Professional installation is required. The job requires tools and skills that are beyond most DIY’ers. Please refer to the installation guide video:
Floating shelf installation is simple in concept but requires tools and skill beyond most DIY’ers. It is a job for a seasoned and skilled finish carpenter.
These directions are intended as a reference for a building professional.
Installing floating shelves on a tiled wall:
The same spacer system described below is also effective for dealing with crushed drywall causing the shelf bracket to wobble. It is not unusual to install several shelves with no crushed drywall and then others in the same room will have a problem with crushing drywall.
If the wall is already tiled, use a 1.5” diamond drill at each stud location behind the bracket. Core out all the way to the face of the stud, but not into the wood. Use a vacuum to remove any dust from the hole.
If the wall is not yet tiled, use a 1.5” holesaw to core out the sheetrock at the exact location where the bracket will be bolted to each stud. This layout must be done very carefully so your shelves will be level from left to right. At this time, you will also want to take into account where the grout lines of the tile will lay out relative to the shelf location so it will have the best possible visual presentation.
When installing the tile, carefully cut around the 1.5” holes. The shelf is 1.75 thick. It will only cover the holes if the cuts are made with that in mind, and if the initial layout was done correctly.
When the tile is in place, make some 1.5” dia. wood spacers that will bridge the distance from the face of the stud to the back of the shelf bracket. These must be equal or just slightly greater than the total thickness of the sheetrock and tile. The simplest way to make these it to get a piece of wood that is the right thickness and use the same 1.5” holesaw from before. Use a good hard wood that wont compress like oak or maple. Instead of making these from wood, you could use a stack of fender washers.
You may need to get some longer lags than the 3” ones we provide. You want a good 2+” of thread embedment into the base material (studs)
The brackets when bolted tight should be either not touching the tile or barely touching, otherwise the pressure from tightening the bolts will easily break the tiles.
When the bracket is installed correctly, it must be very secure and wont hardly budge any sooner than the wall its attached to. You cannot move beyond this step until the bracket is solidly attached to the building structure. If it is at all wobbly at this point, the carpenter installing it must draw on his experience and skill and figure out what to do to make the bracket secure and level in both dimensions.
There is some play between the space inside the shelf and the bracket. Usually this does not create a problem. On smaller shelves (4” -6” deep) it is more likely to be problem than on a deeper shelf. If you decide the play is going to be a problem, some rips of wood can be used to take up the space. Don’t make them too tight or pushing the shelf on could cause the shelf to split. That is very bad and will surely upset your client. If the bracket is not completely dead level the shelf may seesaw or rock on the bracket. This can be corrected either by adjusting the bracket or by adding the appropriate size piece of wood or metal to either the top or bottom of the bracket arms where needed, or to the inside of the shelf if that works better for the situation.
Once the shelf has been fitted to the bracket and all is level and happy, check to see the back edge of the shelf mates to the wall nicely. If there are any unfairness in the wall it will create a gap between the wall and the shelf. It is possible to scribe cut the back of the shelf slightly to reduce or eliminate such gaps.
The shelf must be secured to the wall so it cannot slide off the bracket later. This can be done in any number of ways. The simplest and most effective is a bead of latex caulking on the back of the shelf where it touches the wall. Promptly clean up any squeeze out with a wet sponge or rag