How to remove floating shelves? (Professional Guide)

How to remove floating shelves? Stuck with some shelves that will stay the same? Don’t worry, and you’re not alone! Here are a few simple steps to take to remove them safely. Let’s get started!

  1. Get yourself some tools.
  2. Unscrew the screws holding the shelves in place.
  3. Gently pull out the shelves.
  4. Voila – you’ve got your wall space back!
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What is the difference between a floating shelf and a regular shelf?

Regular shelves need brackets, screws, or other hardware to be mounted onto a wall stud. But floating shelves have no visible support! They hang with a hidden bracket or mount, making them look like they’re floating.

Floating shelves have many advantages:

  • They save space by removing bulky supports.
  • Since no hardware is visible, they are great for photo and decoration displays.
  • They are stable for heavier items and require minimal setup since no tools or extra pieces are needed.

How the Floating Shelf attached to the Wall

How the Floating Shelf attached to the Wall

1. Bracket and Screws

Floating shelves with brackets and screws are a type of shelving system designed to be mounted on the wall without using visible supports or brackets. Instead, the shelves are attached to the wall using hidden brackets and screws. This creates the illusion that the shelves are floating, hence the name “floating shelves.”

The brackets for floating shelves typically come in various materials, including metal, wood, or plastic. They are installed on the wall, and then the shelves are attached to the brackets using screws. The brackets are placed into the wall at a specific distance apart to ensure that the weight of the items on the shelf is evenly distributed.

The screws used to attach the brackets and shelves are also important. They should be strong enough to hold the weight of the items on the shelves but not so large that they detract from the appearance of the floating shelves. Typically, screws made of steel or other strong materials are used, and the length of the screws will vary depending on the thickness of the shelves and the type of wall they are being attached to.

Floating shelves with brackets and screws offer a stylish and functional storage solution for homes and offices. They can be used to display decorative items, books, plants, or other household items. They are easy to install and can be customized to fit any space, making them a popular choice for people looking to add storage and style to their homes.

2. French Cleat

A French cleat is a type of hanging system commonly used to mount floating shelves to a wall securely. It consists of two pieces of material, one attached to the wall and the other attached to the bottom of the floating shelf. The two pieces interlock, creating a strong and secure connection between the wall and the shelf.

A French cleat consists of the cleat itself and a mating piece. The cleat is a wood, metal, or plastic strip attached to the wall, usually with screws. The mating piece is a strip of material that is attached to the bottom of the floating shelf. The two pieces are designed to interlock, with the cleat fitting into a channel in the mating piece. This creates a secure and stable connection between the shelf and the wall, allowing the shelf to be securely in place.

One of the advantages of a French cleat is that it can be adjusted to accommodate different sizes and weights of floating shelves. The mating piece can be cut to fit the specific size of the shelf, and the position of the cleat on the wall can be adjusted to match the weight and size of the shelf.

A French cleat is also an attractive solution for mounting floating shelves because it does not require the use of visible brackets or supports. The interlocking mechanism of the cleat and mating piece is hidden behind the shelf, giving the illusion that the shelf is floating on the wall.

The French cleat is a sturdy and versatile system for hanging floating shelves. It can be used to mount shelves of various sizes and weights and is a popular choice for people who want to create a stylish and functional storage solution in their homes.

3. Glue

Glue can be used with screws or other hardware to secure floating shelves to a wall. The purpose of the glue is to provide additional support and stability to the shelf, ensuring that it remains securely attached to the wall.

Several types of glue can be used for floating shelves, including:

  • Wood glue: This type of glue is designed for use with wood and is commonly used for floating shelves made of wood. It dries clear and can be sanded or painted over once it has dried.
  • Construction adhesive: This type of adhesive is a strong, permanent bond ideal for heavy items. It is typically used with screws or other hardware to provide extra stability.
  • Epoxy: This two-part adhesive is a powerful bond ideal for use with heavy items or shelves that will be subjected to a lot of weight. It dries clear and is water-resistant, making it a good choice for damp or humid environments.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using glue to secure floating shelves, as an improper application can result in a weak or unstable connection. In general, it’s recommended to use screws or other hardware to secure the shelves to the wall, with the glue used to provide additional support and stability.

Overall, glue can be an effective way to secure floating shelves to a wall. However, it’s essential to use the correct type of glue for the specific materials and weight of the shelves and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

Removing Floating Shelves

When revamping wall space, removing floating shelves is a good idea. Using basic tools is easy to do, even if you’re a beginner. Here are the steps:

  1. First, figure out the installation style used for your shelf. There are two main types: genuine “floating” or keyhole. Check for visible mounting screws. If there are none, use a screwdriver to pry the anchor away from the wall. Unscrew any clips behind the shelf, if applicable.
  2. For genuine floating shelves, look for screws along the sides and rear edge. They may be counter-sunk into notch slots or hidden behind cover caps/trims. Use a screwdriver or drilling machine based on what you find. Try praying gently toward yourself first before drilling.
  3. Finally, remove any residue from the wall with sandpaper or needle files/emery board. A cleaning solution may also help. Put away any tools you use.

Prepare the Wall

Prepare the wall before removing the floating shelf. Test with a stud finder to see if there’s a stud behind it. If not, be extra careful.

  • Use screws or drilling attachments for the material.
  • Use a baton saw or hacksaw for any hidden connections.
  • Slowly ease away the shelf, taking care not to break insulation or pipes in the wall.
  • Unscrew and remove the mounting components. Use flat-head and Phillips head screwdrivers as needed.
  • Detach the brackets one at a time while gently pulling the shelf away from the base.

Unscrew the Shelf Brackets

Before removing your floating shelves, ensure you have the right tools. You may require a screwdriver or drill/impact driver, depending on the type of screws used. Put on safety glasses and have a rag nearby.

Find the shelf brackets, which look like metal strips attached to the wall. Unscrew each one carefully and without damaging the wall. If you cannot loosen the screws with a standard screwdriver or drill/impact driver, you may need an angle grinder or cutting tool. Wear protective gear before using these tools.

Once the bracket screws are removed, lower each shelf down from its mounting one side at a time. Get help with larger shelves to prevent damage or injury.

Remove the Screws from Wall

Identify and take out all the screws that keep the floating shelf in place. Make sure also to remove any nails or brackets in the back. Use a screwdriver of the proper size. You may strip out the screws and mess them up if it’s too large.

All screws removed? Now you should easily be able to lift your shelf off the wall.

Fill in Holes from Mounts

Removing a floating shelf can be tricky. The thought of leaving holes in your wall may be daunting. But don’t worry! Fixing the wall is easy!

  1. Get some spackling compound and a putty knife.
  2. Begin by removing any debris in the hole. Use a damp cloth to clean it.
  3. Apply spackling to each side of the hole with the putty knife. Use a wet sponge to smooth it out.
  4. Please wait 24 hours for it to dry.
  5. Paint it with an interior latex-based primer/sealer to match your wall color.
  6. Your wall should be restored and ready for a makeover when you’re done!

Clean Up Excess Materials

Vacuum the dust and dirt around the shelf before attempting to remove it. Check for any nails or screws sticking out. Use a rag to wipe off any remaining dirt. Then you’re ready to take it down.

Installing New Shelves

Installing New Shelves

Installing new shelves is easy! Get the stuff you need:

  • Floating shelf of desired length and material
  • Stud finder or drill
  • Screws or other fasteners
  • Level
  • Pencil

First, remove the old shelf. Take measurements of new space. Use a stud finder to mark mounting points. Drill pilot holes into each stud. Securely fasten the shelf to the wall. Use a level to make sure it’s straight. Now, put items on it!

How to remove floating shelf brackets?

Removing a floating shelf is easy – if you have the right tools and know what to do! Start by removing the brackets. Here are the steps:

  1. Unscrew any visible screws with your fingers or a screwdriver.
  2. Utilize a stud finder, hammer, and flat-head screwdriver to find and remove hidden screws/nails from wood studs.
  3. Take off toggle bolts or spring clamps if needed.
  4. Get help from a second person to remove the entire bracket from the wall.
  5. Pull dowels or plastic plugs from shelf kits from the holes in the shelf brackets.

How to remove a shelf glued to the wall?

Shelves stuck to walls usually use construction adhesive. It’s strong and can handle temperature and vibration. To remove it, you’ll need a few materials and instructions.

  • Tap the shelf with a hammer or mallet to loosen the adhesive.
  • Use a putty knife or angled scraper around the edges. This will give enough leverage to pull away from the wall.

It would be best if you had a solvent or stripping agent made for construction adhesive removal. Get it from home improvement stores or paint shops. Apply the product to both surfaces. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Scrape any loosened adhesive off. Wipe the surfaces down with clean rags. Paint if you want to.

How to remove built-in shelves from the wall?

How to remove built-in shelves from the wall?

Floating shelves add storage space and look great. But they can be tricky to remove. Unlike other wall items, built-in shelves are complex. Here’s how to remove them safely:

  1. Unscrew the Wall Brackets. Use a power drill or screwdriver. Carefully lift on each bracket side until both are disconnected.
  2. Detach The Hardware. Turn off power sources near the shelf for safety. Pry out nails/screws, corner support clamps, or locking molly. Cut through the caulk if present. Then, lift it on the shelf edge until it disappears from the wall.
  3. Clean Up and Dispose Of Shelf. Spackle nail holes/hangers. Dispose of the shelf in the usual fashion. Check for forgotten screws or nails behind appliances. Use protective equipment like gloves and eye protection.

How to remove floating glass shelves?

Remove glass floating shelves with care. Avoid damage to the cabinets. Depending on the design, you may need to remove the shelf as one or sections.

Follow these steps:

  1. Put a cloth or kneepad on the floor. This will keep any glass shards from going around.
  2. Wear safety glasses.
  3. If needed, unlock and detach wall brackets.
  4. Slide the shelving until it’s free.
  5. If you need to separate, use needle-nose pliers or tools designed for glasswork. Do it gradually.
  6. Dispose of debris in containers marked “danger” if required.

How to remove floating corner shelves?

Removing corner shelves is easier than it appears. To do it right and safely, you should follow these steps:

  1. Remove any weights or items on the shelf before taking them down.
  2. Turn off the power in the area and remove any switch plates or electrical cables attached to the wall near where you’re removing the shelf. No wires or switches? Please leave them in place.
  3. Use a level and measure from the top surface of the shelf. The screws should be at 1/4 inch depth or lower. Unscrew them with a screwdriver or drill bit. Have an accurate measurement, so you don’t strip out the holes.
  4. Put a flat piece of wood between the shelf and the wall surface. Lift and pull away from the wall without damaging it. Use a crowbar and lift while squeezing outwards. This will reduce the risk of wall marks.
  5. Inspect the wall surfaces around where the item was mounted. Patch up any damage with spackle paste. Repaint if desired. This will help close any gaps after remounting.

How to remove old floating shelves?

It can seem scary to remove old floating shelves, but it’s actually not hard. Before starting, make sure to gather the right tools. Check if the wall covering around your shelves is fine. Don’t want it damaged during removal or installation.

Check the screws that secure the shelves. If they are covered with plasterboard, remove them before unscrewing them. Use a drill or screwdriver. Also, pry off any brackets or braces used for mounting. Gently tug on each shelf until it releases from the wall or ceiling.

If there are fixtures like cup hooks or nails, use a hammer and chisel to loosen them. Then, remove them. After removing the hardware from both sides of each shelf, sweep away debris. Discard extra hardware like nails or washers properly.

Your wall is now clear and ready for new shelves. Removing old ones was worth the effort!

What is the maximum weight that a floating shelf can support?

Nearly 15 to 30 pounds can typically be supported by an ordinary floating shelf, although the shelves and their support play an important role in supporting more weight. Deeper shelves support greater weight.

If the mounting method is used directly in a stud, you might double the shelf’s carrying capacity. Otherwise, wall anchors will be necessary if additional support is required.

Many smaller floating shelves are designed only to be cosmetic and far outnumber their heavier counterparts, usually weighing at most five pounds. When buying floating shelves, the limit is stated in the instructions. However, this is merely true if you follow the note and adequately install the shelves.

I removed the set screw, but my shelf won’t budge; what gives?

I removed the set screw, but my shelf won't budge; what gives?

Unfortunately, homeowners sometimes may need to do more than their floating shelf preparation and inadvertently make their shelves any tougher to unlock than they were intended to be. They alter this by embedding an adhesive strip on the back of the shelf before sliding it into place.

Epoxy, or even a similar adhesive, will strengthen the shelf, making it more tricky to remove. You’ll need to use a hacksaw or something thin to cut through the shelf. Or, as an alternative, you might utilize a crowbar to pry the merchandise for free.

It’s best to take as many precautions as possible to prevent excessive damage, but regardless of whether the glue is involved, you will undoubtedly have to do some drywall repair. In any event, ensure that you have a piece of artwork or something appropriate for your walls to hang in the same area.


In conclusion, removing floating shelves can be a tricky process. To ensure the shelves are removed correctly, it’s essential to use the right tools and techniques. Remember to consider proper safety measures such as wearing gloves and eye protection. With these tips in mind, you’ll easily remove your floating shelves in no time! So keep your stuck shelves from bringing you down- take action and get them off the wall today!

How do I safely remove a floating shelf?

To safely remove a floating shelf, start by unscrewing the shelf from the wall. Make sure to have a helper nearby to assist you in safely lowering it to the ground. Next, use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the metal brackets that secure the shelf to the wall. Finally, use a putty knife to remove any caulking or adhesive that was used to secure the shelf to the wall.

Are there any special tools I need to remove from a floating shelf?

You will need a flat-head screwdriver, a putty knife, and a helper to remove the shelf safely. You may also need a drill and a ladder if the shelf is difficult to reach.

Can I reuse the brackets after I remove the shelf?

Yes, you can reuse the brackets after you remove the shelf. However, you may need to replace the screws if they become damaged during removal.

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