I want to install a series of floating shelves to hold mostly books and some other heavy items in my living room.

I found this on Instructables where one use expansion bolt and 6mm thread bar for what seems like a very solid setup. I was wondering if the expansion bolt could be used in the wall studs as my walls are way too thin oterwise.

I also found this post here where one recommend to use Z-clip. Yet I am not sure how much weight a 12 inch deep shelve could hold which such a mount. How can I mount heavy stuff on wooden studs?

What do you think is the most robust choice?

  • If you're referring to this instructable: instructables.com/id/Simple-Floating-Shelf , then that's for concrete walls. I sincerely doubt you'd get good results with expansion bolts in wood. (Nor do I think that 6mm threaded rod is adequate for books, but I have no data to back that up.) Honestly, if a client asked me to build a floating shelf for books, I'd refuse out of fear that it would fail. Upside down brackets that are also bookrests, maybe? May 17, 2015 at 3:16

1 Answer 1


I would consider using a "french cleat". This is a technique where you cut a board into two pieces using a 45 degree angle. I used this to mount some cabinets and they are incredibly strong. It just depends on whether you can adapt that to the shelf you have. Good luck.

Example French Cleat

  • How much shelve weight do you think these can support? Let's say if the cleat was 2 feet long.
    – philgo20
    May 20, 2015 at 12:59
  • I think it would totally depend on your ability to find and screw into studs and whether or not you were willing to also add an adhesive behind it. Here is a Google image search of French Cleats (goo.gl/8XOJzb). You can get an idea of the types of things people use them for. I've seen someone hanging from a cabinet they hung with a french cleat before but I cannot find that image now.
    – Sco
    May 20, 2015 at 13:07

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