Installing Glass Shelving with Standard Brackets

When you use glass shelves, they will give you the opportunity to create the look of an open wall design, while making a place for some of your most treasured items. They are stronger than they look, so even some treasures that are a bit heavier can still make their home on a glass shelf.

Glass shelving is easier to keep clean than you would think, and they can still look as elegant years after they are hung, if they are just kept clean. If you’re not familiar with floating shelves, I wouldn’t recommend that you use that as a do-it-yourself project, although I will cover it in another post. Normally, you will be using regular shelf brackets to secure your glass shelving to the wall.

Hook Glass Shelf

Like any shelving choice, glass shelves will make your home more organized, even though they are more often used for decorative purposes. There are many things you can store on shelves, including collectibles, hobby items and awards you or your children might have earned. Keeping only decorative items together on your new shelving will keep the shelves looking orderly and tasteful.

Free-Standing Glass Shelves

Some shelves are used in a free-standing form, but I recommend you make your closed units out of wood, rather than glass shelves. Wood is more utilitarian, and there is no sense in hiding lovely shelves inside what amounts to a box. The free-standing shelves are usually quite portable too, which glass really is not.

To be sure, there are many instances when wood shelving will do just as well as glass, to store things. But for looks and style, you just can’t beat glass, since it is so simple and yet so elegant, at the same time. You can make a curio cabinet of sorts that is all glass, but again, it would not be an easy thing to move, for cleaning or a cross-town move. Glass shelving has a unique ability to highlight items stored on each level, and yet not distract your attention from the items. Bright or clear collectibles can be lit up from above or below, or simply reflected in the light that the glass catches from the room.

Lights and Glass Shelves

Glass shelves are also commonly seen in bathrooms, since they fit the open look and they don’t have any problem with moisture buildup, like a wood shelf might.

To install glass shelves, you’ll need the materials for the shelves, or the actual shelves if you are having someone make them for you. You’ll also need two brackets per shelf, a pencil, a stud finder, a hammer and drill, bolts or screws and a level.

The shape, thickness and design of the glass you will use for your shelves will play an important role in determining the weight your shelves can hold. Before you select the shelves you’d like, check and see how much weight you will be putting on any one shelf, and then select thicker and sturdier glass for them, if need be. Don’t use thinner glass shelving if you will be putting anything heavy on them. If your shelves will need to support a weight of any substantial amount, get a thicker glass that is tempered. In this way, you will not risk damage or loss to your special collectibles and anything else that you will be displaying on your glass shelves.

Glass Shelves

Before you begin, use a damp cloth and clean the wall where you will be installing your shelves. Use the stud finder to make sure you find a secure place where they will be supported, and mark the spots with a pencil where you’ll be mounting the brackets. If you don’t use studs for added support, you will need bolts or screws that are made to carry the full weight of the glass shelves and all of their contents.

Marking for Shelves Installation

When you know what items you will be placing on each shelf, you’ll want to decide the best way to arrange the shelves, in the way that will look the best. Some people will prefer straight rows of shelves, but they may look more creative if you stagger them. If you have several rows of shelves, make sure you allow enough distance in between each row for any taller items you may be placing on the shelves.

You can purchase classic or modern brackets at a home improvement store in your area, or online. There are some very stylish designs that will give your display a touch of class. Modern brackets will accent your minimalist look. In the same way, traditional brackets will complement the more classical look of older homes and their interior design.

Hold the brackets one by one against the wall, and use the bolts or screws to secure them into place. Be sure to check each bracket and then the line formed from one bracket to another, to make sure you have them level. Place your brackets – and later the shelves – high enough that young children cannot reach them, to avoid injury and damage.

Order your custom shelving, or stock shelving if they have the size you desire, either locally or online. If you order your shelves online, they may be cut at a local store, so that they don’t have to be shipped as far, after they are cut. A shelf kit is handy because it also includes mounting screws or bolts, and brackets. You may opt for packaged brackets in chrome, bronze, nickel or brass finishes. You can also find these kits online and in local home improvement stores.

Next, slide your glass shelving into place, and secure it onto the brackets Use the level to check one last time, to make sure that the shelves are all level.

Custom Glass Shelves

Wipe over the glass shelves with a paper towel or a soft cloth, and arrange the decorative items you want to display on the shelves. You can move the objects around until they give you a view that is most pleasing to the eye.

Unlike wooden or metal shelves, glass shelves lend themselves to be spread out in different ways to display collectibles and pictures. You don’t want any of the pieces to be crowded, so experiment with various placings until everything looks right to you. Make sure that the shelf is able to comfortably support everything you have set there.

Glass Shelves

How to Refine a Room with Glass Shelves

Using glass shelves will help to refine any room from a mundane appearance to one that truly stands out. Glass shelves work so well as a solution to interior design needs. Custom glass shelves will do an even better job of fitting in with contemporary and modern designs. But if you do the installation yourself, you can save a good deal of money versus professional installations.

Some specialty stores that handle glass will have the right equipment on-site to cut, polish and bevel your glass shelves. If they can deliver them too, that will be one less thing you’ll need to worry about. I usually pick the shelves up myself, but I have a truck that is specially fitted to carry glass panels safely.

Glass shelving can be used in many areas of your home, including the living room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen, den or family room. It can add a unique touch to a room that already has contemporary styling, and can make a bathroom cleaner and less cluttered.

Bathroom Glass Shelves

The various types of glass that are available for use as shelving include frosted, clear, tinted and more. The more customization you have done, the more expensive they will generally be. I usually go with plain glass shelves, unless you have a glass curio cabinet or some other glass work that you want to match.

If you visit the glass shop where your shelves are cut, they can show you the process the glass goes through to become the shelves for your home. You will also have choices to make about the exact shape of your glass shelves. I use generic rectangular shelves often, but once in awhile a room’s design may call for oblong or oval shelves, or shelves that are made free-form. Let the glass cutters know where you will be using your shelves, too, so they can help you to determine what type of glass will work the best for you. Tempered glass is usually an excellent choice, and is a type of glass that I work with a lot.

Tempered Glass Shelves

There are also various thicknesses of glass shelving, so let the glass company know what thickness you want – or tell them where you’ll be mounting the shelves, and they can probably tell you what kind you will need.

You can choose a custom edging to the glass made for your shelves, too. A simple polished edge is one of the more common shapes, but a beveled edge goes better if you have a modern interior design in the room.

The glass company can also recommend the proper hardware to use when you install your glass shelving. Some of the more popular finishes are brass, satin chrome, brushed nickel and chrome.

Sine Tempered Glass Shelf

Glass shelves tend to be a less intrusive style than metal or wood shelving. They allow light to pass through, and you can play off the natural light by adding special lighting above or below your shelves, or by mounting a mirror on the wall, before you hang your shelves.

You will want to select shelf brackets that accent the glass material you are using, rather than a style that may detract from the look you are trying to achieve. You can use glass, wood or wrought iron brackets. These are not normally expensive, and they can be installed with a minimum of skill or experience.

Glass shelving is used more often for decorative purposes, rather than storage needs, but you can use this material for either one. I use glass shelves quite often, since they really add to the modern look, but whatever brackets you select, you’ll want to make sure that they are installed correctly before you place your glass shelves on them. Even though glass can hold more than you might think, it’s still not a good idea to store overly heavy items on glass.

Glass Shelves

Wooden shelf brackets work well if your room is perhaps a bit more rustic. They are very serviceable, and will properly hold your shelves, as long as they’re the right size. If you want a very simple design, triangular wooden shelf brackets will work quite well. If you have the proper tools, you can also cut wood brackets into specific shapes, to accent the shelving.

If you don’t have the money to spend for custom shelves, you can buy glass in stock sizes, which may work for the room you are shelving. If you want to use these to make your own shelving, you’ll also need a tape measure, safety gloves, a level, two brackets of your choice, a drill, screws, a stud finder, drywall anchors and duct tape.

Select the size of prefabricated glass that will work the best in your application. If you have the skills, you can cut the glass at home with a glass cutter, but I wouldn’t recommend this if you haven’t had any experience in this area. As a rule, a simple shelf made from tempered glass will work well. If you are buying prefabricated glass, you may still be able to get the company where you purchase the glass to add a different type of edge, without incurring much of an additional cost. Ask them if they would be willing to do that for you, since you probably don’t have the tools to make the edge properly.

Custom Shelves

Use a pencil to mark your walls where the shelving will be hung. You’ll want to be mounting your brackets into a stud, so locate those while you are deciding exactly where your shelves will hang. A stud finder is fairly easy to use, and it will ensure that your shelving is mounted in a way that the weight on the shelves won’t pull your screws out of the wall.

Drill small pilot holes in the wall, and push your anchors into those holes. Then you can screw your brackets into the stud behind the wall.

Once you have the brackets in place, all you have to do is to place the glass shelves on top of your brackets. If your brackets have notches in them, make sure that the glass rests there, for maximum support.

How To Make Glass Shelves

If you have admired the glass shelves you’ve seen in other people’s homes, you may think that making your own glass shelves would be something beyond your abilities. But it’s not as hard as you might think.

It’s best to use tempered glass to create glass shelving, since it has much more stability, so you can display more different types of items there. If your tempered glass shelf should break, it will break into small square fragments like a car windshield, so it’s not as dangerous as traditional glass, which may break off with sharper edges. Decide what shape you would like before you order, since the glass won’t be tempered until it’s cut.

To make your own glass shelves from pieces of cut glass, you’ll need a measuring tape, shelf supports or brackets, gloves, some safety glasses, some nails or screws, and a hammer or screwdriver. You can also use a caulking gun and adhesive caulk for additional stability.

Use your measuring tape to determine what size you’d like your shelves to be. Measure on your walls how far from the corners your shelves will start, and how far they will extend. This all depends on how many things you would like to display on your shelves.

Coner glass shelf

Think about the objects you might be placing on your shelves, to help you determine how thick the glass for your shelves should be. It will need to be thick enough to provide your objects with proper support. Tempered glass comes in thicknesses of 1/4 inch, 3/8 an inch or 1/2 an inch. 3/8 is a standard thickness that will hold all but the heaviest objects. If you have something that is especially heavy, ask your glass cutting professional about whether it should be displayed on glass at all.

Determine the most feasible type of support for your shelves and the area where they will be hung. You can buy brackets in glass, wood, metal or plastic, and they are made to be screwed into your wall. There are some brackets that are less artistic and more utilitarian, but some can offer excellent support while still being decorative. Select the brackets that will go the best with your room’s décor. You can also buy floating shelves, which will be secured directly into your wall with a strong adhesive.

Glass Shelving

Select the shape you would like for the shelf edges. You can get them wavy, beveled, flat or rounded. The finish of your glass shelves can be plain, smooth, satiny or frosted. After you determine thickness, glass type and edging, you can order the shelves.

If you plan to cut the shelves yourself, you’ll need a glass cutter, and someone who has experience in glass cutting. Most people order them pre-cut, and the more intricate the designs, the higher the price will be. If you are on a fixed budget, something simple with a basic edging will be the best.

Shelf Brackets

If you’ll be cutting the glass yourself, clean an area big enough for the piece of glass, and cover that glass with a damp cloth. Be sure that the glass is clean. Mark off the measurements for the shelving, on your glass. Place a straightedge along the area you’ll be cutting, and secure that with duct tape. Use a glass cutter that is well-lubricated to score along the straightedge, in one fluid motion.

Remove your duct tape and your straightedge, and tap on the reverse side of the glass, along the line you cut. Apply pressure to help the edge snap off.

If you ordered your glass to be cut professionally, then when it is delivered, unpack it carefully, using gloves, to avoid cuts. Check the glass for any imperfections, and measure to be sure that the thickness and dimensions are exactly as you ordered.

The glass will be hung from brackets, unless you order floating shelves. There are many designs and colors available in brackets, so select one that goes with your room’s décor. They generally come with all the hardware you will need.

Shelf Support

If you have drywall on your walls, you should try to configure the shelves so that your brackets are mounted where the studs are. If the studs don’t line up with where you want the shelves to be, you can purchase brackets made for a drywall installation.

Drill pilot holes for the screws, and push the anchors into those holes. The anchors can be tapped lightly with a hammer if they won’t go in otherwise. After the anchor is in place, then you may screw your brackets in the wall.

Install the shelf brackets following the instructions that come in the same package. They are generally made in the shapes of angles, where one arm will attach to the wall and the other will support the shelf itself.

Clean your glass shelves before you place them on top of your brackets or supports. If you chose floating shelves, you’ll need to drill into the wall so that the shelving tabs can fit into the wall cut-outs.

Glass Shelf

After your shelving is mounted, and the adhesive is dry if you used floating shelves, you may place the objects on the shelves, as you desire them.

Decorators may spend a lot of time to determine the color a room will look the best painted, but glass shelves will go well with almost any type of décor you have. Wood brackets can be used for your shelves, if they will go well with the style of your room. If your room is more modern in design, metal or wrought iron brackets will work better, and floating shelves work best of all.

Bathroom Glass Coner Shelves

The grains from wood in your furniture can reflect off your glass shelving, even as they match your brackets. Glass shelves will also pick up the colors from the walls in the room, especially if you place a mirror behind them when they are mounted.

Your rooms only have a finite amount of space, and when you use glass as a shelving option, it opens up your room and makes your living space appear larger.

How To Install Bathroom Glass Shelves

Glass shelves are excellent accessories for your bathroom. They can keep soaps, shampoos and other essentials for the room organized and away from the countertops and walls of your tub. Glass is also very easy to clean and keep sanitary. Many glass shelves come with their own hardware for installation, and they can be finished up in an afternoon. You’ll need a screwdriver, a drill, a hammer, hardware and screws.

First, remove your glass shelf from its packaging, and make sure you have the appropriate hardware to install it. This is normally found in the form of a plastic bag with brackets, anchors and screws.

Place your glass bath shelf where it will be hung, to make sure it looks like you had pictured when you picked it out. Mark the shelf’s top and bottom with a pencil and then mark the mounting holes through the shelf while it is placed where you want it.

Use a bit to drill out the holes for the shelves, where you have them marked. Then place the glass bath shelf against the wall once more, and have someone hold it in place.

Glass Bath Shelves

Use the mounting screws and the included washers to place through the mounting holes, and twist them into place. Before you put the shelf back onto the wall for the final time, tap anchors into the mounting holes that you have drilled, using a small hammer.

Screw the glass shelf into position with a power driver. Do the same with each mounting hole, and then check to make sure that your shelf is securely fastened to the wall.

In living rooms, shelves need to be sturdy, but glass shelving can work in these rooms as well. They are as at-home in the bathroom as anywhere, however. The reflective or transparent glass does some of its best work in the bathroom.

Since bathrooms are usually smaller, a glass shelf can make the room feel and look bigger. They will give you the best spaces for toiletries and other items like folded up towels, or washcloths.

Bathroom Glass Shelves

Since glass shelves for bathrooms are usually narrow, this will allow cologne or perfume to be lined up, so you can see everything you’re reaching for. A transparent glass shelf can also be appealing since you can see items on other shelves, too. This makes smaller items much easier to get to.

Beyond all the other reasons for glass shelves in a bathroom, glass looks elegant. It will give your room a modern, fresh feeling. The surface of glass is sterile and also easy to clean. And this is a great thing, in a bathroom.

While you will welcome glass shelves for bottles or containers, you’ll also have some spots in the bathroom that will work more easily with wooden or metal shelves, like the area in the linen closet. Metal or wood are more cost-effective than glass for many applications, but they don’t have the appeal that glass shelves do. If you are looking to store smaller items, it’s hard to beat the look of glass.

Bathroom Glass Shelves

Floating shelves are handy for bathroom usage, too. You can’t see the mounting hardware of floating shelves, and they are great looking. They can store towels or washcloths while still keeping the room stylish.

If your bathroom is especially small, glass shelves are the way to go. Cabinets take up a good amount of space, and their items are stored out of sight, so they are harder to get to when you’re in a hurry to get to work in the morning. You’ll always have some items like toilet bowl cleaner and toilet paper that you would rather have stored out of sight, but for many essentials, glass shelves work fine. They will help you reserve the area under your sink for bathroom cleaning products, and will keep your personal items away from the possibility of water damage if you previously stored them under there, as well.

A corner glass shelf will fit perfectly into a bathroom corner, and will allow you to use the space between the corner where two walls meet. Corner glass shelves look simple but elegant, and they are just another handy place for skin care products, soaps and lotions. You can also stack extra washcloths and towels in a corner shelf, so they are readily available when you need them.

Corner Glass Shelves

Glass wall shelves will fit a flat surface and they are generally sized so that they can fit small or medium items. You can add a few glass wall shelves near your tub or vanity mirror, and it will be easy for you to grab items from these shelves when you need them. Make sure that the glass is of a thickness that can safely hold the items you will be placing there. If you have an abundance of wall space but not a lot of floor space, you could even install a glass wall cabinet in any location where it won’t be in the way when you use the bathroom to shower or to prepare for work. Glass wall shelf units usually will have three or more shelves, that will make them truly handy to store things on.

If you do have floor space that you can use for storage, a free-standing glass shelf unit will be very handy. These can be convenient in a bathroom, since the items are easy to get to. Corner glass shelves are handy to organize the things that clutter up your bathroom. These shelves can be of help in storing and also organizing smaller bottles of soap and shampoo and the like.

Glass shelves for bathrooms are great for organizing and for making your bathroom storage more compact. With glass shelves, the items you need, such as your toiletries, are never far away, and you can see them without going through everything on the shelves, since they are transparent. This enhances the utility, since they are so transparent. You can grab things as you need them, rather than having to pick up and check each bottle.

How To Install Floating Glass Shelves

Floating glass shelves can be used to make a style statement in nearly any room. They are simple yet elegant, and they can hold all but the heaviest of items. Floating shelves are not difficult to assemble, even though the end look makes it seem as though they would be.

To install a floating glass shelf, you will need the shelf itself, a mounting template, a pencil, a measuring tape, a drill, brackets or tongue and groove supports, a screwdriver, a wall saw and adhesive caulking. In the end, they will look as though they have no support, but of course they must. A floating shelf can hold as much weight as many other types of shelves, so you needn’t be afraid of displaying your favorite items on them.

Floating Glass Shelf

The thickness and design of the glass you select for your floating shelves will play an important role in determining how much weight you can place on them. Before you purchase your shelves, understand how much weight they will need to hold, and select shelves that will support that much weight. Don’t use thin glass if you plan to display any heavy items. Floating glass shelves are not made to support extremely heavy weight.

After you determine the best thickness and style of shelves, you will want to decide the best way to arrange the shelves for the optimum effect. You can put them in straight rows, or you can stagger them, which makes them more unique in appearance. If you are placing shelves in rows from high to low, measure to make sure your tallest display items can fit on their designated shelves.

After you decide where you want your shelves to be hung, you’ll want to use a template, to mark out the precise grooves that you’ll need to cut into your wall. Depending on the designs you have chosen, there may also need to be brackets behind your shelves. Make sure that your markings and measurements are accurate, to avoid shelves that are not level.

Before you begin cutting into your walls, make sure there are no electrical wires right behind the area where you will be working. Use your wall saw to cut into the wall the grooves your shelves will need. You will use the markings from your template to determine where the cuts will be made.

Once you have cut your grooves out of the wall, check and make sure that the floating shelves will fit properly into the grooves. Once you know they will all fit, apply the adhesive caulking to the shelves’ edges, and slide them within the grooves in the wall. Let the caulking dry before you put anything on the shelves. If your shelves also have brackets, use the screws to attach them securely to the wall. Most floating glass shelves do not have brackets, which is why they are called “floating” shelves.

Step Shelves

Floating shelf benefits are many, as they will release free space in your room. Awards or special gifts may now be sitting in boxes, but you can now display them on your floating shelves. Floating shelves in a room where you study will be very handy. Lighter books or DVD’s can be stored on these shelves, keeping your study room more free of clutter.

Study Room Glass Shelves

Floating shelves in your kitchen are also the ultimate in storage for that room. Your favorite glassware can be creatively displayed on floating glass shelves. This frees up room in cabinets and on your counters. Placing floating glass shelves on either side of your kitchen countertops will be a great place for sitting spices and other cooking items.

Floating glass shelves were more widely used in bathrooms before they became popular in other rooms, and the bathroom is still a great place to install floating glass shelves. You can fold towels neatly and store them in glass shelves, as well as handily storing toothpaste, deodorants and displaying knick knacks or sea shells, or even guest soaps.

Bathroom Glass Shelves

Floating wall shelves in your living room are becoming more common than they once were. You can show off photographs or collectibles, without losing any floor space. The idea behind floating shelves is to show off the clean lines and simplicity of glass, without any visual way of supporting them.

When you are preparing your living room for floating shelves, you will do as before and determine where you want the shelves to be hung. If you’re not sure how the shelves will look, you can use blue painters’ tape of the same length as the shelves, and experiment with how they look in various positions.

The free-form look is accomplished by the cut-in grooves you will make in the wall, where the shelves are mounted. The depth of the shelves is also an important consideration, since the groove-cuts will only allow a certain amount of the shelf to be mounted within them for support.

Most people have the glass cut professionally before they prepare to install floating glass shelves. Make sure you have the proper tools and someone with experience to help you, if you plan to cut your own shelves at home. I have cut my own shelves for some projects, but custom glass cutters have a lot more tools that will allow for unique lines and edges.

Big Glass Shelves

Floating glass shelves are valuable whether you are a homeowner looking for a new approach for display and storage, or if you are staging a home for sale. These shelves hold more weight than you would think, and they look especially wonderful in contemporary or modern rooms. If you are staging a home, the goal is to show simple and clean lines, so that none of the rooms in the home look cluttered. Floating shelves will allow the display of items, while still keeping the look elegant and simple.

Floating shelves, as you have seen, are not that difficult to install, and they are a wonderful place to display figurines, collectibles, vases, photographs or awards. They are as at-home in corners as they are on straight walls, and the style of glass shelving goes with nearly any interior design style your home shows. Since floating shelves have such simple and smooth lines, you won’t even notice the shelves as much as you will the items displayed on them.