Are floating shelves safe?


 Floating shelves are safe and secure if you install them properly into a sturdy wall stud or solid backing material. In addition, safety depends on several factors including the material the floating bookshelf is made of, the weight capacity it can hold, and also the quality of installation material. Furthermore, floating shelves should not be installed where children can easily access them or above bedrooms. Check here step by step on how to install a floating shelf.

What screws for floating shelves?

The screws you will use to secure the floating bookshelf will depend on the type of wall you will be attaching to. Here are the general guidance and the screws to be used for drywalls, bricks, concrete, and wood studs. 

Drywall Screws

When securing a floating shelf into drywall you should use a toggle or molly bolts. This is because these types of screws are specifically designed to hold heavy items on drywall. You should also note that the size of the toggle or molly bolts to use will depend heavily on the item you will be placing on the floating shelf. For instance, if the shelf is recommended to hold a capacity of 50 pounds, use a toggle bolt that is rated from 70-75 pounds.  

Concrete or Brick walls

If you are installing the floating shelf into a concrete wall or brick use a concrete or expansion screw. These types of screws are specifically designed for this type of wall. You should also note that the size of the screw to be used should be based on the weight of the shelf it holds. For instance, if the shelf is recommended to hold a capacity of 50 pounds, use a concrete screw that is rated from 70-75 pounds. 

Wood Studs

If you are mounting your floating shelf in a stud, use wood screws that are at least  2.5 inches long and have a diameter of 0.25 inches. 

Note: If you intend to place a heavy weight on the shelf, the wood screw should be long enough to be able to hold that capacity. For instance, if the shelf is recommended to hold a capacity of 50 pounds, use a wood screw that is rated from 70-75 pounds.

How much can floating shelves hold?

The weight capacity a floating shelf can hold depends on so many factors such as the wall installed, size, design, and also the material used.  However, it is important to check the recommended weight from the manufacturer to make sure you do not overload the bookshelf. Here are the guidelines for weight limits of floating shelves for concrete walls, studs, and drywall. 

Weight capacity for drywall:

If you installed your shelf in drywall using toggle bolts or molly, it is suggested that the shelf should hold 25-70 pounds per anchor point. This means that if the shelf has two anchors it can even hold up to 100 pounds.

Concrete wall weight capacity:

When you install the floating shelf on a concrete wall using concrete screws or an expansion anchor your shelf will hold up to 50-75 pounds at the anchor points. That means if the shelf has at least two anchors it can probably hold up to 100- 150 pounds. 

Note: You should also check the manufacturer’s weight capacity.

Wood stud’s weight capacity

If you have mounted the shelf into a stud, the shelf will typically hold 50-75 pounds at the anchor points. This means if the shelf has two anchor shelf can hold up to 100-150 pounds.


You should note that these are general guidelines and the weight a floating can hold depends on several factors. Such factors include the size of brackets, design, quality of material, and type of wall. For the best practice make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and weight limit.

How do floating shelves work?

Courtesy of Bob Vila

A floating bookshelf or bookcase is a type of shelving unit that appears to be suspended in mid-air from the wall without any visible brackets or legs supporting it. They seem to be floating in the air, but in reality, they are supported by hidden brackets, a cleat, or other hidden hardware. 

There are different ways a floating bookshelf works:

  1. Using hidden brackets:  This is one of the common methods used to mount a floating shelf on the wall. This typically involves you attaching the brackets to the wall using screws and then sliding the shelf to the brackets. The bracket will appear hidden inside the shelf.
  1. Using a  French Cleat:  A cleat is a type of wood or metal that is attached to the wall or studs using screws and then the shelf is attached to the cleat.
  1. Floating shelf hardware kit: There are specialized hardware kits that you can purchase and mountain your floating shelf. The kits include metal brackets, screws, anchors, and fasteners. 

What are floating shelf brackets?

Floating shelf brackets– These are metal hardware used to install or mount the shelf to the wall. When mounted on the wall, the brackets are designed to be hidden from view, giving the shelf the appearance of floating in mid-air. There are several floating shelf brackets on the market today that you can use to hang your shelf, including:  

Concealed brackets: These are types of brackets that are hidden from view once you install the shelf. Most of the concealed brackets are made from metal and are designed to be screwed to the wall. After you conceal the bracket to the wall, the shelf is placed onto the brackets, and it appears they are floating.

Keyhole brackets: These are types of brackets that are attached to the wall with screws, and then you slide the keyhole slots on the back of the shelf. The advantage of these brackets is that you can easily adjust the metal to provide extra support if you have heavier items.

Cleat brackets: This is a type of bracket where a piece of wood or metal is mounted into the wall, and then the shelf is attached to the cleat to support the items.

You can check here how you can decorate your floating shelves securely while adding a personalized look to your bookshelf.

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here