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Floating Shelf Height: How High Should a Floating Shelf Be?

There are always new trends coming in the interior decoration sector. One new hype are the floating shelves. These shelves are designed for your convenience and for the visual aesthetics of an interior.

While placing a floating shelf, it is very important to consider the height and the placement of the shelves. This should not be taken lightly. If you want to attach a floating shelf make sure you are aware of the height issue and calculation of the shelves heights.

Floating shelf height

The height of a floating shelf varies based on many things. For a single shelf, the height should be around four to six inches. And if you want it placed in the kitchen it should be about eighteen to twenty-five inches in height. Basically eight to sixteen inches is a general height for shelves. 

Floating shelves are a new hype in the interior decoration sector. These new design in shelves are not only stylish but also very convenient. When it comes to saving space, or utilizing space to be more accurate, a floating shelf is a go to option.

The height and space of the floating shelves vary depending on the placement and usage of the shelves. According to the room the size and height can change as well. It is better to be aware of the size variance before you get a shelf attached-

In bedroom:

When you want a floating shelf in your bedroom, you can try to measure from the bed or the floor. Usually five to four feet from the floor is a visually pleasing height for a floating shelf in the bedroom. You can go higher as well, depending on how it looks.

Above toilet:

Usually for a floating shelf placed above the toilet the height should be counted from the toilet top. The height of the floating shelf should be more than 10 to 12 inches from the top of the toilet. This is height is not only convenient but it also looks good. 

Above sink:

The shelves placed above the sink area do not need much space in between. From the sink around 18 inches should be enough height for the perfect placement of the shelves. You can go higher if you want but try not to lower the height. It could create problems. 

In kitchen:

Floating shelves are mostly used in the kitchen areas and cooking rooms. The shelves should be about 18 to 24 inches in height when you attach it in a kitchen space. It is an ideal height to keep things and is out of any dangers related with cooking and the kitchen.

Above countertop:

Just like the kitchen setup, the shelves above the countertop should be between 18 to 24 inches high. The gap between the countertop and the shelves should be enough so there is no accident in that area. Maintaining a gap of at least 18 inches should be good enough.

Floating shelves are a great addition to the interior. Not only is the setup of the floating shelves flattering to the eyes, the placement of the shelves make it very convenient for use as well. If you get the heights right while placing them you should have a beautiful setup.

What is a good shelf height? What is the code?

When it comes to floating shelves, their height matter the most. If the floating shelves are not placed in the right height, it will not look good. In fact, the height of the floating shelves can either make the entire room or it can bring the entire look of the room down.

A good height for the floating shelves is around 48 inches. This is the ideal height for any room and placement. Though the placement of the floating shelves depends on the room and the other interior and furniture. Still a general height would be around 48 inches on the wall.

There is a code set for the universal height for floating shelves. The code for the height of the floating shelves is 38(a). This is the ideal height of a floating shelf. It does change according to the requirement, placement of furniture and the setup of the room.

A floating shelf will add a new vibe to your home and interior. Make sure you get the height of the shelf placement right. If there is an issue with the height of the floating shelf then the setup will not look good enough and it will cause trouble inside.  

What should be the distance between floating shelves?

If you have multiple shelves stacked or placed above one another you will have to mind the gap between each shelf. It is essential that you keep the gap in between each shelf appropriately. This is to avoid any clash with the placement of any object on the shelf.

The gap between each shelf is usually the same for every type of floating shelf. 12 inches is the ideal gap that is to be maintained between each of the floating shelf.

Despite the placement of the shelf or where the floating shelves are being set, it is best to keep 12 inches gap between on shelf and another.

A gap is required between one shelf from another. It is so the room and the shelves themselves do not look clustered. A 12 inch gap is universally maintained. This makes the room look better and it does not create any problem.

3 factors that affect floating shelf height

You may want to place a floating shelf around your home. While doing so, you will need to set the height of the shelves very carefully.

The height of the shelves determine how your room and interior will look. There are many things when it comes to determining the perfect height of the floating shelves-

Their usage:

How you plan on using the shelves matter a lot when it comes to measuring their height. If the shelves are for decorative purposes then the higher the better. But if you are to actually place items that will be in use then it is best to keep the moderate height.


Where you set the floating shelves are a huge deal for determining the height. It the shelves are in an open space then you can increase the desired height of the shelves.

However, for a more clustered place you will want to keep the height of the shelves a bit lower.

The number of shelves:

A good determinant of the height is the number of shelves. In case of a single shelf the height of it can be according to your preference and how the room looks. But if you have multiple shelves, you will want to keep the height moderate.

If you want your room and interior to look good then you will have to make sure the height of the floating shelves are set properly. Make sure the placement of the shelves look good and is convenient for regular use.

How to install a floating shelf at proper height?

A floating shelf is indeed a very new take on the interior of any room. And it might sound easy to place. But finding the right height for the placement of the shelves can be difficult. It can also be very difficult to actually place the floating shelf on the right height-

Find place:

Find the right place for the shelves. Choose the wall and the room you want your floating shelf to be in. This is important for the marking and the height calculation.

Select height:

Once you have the desired place for your shelves carefully select the height of the shelves. Take into consideration the room, the space, the usage and the number of shelves.

If you have to attach it in the kitchen it will be one height. But if the shelves are to be placed over a sink or the toilet, the height will be significantly lower than that of a kitchen. Calculate the height of the shelves according to these factors.


Make the initial drill or pilot holes. This is to be done when you have fixed the height and marked the holes.

Match shelf brackets and attach pilot hole:

You will have to match the shelf brackets and attach them with the pilot holes. You should use a screw driver to get this job done.

Hang the shelf:

Once the shelf brackets are done you can hang the shelves now. This is when the shelves start to look like how you planned. And with that your job is done.

Final thoughts

If you wish to attach a floating shelf in any of the rooms make sure you get the measurements of the height right. A single shelf will do good with four to six inches. But the general and ideal height for a floating shelf should be between eight to sixteen inches, depending on the placement.