DIY Floating Pipe Shelves (with Step-by-Step Instructions)
Floating shelves are a beautiful way to add more storage to rooms both big and small. However, beginner DIYers might feel daunted by designs with hidden internal brackets and retaining screws. If you’re not completely sure what you’re doing, you could damage your walls.
Kee Klamp fittings and pipe provide an elegant and easy alternative. You can mount them to the wall in seconds, and as long as you’ve screwed the fittings into a stud, they’ll be able to hold up almost all of your storage needs.
Matthew from Boston, MA, decided to build a set of floating shelves with Kee Klamp fittings and pipe in order to display his liquor bottles and barware. He discovered that not only are the shelves an attractive storage solution but that they are extremely sturdy; he actually tested out the pipes with his own weight before loading up the shelves!
In this article, we’ll go over the exact fittings that Matthew used to build his shelves. We’ll also walk you through each step for assembly, from sanding the wood to mounting the fittings. In no time at all, you’ll have your own set of beautiful and timeless floating shelves.
Let’s take a look:
Matthew’s Floating Pipe Shelves Project Details
Matthew’s shelves are straightforward to build and easily customizable. Using our powder-coating service, you could order fittings and pipe in almost any color you can think of. You can also choose to stain the wood, paint it, or leave it unfinished like in the example below.
However, there is one detail you must replicate in order to have the same success with your own project.
Notice how Matthew’s shelf supports are off-center. This isn’t a mistake but in fact, a key reason why his shelves are so sturdy. Matthew used a stud finder to locate the most secure and well-supported sections of the wall before deciding where to mount the Flange fittings.
In a moment, we’ll walk you through the exact steps to building shelves, including when to use the stud finder. But first, let’s cover the fittings used:
Fittings for the Floating Pipe Shelves
In addition to the three pieces of wood, sandpaper, stain, and sealant, you’ll only need a handful of parts for building shelves that are just like the ones Matthew built. Start by ordering these fittings and pipe:
- 6 x 61-6 Flange Fitting
- 6 x 84-6 Malleable Plug
- 6 x 73-6 Fixing Pad
- 6 x 9” of Size 6 Gator Tubing
To mount the fittings and pipe to the wall, you’ll need some long construction screws such as the ones pictured below:
You’ll also need one-inch wood screws for securing the shelves to the pipes:
To assemble your shelves, you’ll need a stud finder, a hex key, a Phillips-head screwdriver, and an electric drill.
Once you’ve gathered all your materials, you’re ready to begin.
How to Build the Floating Pipe Shelves
In addition to being easy enough for a beginner to assemble, building shelves with Kee Klamp fittings is very quick. Follow these four simple steps and you can finish your floating pipe shelves in as little as an afternoon.
1. Prep the Shelves
Perhaps the most time-consuming step is sanding and staining the wood. This can be done by hand with coarse grain sandpaper, although you can do it quicker with an electric sander.
Stain the wood after sanding, followed by another pass with fine grain sandpaper. Finally, seal your shelves with your choice of sealant before moving on to the next step.
2. Mount the Flange Fittings and Pipe
While the shelves dry, use a stud finder to locate the best place to mount the Flange fittings. Mounting the fittings and pipe to studs is critical for well-supported shelves. We recommend finding the studs first, then deciding the height you want between each shelf.
Once you’ve marked where the Flange fittings will go, use an electric drill and construction screws to attach them to the wall. Notice how Matthew didn’t drill into the wall outside the area he marked for the stud.
After you’ve secured the Flange fittings to the wall, insert a pipe into each fitting and tighten them using the hex key.
3. Attach the Fixing Pads and Malleable Plugs
Slide the Fixing Pads onto the exposed end of the pipe, but don’t tighten them just yet. Then, insert a Malleable Plug into the end of the pipe to create a finished look.
5. Secure the Shelves to the Supports
Once your fittings and pipe are in place, you’re ready to attach the shelves. Place them on top of the supports, then adjust the Fixing Pads so that the flat side is flush with the wood. Secure them to the shelves using a wood screw and Phillips-head screwdriver, then tighten the fitting with a hex key or Allen wrench.
With that, your floating pipe shelves are complete! Load them up with books, photo frames, barware, or whatever you need to store. When you use Kee Klamp fittings and pipe, you can be confident that your belongings are well-supported.
Need Help Building Your Shelves?
Don’t let a lack of DIY experience stop you from creating your own floating pipe shelves. With Kee Klamp fittings and pipe, you can build a storage solution in a single afternoon that you can trust to stand up to almost anything you throw at it.
Interested in building floating shelves but aren’t inspired by what you see here? Check out this list of 45+ DIY pantry shelves built with pipe. Many of the designs can be easily converted into a storage solution that suits your needs.
If you have a floating pipe shelf idea in mind but you aren’t sure how to build it, then feel free to reach out to our team for free design assistance. We’ve helped countless Kee Klamp customers design and assemble their projects. We’d be happy to help you do the same.