Exactly What is a Wall Shelf?

What is a Wall Shelf? A Brief Summary

Wall shelving comes in all shapes, sizes and materials to suit your shelving needs. Whether it be for organizing books, displaying collectibles, or simply extra storage, wall shelves are a convenient and space-conscious shelving solution.

Wall shelves fit well in living rooms, studies, homes offices, and kitchens. This type of shelving generally allows someone to take advantage of space in a creative way; for example, with a shelf over a desk, a counter, or a fireplace. Wall mounted shelving can also be useful in places like the laundry room, for the space over the washer and dryer, or an office, for books or decorative items.

Glass wall shelves at work in a family room

The typical wall shelf mounts on the wall with several anchored screws or brackets which are usually driven into studs within the wall itself. The most common variety of wall shelf includes a single shelf and a pair of brackets for the shelf to rest on. Another frequent method of mounting features brackets that are screwed together, thus collapsing on the shelf and pinching it tight. Hidden bracketing systems have also gained in popularity. These normally slide into slots drilled into the shelving surface that faces the wall. Whatever the installation method, the result is a simple, classic shelf design which you will find in all kinds of settings for use in all kinds of purposes.

A wooden wall shelf slides into its bracket supports


Lately, one of the more recent trends is toward "floating" shelves, which refers to wall mounted shelving that conceals the mounting hardware between the wall and the shelf. Floating shelving provides a cleaner, often more modern look, in that the only visible items are the wall, and the shelf (no brackets). These shelves are typically a little thicker in order to properly conceal and secure the wall mounting hardware.

Because it can be both practical and attractive in a variety of home and office settings, wall shelving is an extremely popular shelving solution.

A floating bookshelf creates an intriguing wall display