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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.