Kitchen Floating Shelves [Honest Answers to The Most Frequently Asked Questions]

Kitchen floating shelves // how to decorate, how high to hang //

Are you considering kitchen floating shelves but worried about not having enough storage space? 

You love the look but are hesitating because people keep telling you it’s not a good idea, especially in small kitchens.

Or maybe you have plenty of storage, but kitchen shelves scare you because you don’t know how to decorate them, how and where to hang or how high to hang them… ah! 

A lot goes into kitchen floating shelves; I get what you’re feeling. But they are a great way to customize your kitchen and achieve a cozy modern farmhouse look. The most frequently asked question about floating shelves is what type of wood is best, where is the best place to put them, how high should they be hung, and most importantly how do you decorate them?

After reading this blog post, you’ll walk away with just about everything you need to be able to confidently move forward with buying, installing, and decorating floating kitchen shelves.

Ready for some really great open shelving kitchen ideas? Let’s get to the good stuff!

Disclaimer: Please remember that I am a DIY enthusiast, not a professional. This article is for general information use and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions, consult a professional! Additionally, this may contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. All opinions and recommendations are my own. I truly appreciate you taking my suggestions and using my links. Thank you for being so supportive!

What’s the best type of wood?

I’m frequently asked what type of wood is best for floating kitchen shelves, and my answer is they all are great! Although the top picks are some sort of wood, you don’t have to use wood; if you want a little different look, you could use another material, such as stainless steel.

 Solid wood is a popular choice because of its natural beauty. Who doesn’t love all the grain and texture, duh?! My only hesitation when using natural wood is its weight. 

When I did my floating kitchen shelves, I tiled my kitchen first and then went back to install the wood shelves. The one problem being I did not keep track of where the studs were, so I was pretty worried about using solid wood since it’s soooo heavy. When you think about the added weight of all your dishes and decor, I just kept envisioning the entire thing ripping off the wall. 

Instead, I went with a faux wood shelf made of white oak boards. It was a hollow box attached perfectly and securely to the wall bracket. These gave the same warmth and overall look I was going for with the open shelves without worrying about the shelf’s weight.

Kitchen Floating Shelves: Where is the best spot to put them?

Kitchen floating shelves // how to decorate floating shelves // DIY shelf styling ideas //

Wondering where to place your kitchen floating shelves? The best placement depends on your kitchen layout and specific needs, but to help you decide, let’s talk about the few spots that generally work in almost all kitchens.

The first is around the kitchen window. I love the look of two floating shelves on each side of the window, and for symmetry’s sake, this works best if you can do the same size on each side. Placing floating kitchen shelves in this spot lets more light come in since there is no side of a cabinet visually blocking things. This same layout goes for around an exhaust hood. A set of floating shelves on each side looks good in this spot.

Another really great option to put kitchen floating shelves is in awkward corners. Sometimes just based on how things play out in the kitchen, you end up with a funny corner that you’re just wondering what to do with. Corner shelves are the perfect solution to this problem. They are visually lighter and provide a great spot to put extra decor, which helps to make the space look more finished verses wondering what to put in the awkward spot.

Bar areas are also common areas where open shelves look and function well. Either above your coffee bar or adult beverage bar, and open shelves will provide extra space to display all your mugs and fun bar accessories.

How High Do You Hang Kitchen Floating Shelves?

The height at which you decide to hang your kitchen floating shelves depends on how tall your ceilings are and how many shelves you are trying to fit into that area.

Also, if you’re short like I am, and you’re going to place everyday items on the kitchen shelf, then you’ll need to make sure you can easily reach them because the last thing you need is to have to struggle or get out the step stool each time you need a plate or drinking glass.

You also don’t want to put them too low that you have made it impossible to put anything on the countertop under the shelf. 

I determined how high to place my kitchen floating shelves by starting at the bottom and working my way up. I knew I wanted to put taller items on the countertop without hitting the shelf, and I could divide the remaining space from there and determine how high to hang the second shelf. 

Starting with eye level is another way to determine your floating shelf placement. This approach works well if you’re doing three shelves, so the center one is at eye level, and the other two are spaced evenly from there.

How to Install Kitchen Floating Shelves So They Are Sturdy

Kitchen floating shelves // best brackets to use // how to install so they are sturdy //

Installing open shelving is way easier than you may imagine. The key is getting the correct shelf brackets; these will vary depending on the look you’re going for.

You’ll need pocket holes and a snug-fitting bracket to have an actual floating shelf where you see none of the brackets. Along with some heavy duty anchors and, if possible, the wall studs, you’ll be set!

Another style of kitchen floating shelves is where the shelf rests on the bracket or sits inside the bracket, so you see a bit of the front supports. Amazon has an abundance of options when it comes to any of these options. Search floating shelf bracket or wall shelf bracket, and you’ll be set.

How to Decorate Kitchen Floating Shelves

Last but most certainly not least is how to decorate kitchen floating shelves. This can be intimidating; trust me, I’ve spent countless hours figuring out shelf styling and arrangements. But the beauty in styling kitchen floating shelves is that they have such a functional purpose that the styling doesn’t have to be perfect to look good. 

Just always keep in mind how much weight you’re putting up there, and a lot of weight is ok as long as you used the correct bracket and hit a stud on installation.

Kitchen floating shelves absolutely can be used for storage, such as for everyday dishes, dry goods, or large pots. The key is being strategic in what you put where to make the items accessible and the right mix of practical and decorative objects. Small plants are also perfect for adding texture and color to the kitchen. The goal is to have things look curated, not cluttered.

>> If you’re looking for even more info about floating shelves then you’ll wanna read this post: Read this Right Now if You’re Considering Kitchen Floating Shelves

There you have it! Answers to the most frequently asked questions about kitchen floating shelves. I hope you’re feeling ready to go ahead and use these in your home now that you’ve read my blog post.

I’d love to see how you used these ideas in your home; tag me in a photo on Instagram @tantrumsandtools, and I’ll share your results in my stories!



furniture flipping // diy projects // home renovations // modern farmhouse decorating ideas

PS. Want more ideas and inspiration?

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