We have a fairly large living room space. it's about 19.5' x 22' and I want to build a long shelf above the television to display some large models. I'd like the shelf to be 10' long by 20" deep.

My plan was to use a 2x4x10 and toggle bolt it to the studs on the wall, then build off of that 2x4x10 with 18" 2x4 struts and then finish it with drywall. The total weight of the models on the shelf will be around 100lbs.

I can't find a lot of information on extra large floating shelfs online...most of what I find are pre-fab brackets for very small floating shelfs. Is this because it's not going to work? I am concerned that if I go too deep with the shelf that the front edge of the shelf will droop and not stay perpendicular to the wall.

  • 1
    "toggle bolt it to the studs on the wall" sounds like you don't know what a toggle bolt is for, or how to attach things to studs... You'd want lag bolts if doing it that way.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 30, 2023 at 21:14
  • Provide a drawing. I'm not sure where "struts" go in a floating shelf, and I'm not entirely sure what the s... Oh, the "struts" are going to be the equivalent of cantilevered joists. Most curious how you're planning on attaching those to the ledger board attached to the wall. Yeah, a drawing of your plan would be most helpful.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 31, 2023 at 0:41
  • yes, I meant lag bolts. Aug 1, 2023 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


Simple and sturdy enough for what you are doing would be to cut a slot in the drywall (you're going to drywall the shelf anyway, so drywall finishing is a given) and screw or lag-bolt ~23 inch 2x4s to the side face of the studs, poking out into the room. That's a nice strong connection between the stud and the shelf support. Put a 1x4 or 2x4 at the end of the supports sticking out, plywood on top, drywall around and underneath.

Your proposed method puts a lot of stress on some weak connections, which are likely to bend.

Alternately, you could use the access to attach some steel brackets for a thinner shelf profile.

While you have a planned weight of 100 lbs, experience suggests that you should assume that a human (young, perhaps; foolhardy, surely; under the weight limit, unknown...) will climb up there at some point, so a little overbuilding would be wise.

  • If I was doing this for myself, I'd absolutely have fabbed up metal brackets (at least 3) running the whole depth of the shelf and then about 3' down the wall stud. Think about the weight of the lumber and drywall in this shelf, along with the intended (and unintended) loads. I'd only do this for a client if it was engineered. Jul 30, 2023 at 22:01
  • I understand your description and that makes a lot of sense. I have been discussing the idea with my father who has framing experience and he came up with some additional ideas that incorporate supports at either end of the shelf. Like this, imgur.com/71Pft7s please excuse the very crude tape lines...and messy living room...this gives the idea. Still a work in progress. Aug 1, 2023 at 23:33

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