Carpentry & Joinery Question

Fitting book shelves above a radiator

We want to fit a couple of book shelves above a radiator in our office at home. I know floating shelves arent meant to be strong enough, but the shelf brackets I've seen in DIY stores just look so awful - more suitable for the garage than the house! Can anyone recommend a solution that will look good and be strong enough.

7 Answers

Best Answer

The best way to fit floating shelves is to drill into the wall about 75mm bearing in mind there may be wires and pipes in the area so be careful. Anchor a reinforcing steelbar into the hole allowing it to protrude 3/4 of the depth of the shelf then drill the holes in the shelf to take the bar . Slip the shelf over the bar . This may sound easy but needs to be quite accurate to look good and work. This method applies to solid walls only.

Answered 8th Mar 2011

Hall Construction

Member since 25 Feb 2008

No feedback

Have you taken a look at cliffhanger brackets? These are designed so that the shelves slot into them and can hold a decent weight(depending on how well they are fixed).

Answered 8th Mar 2011

Ginway Construction Ltd

Member since 26 Sep 2010

Nothing wrong with floating shelves unles you are going to hang off them, 2 things first with the floating shelves makes sure that the brackets are metal and second make sure that each fixing on the brackets are used and that you have a good fixing. Good luck Kevin G

Answered 8th Mar 2011

Kevin Grimmond & Son Decorating

Member since 11 Feb 2011

build your own from mdf 2@300 either side of rad from floor to height required then batten inbetween and on either side and fit as many shelves as you like ,you could also incorporate a rad cover fixed to both side panels either end of rad finish of with half round beading to front,ive done my entire office this way ,
regards mitch substructure
ps use 18mm mdf and 2x1 prepared battens,most diy stores have a cutting service available one 2.4 x1.2 sheet cut into 300m strips will get you 4@2400 or 8@1200 your choice how many shelves you want

Answered 8th Mar 2011


Member since 7 Jun 2008

i agree floating shelves do look better and the good news is that some stores supply a heavy duty type the difference is that they have a metal rail that you fix to the wall with large guage screws and that you push the shelf onto protrudeing studs. these are much stronger and still look great i hope this is of help to you

Answered 8th Mar 2011


Member since 15 Feb 2011

Floating shelves should be strong enough providing you buy a quality item. At the end of the day it really depends on how much weight you want to put on the shelf and the distance between the fixing points. If you want to display a few items, a row of books and some paperwork then a floating shelf will work if it is possible to get a good fixing - a solid wall is the key to this.
If you have plasterboard lined walls and wish to store boxes of archived paperwork then you really need to consider a shelving system with metal uprights and adjustable supports as this will spread the load across the wall by providing you with multiple fixing points.
Alternatively, you can always rely on the strength of timber with timber brackets but will need to use a better quality timber than the ones available from the DIY stores as these are whitewood and will distort with the heat from the radiator. If you choose something which is at least 32mm thick you will stand a better chance of the timber being able to withstand the heat.
Hope this helps.

Answered 8th Mar 2011

Holbex Design Limited

Member since 21 Oct 2009

you can make a shelving unit simply with through housing joints with flat brackets screwed to back and to wall hard to explain

Answered 8th Mar 2011


Member since 31 Oct 2008

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