Recessed floating shelves

Recessed floating shelves DEFAULT


Fixed Floating Shelf Go to design resources

These attractive, low profile, aluminum floating shelves shelf screws directly to the wall and can hold up to 10 pounds per linear foot.

Suspended Shelf Bracket Go to design resources

Rakks Suspended Bracket provides exceptionally strong, low profile support for 3/4" thick wood shelves up to 12" deep.

Wall Standards Go to design resources

Rakks Wall Standards feature a continuous channel with recessed screws for a clean modern look, with no obtrusive slots or visible screw heads.

Available in lengths up to 12', wall standards should be installed into wall studs or blocking 16"–32" apart.


Most popular, minimal profile.


Ideal for recessed applications.

Compatible Rakks Brackets:

Rakks Floating Bracket

Floating Bracket

Minimalist look, maximum support. Recess into shelves for the illusion of a floating shelf.
Rakks Tray Brackets

Tray Bracket

The Tray Bracket is  minimal profile, medium-duty support for shelves.
Rakks Aria Bracket

Aria Bracket

Elegant profile for decorative applications.

Additional Accessories: Go to design resources

  • Universal Wire Bookend

    8″ wire bookend suitable easily installs into standards or poles at any point.

  • Rakks Style Bookend

    Alternate with shelf support brackets in standards and poles for a classic look. Choose one size smaller than the shelf depth.

  • J-Hangbar

    This stylish hangbar is designed for demanding retail and closet applications.

  • Shelf Lip

    Protects walls and helps keep items in place in areas prone to earthquakes.

  • Waterfall

    Used for merchandising and display, can be made to any specified length, angle and pin configuration.


How to Install Recessed Shelving

Determine Unit Size and Location

Decide the desired size for the recessed shelving unit and the approximate placement on the wall. Avoid putting the unit directly above or below wall switches, outlets or lighting fixtures; this will make it easier to avoid the electrical wires in the wall. Find the location of the wall studs (normally 16 inches apart); the unit needs to go in between studs.

Cut Into the Drywall

Use a straight edge and a razor knife to score the drywall. Use a hammer to knock a hole in the drywall inside the scored outline. Look behind the drywall to check for wiring and other obstacles.

Complete the Drywall Hole

If no obstacles are in the way, use a drywall saw to neatly cut around the scored line in the drywall. Avoid any electrical wiring while cutting the drywall.

Cut the Plywood to Make the Shelving Unit

Measure and cut the plywood for the shelving unit. For our project, we used plywood with pre-cut grooves for the sides of the unit to accommodate adjustable shelves. Plain 3/4" plywood was used for the top, bottom and back of the shelving unit.

Pro Tip

Cut the grooved plywood so the grooves will line up when the piece is assembled. If the grooves are off, the shelves will be crooked.

Build the Shelving Unit

Use wood glue and a Brad nailer to assemble the box. Add decorative wood trim around the face of the box; this will cover the raw plywood edges and will help hide any gaps between the box and the drywall.

Finish or Paint

Sand the shelving unit and trim, then either stain or prime and paint as desired.

Brace the Drywall or Studs

The support behind the wall to hold up the shelving unit will depend on the weight of the unit and what you plan to display in the shelving unit. If the unit is heavy, attach 2x4s to the existing framing to add extra support in which you can nail the shelving unit onto. Line up the 2x4s to the edge of the drywall opening. If the unit is fairly light, slip strips of plywood behind the drywall, lined up with the edges of the hole. Secure these to the drywall with screws.

Install the Unit

Slip the box into the hole in the drywall. Either nail through the sides of the shelf into the 2x4 framing or secure the box by nailing through the front trim and into the plywood strips behind the drywall. Check the unit for plumb and levelness.

Install Shelves and Lighting

We purchased a sheet of acrylic which we were able to cut into six shelves. Home improvement stores can pre-cut the acrylic for you. Remove the protective plastic and slip the shelves into the grooves. Use double-sided tape to adhere small, battery-operated lights to the top of the unit to better show off your treasures.

  1. Funko pop model
  2. Ellsworth fire dept
  3. Twilio autopilot
  4. Bowmasters videos

How To: Installing a Floating Shelf with Recessed Lighting

A custom shelf with puck lights brightens the room and adds architectural interest.

Materials and Tools:

10 sheets of 3/4-inch birch plywood
84' of 1x8 cherry (or enough to go around the perimeter of the room)
ten 2x4x8 Douglas Fir boards (or enough to go around the perimeter of the room)
puck lights
laser level
tape measure
air compressor
pneumatic nail gun
screws and nails
screwdriver bit
table saw
safety goggles
paint brush
sand paper


1. Take measurements of the room. Measure from ceiling and use the laser level to determine where the shelf will go.

2. Measure and cut 2x4s to length to fit the wall. Use the nail gun to affix the 2x4s to the studs in the wall.

3. Measure and cut 5" strips of birch plywood for the top and bottom of the shelf. Paint the top and bottom sections of plywood to match the wall color, and let them dry. Nail the plywood pieces to the top to the 2x4s around the room. Repeat with the bottom. Screw the birch plywood sections into place.

4. Cut the holes in the bottom section of the birch plywood to install the puck lights. Have an electrician hardwire the lights into the plywood coves. Make sure all the lights work before installing the cherry cover.

6. Cut the cherry boards down to 5-1/2" wide pieces on the table saw. Lightly sand the edges of the cherry to make the polyurethane adhere better to the wood. Stir a can of polyurethane, and brush on two coats of polyurethane to the front of the cherry boards. Let dry.

7. To install the front, hold the cherry boards flush to the top to create a shadow line underneath. You may need a second person to hold the opposite end while you nail the cherry front to the 2x4s. Fill any nail holes with putty. Touch up with stain and paint if necessary.

How to make chunky floating alcove shelves

Blog Post

We don’t sell lighting though we will prepare your shelves either for puck lights or LED strips.

Holes for pucks are $20 per hole. Most pucks will fit a 2-1/4” hole, some require a different size, please be sure to specify the correct size holes we need to drill.


stainless steel floating shelf with recessed LED lights


floating shelf with recessed LED strip light

We also offer a routed channel with a diffuser lens that we will flush mount into your shelves, $35 each shelf.

Our channel will fit many of the strips available today, the inside dimension is 11/16” wide x 5/16” deep.


floating shelf with groove for LED strip

The ends of the channel locate 1″ in from the ends of the shelf.

The minimum distance from the front or back edge is 1”. Please make a sketch with all dimensions showing where to place the channel.

Two important things to have in mind when planning your installation:

1) The wiring to connect this sort of lighting is typically for use inside kitchen cabinetry and the like, and isn’t building code-acceptable for installation in a wall cavity unless encased in solid conduit.

2) Just about all LED strips must be plugged into a transformer or driver, so you’ll need to find a serviceable location for the driver.

We can install the channel or drill for pucks in any type of our wood shelves.

We cannot cut a channel in stainless steel shelves however we can make holes for pucks in stainless.


floating shelf holes for puck lights


About the Author: Billy Dunn


Shelves recessed floating

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DIY Floating Shelves that anyone can make!

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