartment. Three, it looks stunning. But there’s just one problem: there are tons of floating shelves on the market. So, which one meets your needs? Read on to learn the best floating shelf to add to your home.

What’s the Best Floating Shelf?

True to their name, floating shelves look like they’ve been suspended in air without any support. However, the best floating shelves are pretty sturdy, look beautiful and are functional. These storage units are easy to install in kitchen, bedroom or living room. You may even come across a floating shelf with drawer, allowing you to store extra items, which you don’t want displayed in the open. Here are the best floating shelves on the market.

Below find the best floating shelves:

1. Imperative Décor Rustic Wood Wall Shelf

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Add a rustic aspect to your living room or kitchen with the Imperative Wood Wall Shelf, which comes in a beautiful light walnut color. This shelf will blend in perfectly with any décor; be it farm-house style or modern theme.

Available in 24” by 5.5” size, the floating shelf is very easy to install. You don’t need to drill holes or purchase additional tools. The manufacturer has provided everything you’ll need for the install.

Furthermore, the brackets of this shelf are coated using strong powder, to prevent them from rusting.

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2. RooLee 2-Tier Floating Wall Mount Shelves

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The RooLee floating shelf is one of the most efficient space-saving shelves on the market. You can place picture frames, books and a ton of books on this shelf. This makes it an excellent addition for those living in small spaces.

The floating shelf is two-tiered with a vertical spacing of 10.3”. And despite being made of light wood, the shelf can accommodate about 50lbs. Like the Rustic wood shelf, this one is also easy to mount. Just follow the instructions given and within no time, you’ll be hanging décor items on it.

3. Joel's Antiques Floating Mantel, Shelf

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Available in medium brown, weathered wood or Mocha finish, this floating shelf is designed for individuals looking for versatile and artful displays. Its wooden construction is compatible with an array of interior décor designs; be it a traditional, transitional or formal space.

This set comes with all the hardware you need to install it. The manufacturer also provides a set of instructions on how to go about the installation. If you get stuck, you can also refer to the video provided.

 4. DAKODA LOVE Routed Edge Floating Shelves

For fanatics of rustic furniture, the DAKODA floating shelves are made for you. Measuring 36”L by 5.25”D by 1.5”H, this product comes in a set of two shelves, which are both handcrafted using natural wood. This wooden construction gives them a unique look.

What’s more, these floating shelves are substantial enough to hold large flower vases, bowls and artwork. Another admirable fact is how devoted the manufacturer is to conserving the environment. DAKODA LOVE plants one tree, for every unit they sell.

5. Fab Glass and Mirror Floating Glass Shelf (Corner)

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Do you have an unused corner in your apartment? Then this floating shelf is designed for you. Crafted from high-quality tempered glass, this shelf comes with brackets to ease its installation. The clear glass has been processed through a curing process that makes it as close to being perfect as possible. In fact, this curing process makes the floating glass two times stronger than annealed glass.

Many customers are usually concerned about the glass shelf breaking during transit. Luckily, this glass shelf kit comes wrapped in Styro foam sheets for additional protection.

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6. WELLAND Classic Wall Floating Shelf

Are you looking to create your own Pin-worthy picture gallery wall? The WELLAND white-colored display ledge measuring 36″L by 4.75″W by 2.5″T is just what you need. You can use this floating shelf to showcase trophies, legendary books and photo frames. It has a maximum load capacity of 20 lbs. so ensure the items you place on it are not heavier than this.

The Classic Wall floating shelf is made of MDF wood, complemented with an eco-friendly painted finish. WELLAND claims that this material is sturdier and more wear-resistant than ordinary veneer finish. You can use the shelf as a standalone unit or in groups to display a ton of objects.

7. Metal Wire Hexagon Design Floating Shelves

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If you prefer a contemporary style of decorating or enjoy décor patterns of the modern day, this Metal Wire floating shelf by MyGift is for you. It comes in a set of three hexagonal-shaped wall mounted shelves.

The metal construct is highly-durable, so you don’t have to worry about chipping, warping or other problems associated with wooden shelves. Each of the shelves measures 14.5” H by 17” W by 4” D and is great for displaying toys, collectibles and books.

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Best-Floating-ShelfTypes of Shelving

Floating Shelves

A floating shelf will have a much longer tube-like bracket, which is attached to the wall and inserted into the real shelf. The biggest advantage of this unit is that it does not have any hardware or brackets sticking out like a sore thumb.

Fixed Brackets

The distinct feature of a fixed bracket is its right-angled pattern. This type of shelf has one arm longer than the other, which is the section that’s laid across the top to serve as a shelf. The short arm goes underneath the shelf. Fixed brackets are the most common way of suspending shelves.

Built In Shelving

A built in shelf is also a popular option, especially because it blends in nicely with your existing décor. Built in shelving also takes up little room while providing you with space to showcase items you like having on display. The best thing about built in shelving is that they don’t require any installation, which means no nails, no screws, no brackets, and no expertise required to set them up.

Shelving Materials

Floating shelves could be made from an array of materials including:

Chipboard Shelving

If you have a limited budget, a floating shelf crafted from chipboard is your best option. It’s affordable and it consists of wooden pieces attached together using glue. Since chipboard shelving suffers damage when it comes into contact with moisture, most manufactures equip these units with veneer for additional protection. Another drawback of this material is that it’s not sturdy. So, if you want a floating shelf for TV placement, a heavy duty model would be better. Alternatively, you should first reinforce it before placing heavy items.

MDF Shelving

MDF, which stands for medium-density fibreboard, is a material made from wood fibers. Compared to real wood, MDF is a much cheaper option, which is why it’s become a common building material. When it comes to making shelves, MDF is preferred because it’s customizable. You can paint it so that it complements your existing décor. It’s also pretty flexible, allowing you to make different patterns such as round, zig zag or rectangular corners

Plywood Shelving

Plywood is another common material for making shelves. Put simply; plywood is a wooden panel featuring thin layers of wood veneers, which are stacked and glued together. One benefit that plywood has over MDF is that it’s stronger and more durable. It’s also less susceptible to moisture or water damage, and it can hold screws very well. Plywood shelving looks great when installed in a living or dining room.

Wood Shelving

This is the best shelving material you can get on the market. For one, it’s highly resilient and it requires minimal maintenance. Floating shelves made of real wood are able to withstand constant abuse; be it spills or scratches. If you want a shelf that will last for generations and one that requires very little care, ensure that it’s made of wood. Besides, nothing beats the charm and sophistication that a wooden shelf adds to your room.

Acrylic Shelving

This is a tough and transparent material, which can also be used to make floating shelves. Acrylic is thermoplastic that has the exact look of glass; hence, giving your shelf a unique style. Acrylic shelves look great when installed in a small apartment, and they encourage homeowners to stay neat and clean. But despite their transparent nature, acrylic shelves are quite sturdy and durable.

Uses of Floating Shelves

Storage Space

If your home is lacking enough storage in the closet or other unit, a floating shelf is the best way to get that much-needed storage. Most floating shelves run vertically along the walls, providing you with the ultimate space-saving solution. And the best part is, these shelves come in different sizes and designs to suit everyone’s preferences. One of the best things about using a floating shelf is that it keeps all your items in the limelight while still keeping them out of your way.

Displaying Items

Even if your landlord has allowed you to drill holes in your walls, your home won’t look good if it has tons of them. A better way to display your art, accessories, exceptional lighting fixtures and sculptural pieces is by placing them on a floating shelf. Such a shelf provides ample space for tiny decorative objects or plants. The only thing you need to ensure is that the shelf is properly anchored to the wall and that it’s capable of sustaining the weight of your objects.


Your walls will look more beautiful and distinctive with a floating shelf rather than the traditional one. Floating shelves will grab people’s attention while making your interior design look chic and exceptional. Besides, you can install these units in just about any room. You can put up a floating shelf in the kitchen for holding spices and cooking oils, in the garage or in the bathroom for storing linens.

Wrap Up

Floating shelves are the best substitutes for bookshelf cases and étagères. Not only do they occupy minimal space, but these units are also highly-functional. They can be installed in bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms to provide extra storage. They can also be used to display items. However, before purchasing a floating shelf, ensure you know the measurements of the area you’ll be installing it. You should also have a rough estimate of the items you’ll be placing on it. Finally, remember to read the instructions for how to mount them on your walls.

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