If you're looking for the stylish mantelpiece to install over a new or existing fireplace, a floating shelf could be the perfect solution. These shelves are quite attractive, easy to install, and can add a clean and modern look to your fireplace area. Whether you use a pre-made shelf or decide to build your own, the results can be beautiful. Here are some tips you can use to help decide if the technique is right for you, and how to get the job done right.
Is a Floating Shelf Mantelpiece the Best Choice?
In many cases, a floating shelf can be the perfect mantelpiece shelf. They are easy to install using only simple tools. Additionally, they are available in a wide variety of styles, making it easy to customize the look to match your room's overall decor. Using a floating shelf as a mantelpiece can also be an economical choice. However, although they are quite stylish, they are not as strong and cannot support as much weight as many other mantelpiece options. If you plan to store weighty items such as heavy art pieces or books on your mantel, you'll either want to take extra care to secure the floating shelf, or choose a different mantelpiece option.
Building Your Own Floating Shelf
If you don't want to use a store-bought shelf, you can simply build your own. Choose a board that is two inches thick and long enough for your mantel area. In most cases, a mantelpiece looks best if it extends approximately two inches on each side of the fireplace area. A circular saw can be used to cut it to the correct measurements. Cut a long rectangular notch on the back of the plank to assist in securing it to the wall. Sand the shelf smooth, and stain if desired. Applying a polyurethane finish will help make the shelf more durable and can add shine. To hang the shelf, first screw a piece of scrap wood to the wall in the proper shelf location, sized to match the notch you cut in the back of the shelf. Then screw the shelf brackets securely into the wall, measuring carefully to make sure they are straight. Apply good quality wood glue over the notched area then install the mantel over the piece of mounted scrap wood. Measure carefully and use a level to make sure everything is straight. Secure carefully and allow to dry.
Using a Pre-Made Floating Shelf
If you don't want to make your own shelf, you'll find plenty of styles to choose from in stores or online outlets. Choose one that is sized correctly for your fireplace area, in a wood shade that coordinates well with the rest of the room. Install the shelf by simply following the accompanying instructions. Before you know it, you'll have a beautiful and contemporary floating shelf mantelpiece.
Decorating Your New Floating Shelf Mantelpiece
As previously noted, you shouldn't display items which are especially heavy on a floating shelf. However, you can certainly decorate and accessorize your new mantelpiece with knick knacks, memorabilia, framed photos, a vase of flowers or other beautiful items.