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How Far Apart Should Floating Shelves Be Hung?

Updated February 21, 2017

The horizontal distance between floating shelves is determined by the height of the items that are being displayed or stored on the shelf. When placing the shelves horizontally, allow room for the tallest item on the shelf plus space for visual effect.

Studs Limit Location

The vertical spacing of floating shelves is affected by the location of wall studs. Floating shelves' hidden brackets must be secured to studs. They cannot be secured with drywall anchors, or the weight of the shelf and contents will eventually pull the shelf away from the wall. Floating shelf brackets bear all of the weight.

Bottom Line

Floating shelves can have as much or as little space between them as a decorator wants when it comes to horizontal placement. However, vertical placement is limited by the location of the studs in a room. Always secure floating shelves to wall studs under the drywall.

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About the Author

Rachel Murdock published her first article in "The Asheville Citizen Times" in 1982. Her work has been published in the "American Fork Citizen" and "Cincinnati Enquirer" as well as on corporate websites and in other online publications. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at Brigham Young University and a Master of Arts in mass communication at Miami University of Ohio.