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Choosing the Right Material & Style for Custom Floating Shelves

Kitchen items displayed on custom floating shelves

Austin Merrill |

Designing your dream space is all about the details, and one of those essential elements is selecting the perfect material and style for your custom floating shelves. We know how important it is to create functional and beautiful spaces, and choosing the right shelves can truly make a difference.

This post will guide you in making the best decision for your needs, preferences, and budget. Together, we'll explore the key factors to consider when choosing the ideal material and style for your floating shelves, ensuring they enhance your space and complement your design vision. So let's dive into this exciting journey of transforming your space with the perfect custom floating shelves.


Various kitchen items displayed on custom floating shelves

When contemplating the purpose of your floating shelves, a crucial factor to mull over is the depth of the shelves, as it can greatly influence the functionality and visual harmony of your space. As you design your interiors, be mindful that the ideal shelf depth may vary from room to room, depending on the items you wish to showcase.

For instance, in a kitchen setting, a deeper shelf (11" or 12") is typically preferable, as it offers ample space for larger items such as cookware and dinnerware, while simultaneously providing a sense of balance and ease of access. In contrast, bathroom shelves are often more shallow (6"-7"), as they generally hold smaller items, including toiletries and decorative accents.

To create a harmonious and practical design, we encourage you to envision the specific items you'd like to display and select a shelf depth that will accommodate them gracefully. By thoughtfully considering the purpose and functionality of your floating shelves, you can enhance the aesthetic charm and livability of your home.

Weight Capacity

When designing your custom floating shelves, it's essential to consider their weight capacity. You'll want to ensure they can safely hold the items you plan to display or store. Ultrashelf's wood shelves are strong and long lasting, making them perfect for supporting heavier items.

Keep in mind that each shelf can hold up to 50 lbs per stud it's secured to, so proper installation is key to achieving the maximum weight capacity. This way, you can confidently display your cherished items without any concerns.


Various bathroom essentials displayed on a custom floating shelf

As you select the material and style for your floating shelves, it's important to consider your space's overall design aesthetic. Wood offers incredible versatility and can effortlessly adapt to a wide range of design styles. For instance, White Oak and Maple blend with transitional interiors, Alder lends a warm, rustic charm, and Walnut pairs perfectly with period revival or traditional settings.

Pay attention to the wood's undertones, grain patterns, and knot characteristics to achieve a cohesive look, ensuring your floating shelves seamlessly integrate with your space's style.


Caring for your floating shelves is essential to maintaining their beauty and longevity. Different materials come with varying maintenance needs, and knowing how to properly care for your chosen material is important. When it comes to wood shelves, gentle cleaning is key. Use a damp cloth or a duster like the Scrub Daddy Damp Duster to remove dust and grime, steering clear of harsh chemicals or wood polish.

By understanding and adhering to the maintenance requirements of your chosen material, you'll ensure that your floating shelves continue to look stunning and serve you well for years to come.


When selecting the perfect material and style for your custom floating shelves, it's important to consider your budget. While wood shelves can be pricier than other materials, the investment pays off in the form of a high-quality, sophisticated appearance that truly elevates your space.

At Ultrashelf, we understand the importance of balancing style and affordability. That's why our DIY custom shelf kits offer a budget-friendly solution for those seeking beautiful, custom-made wood shelves tailored to their design preferences. With Ultrashelf, you can achieve the look you want without breaking the bank.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As you choose the materials and styles for your custom floating shelves, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the unique characteristics of the wood you select. Pay close attention to aspects like undertones, grain patterns, and the presence of knots.

For example, Walnut is well-regarded for its rich, warm tones and straight grain patterns, making it an excellent choice for traditional or revival spaces. On the other hand, White Oak features a light-to-medium tone with subtle grain patterns, which complements more casual design styles.

By being mindful of these properties, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions that seamlessly blend with your space's overall aesthetic, helping you avoid design mismatches and achieve a harmonious look.

Choosing the Right Custom Floating Shelves

Kitchen items displayed on custom floating shelves

When it's time to select the ideal custom floating shelves for your home, it's important to weigh factors like function, weight capacity, style, maintenance, and budget. 

By thoughtfully considering each of these aspects and gaining an understanding of the unique characteristics of your chosen wood, you can create beautiful and practical floating shelves that elevate your space's design and meet your specific needs.

Ready to transform your space with custom floating shelves? Visit Ultrashelf to explore our high-quality, custom-made wood shelves that are designed to fit your design preferences and budget. With Ultrashelf, you'll be on your way to creating the perfect floating shelves to enhance your home's design and functionality.