Semi-Floating Shelves - What Is The Best Solution? - Carpentry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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Semi-Floating Shelves - What is the best solution?

I found this picture online and wanted to recreate the 3 shelves in my own laundry room. Here are dimensions and notes about the 3 shelves I want to install:

Top Shelf:
67" left wall x 137" main wall x 44" right wall

My ceiling is not as high as that in the picture, so the top shelf would sit right on top of the door's trim. I also would like to continue it over to the corner on the left side, and stick with half-wall on the right side.

Middle Shelf:
137" main wall

I am going to keep this shelf just on the main wall and not continue it on to the side walls like that in the picture.

Bottom Shelf:
77" main wall

This shelf will sit just a few inches above the washer/dryer.

I am going back and forth about the best way to install these shelves. Right now I have 12" deep whiteboard for the shelves themselves. The issue I am having is with the support. At first I was planning on using some prefab wood brackets like these, but then thought they wouldn't be sturdy enough to hold potentially heavy objects. I visited the shelving section in Lowe's and looked at a few different metal brackets, but at over $5 a piece decided that wasn't really an option for my budget. After thinking about it a little more, I thought a cleated setup might be better (using 1x2 or 1x4) but would still require brackets for extra support in the long sections (like the main wall) as well as the end of the half-wall shelf. I have racked my brain going back and forth, trying to determine the best and most affordable option. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 08-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Why not wire shelving? Cheap easy to install, allows air flow so there's no mold, strong, easy to clean.
Those shelves in the picture look like 3/4 plywood with edge banding.


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Old 08-20-2012, 12:14 AM   #3
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I'm just really not a fan of the wire shelves. I feel like the wood shelves give a much more finished/polished look. I spent a while looking at the wire shelves today, just to entertain that idea, and not only would it be difficult to accommodate the layout I want, but I think the cost was over what I have projected already for lumber since I already have some of that material on hand.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:25 AM   #4
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If you look at the picture you posted you’ll see the supports look to be just 1x3. If you’re going to store heavier items you can just add more braces. Those shelves should be plenty strong if everything is properly attached.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:06 AM   #5
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I have found for a very strong site built shelf system to use a 2x2 ( 1 1/2"x1 1/2" actually) underneath the outer edge of a 3/4" shelf and then face frame a 2 1/4" cove molding door casing flush to the top of the shelf. it will look very similar to the pic you posted but will be 2 1/4" cove mold casing instead of 1x3.The 2x2 under the shelf adds horizontal strength with less braces needed compared to just a 1x3 nailed to the shelf face. A 1x cleat along the wall to hold the shelf to the wall, periodical angle bracing and you are good to go. For the shelf a few inches above the washer and dryer you could do the 45 degree angle braces that go up above the shelf and attach to the wall studs with screws.
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cleats , laundry , shelf , storage

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