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I have a bar nook area that I want to do something similar to the image below, but on the back of the shelves I want to put a large mirror. I was planning on ordering a custom cut mirror for the wall and then I want to install these floating shelves.

How do I get shelves without brackets showing on the sides? I also assume I can't put brackets that drill into the back of the wall because there will be a mirror there and it will crack.

enter image description here

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Related: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/27873/… –  Niall C. Jul 22 '13 at 20:17
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I'd attach the shelves, then add mirrors in between. –  DA01 Jul 22 '13 at 20:25
    
You could consider Mirror Tiles, and leave a gap to be covered by the shelf. (12" tile, 1" Gap ...) –  Chris Cudmore Jul 23 '13 at 15:39

3 Answers 3

You could mount support bars on the walls that touch the ends of the shelves. The bars should be screwed into studs that form the framing of the inset walls. Square tubing, either aluminum or steel would do well.

The shelves would need to be fairly thick. They would have a slot (dado) cut into in the middle of the end edges, slightly wider that the thickness of the support bars. The front edge of the shelf could have a strip of matching wood glued to its face, hiding the slot. The remaining edge of the shelf, especially the top edge, should be substantial, preferably at least 1/2"

blind shelf

An alternative would be to use an angle iron instead of a bar. This would allow a thinner slot.

A blind mounting system on the sides only would allow you to mirror the whole wall. This assumes that the span of the shelf is not too long and there is not too much weight on it. If the support bars (or angle irons) and shelves are solid, you probably could go up to 30" without too much problem

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Measure each space between shelves carefully. You might even do a template for each. Take it to Lowes and have them cut mirror for you to the correct size. Use mirror adhesive to glue each mirror onto the wall. You may need to do one at a time and shimmy them up to hold until they dry.

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Keyhole hangers are my favorite for flush shelf hanging. They are very easy to install.

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Could you add some detail to this answer: what they are, how to install them, etc. As it stands, this doesn't address the OP's question of how to build the shelves. –  Niall C. Jul 23 '13 at 14:44
    
Sorry, I kind of only answered a small portion of the question. The second part: "How do I get shelves without brackets showing on the sides? I also assume I can't put brackets that drill into the back of the wall because there will be a mirror there and it will crack." You should be able to use keyhole hangers on the side of the shelf only, though the thickness of the shelves, the span, and the weight of what will be placed there are all factors to consider. here's a url to a pick of an example. azwoodman.com/mounting-brackets.html –  cetucker Jul 23 '13 at 15:40

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