Evening all,

It's my first time posting so be gentle, I've been reading a fair few of your posts and hope you can answer my question.

I've attached a picture of where I would like to build a "floating" desk. the width is approximately 217cm, and I'd ideally like it to be 70cm to 80cm deep.

The white lines are my rough idea for the frame, and the red indicates a radiator.

The wall on the right is a stud wall, and I have no idea what the other 2 are. The back one is clearly exterior and the other is a joining wall with another house.

I'm basing it on the design used here: http://overthebigmoon.com/diy-file-cabinet-desk-blendtec-giveaway/

I could possibly use supports similar to those if absolutely necessary.

My question is really about support. Will the desk bow in any way? Is it too wide? Will the frame suggested be sufficient? Does any one have any other thoughts? How will I attach it to the walls?

Thanks, Ashley

  • Linked article seems like a complicated approach to a problem that's easily and commonly solved by heading down to the building materials recycle (habitat for humanity is one common organization, or there may be other more local ones) and grabbing a solid core door to toss over two file cabinets. It would be a (often surprising to most people) LOT stronger with a sheet of 1/8" material (masonite, plywood, etc) on the bottom of it, too. To get any sense of "if the desk would bow in any way" we'd need to know what you are putting on it - a 2 Kg laptop, a 30 Kg printer, a 150 kg linebacker?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:22
  • Thank you for the reply. It would have the same stuff on it that you see in the photo. I'm not sure I understand your point, are you saying to put a door underneath the desk? I'm hoping for the same appearance as in the link, more than the engineering aspects, which I have just copied for the sake of the post.
    – Ash Toolio
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:00
  • A hardwood veneer solid coor door is a very common (and if a decent door, quite good looking) desk slab for setting on file cabinets, handily pre-manufactured. If you want to look of the other, go for it. Looks like a pretty light load, then. I would suggest a sheet of 1/8" (3mm?) hardboard on the bottom surface, though.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:18
  • You forgot to add your picture? ... (use the button). -Would theirs bow if I sat on it: yes. I'd build it out of 2x6's, not one-by.
    – Mazura
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 3:09
  • Wood I be better off using a couple of bracket secured to the wall? Something like large versions of this: oakstoredirect.com/… ?
    – Ash Toolio
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 7:42

1 Answer 1


I guess nobody else is going to take a swipe at answering this, so I'll give it a shot.

Will the desk bow in any way?

Depends on load and construction details. With the items pictured, even a pretty lightly constructed one will probably not bow/bend/sag much, and there are ways to frame it so that a much heavier load could be supported. What you need to do depends on what you anticipate possibly happening to the desk - if people might sit on it, it needs a good deal more support than if it's just holding a modern lightweight computer and sundries. But if you might set a box of papaer or books on it, then it needs more again...

Is it too wide?

No, subject to adequate framing.

Will the frame suggested be sufficient?

Color me dubious on that front. While it's sufficient for the purposes it was built for (evidently) it's more fully supported than what you are proposing to do, which allows it to be not so robust - but again, this is also load dependent, though having the desk break IF someone sits on it (even if you don't intend it to be used that way) can be somewhat annoying.

Does any one have any other thoughts?

Stressed skin panel construction offers some interesting possibilities, depending what you are up for, and what you are looking for.

How will I attach it to the walls?

Multiple options. Ledger boards on each end are a good approach if you don't mind them being visible. File cabinets and no wall attachment as with the linked plans are another approach, but evidently not what you want. Huge shelf brackets as you mentioned in a comment are another option. Much of this comes down to YOUR concept of a "floating" desk or how important it is that the desk slab appears to be sitting there with "no visible means of support" and whether that means "nothing visible when standing 6 feet away" or "nothing visible when lying on the floor."

In the "can be effectively invisible" line, you attach angle iron to the side walls, build a thick-ish (you can thin the front edge) slab, cut slits in the ends that slide over the angle irons and slide it in place. That calls for some precision crafting. The slab needs to be thick-ish both so that you can have a non-contributing part below the angle iron to conceal it, and so it's stiff enough to span 2 meters while only being supported at the extreme ends.

Less drastically austere solutions allow for a cross-beam below the desk surface but beyond/above where your knees would hit it, and visible supports on the end walls that the desk slab sets on top of.

The giant shelf bracket approach is arguably "not really floating" but does have no "feet" or "legs" down to the floor.

All will hold the desk slab up. Different ones require more or less structure from the desk slab itself, due to greater or lesser spacing between support elements.

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