Ben Kuhl - April 28 2022
A Multitude of Bathroom Floating Shelf Ideas
If there is one thing every bathroom needs, it’s somewhere to store everything. While there are a million ways to do just that, floating shelves are obviously one of our favorite options. It’s not just because we happen to love custom floating shelves. It’s also because they have a perfect place in the bathroom and offer a lot of solutions that other shelving and storage options may fall short on. Floating shelves are also unique in that they allow enough airflow to prevent mold and mildew, they leave things accessible and within reach, and they look amazing on top of that. What’s not to love?
Here are some of the best ideas we’ve seen for adding floating shelves to any bathroom:
A simple solution
Shelving doesn’t have to be fancy to leave a lasting impression. Wood floating shelves by themselves add a touch of timeless class to a simple bathroom without anything extra being necessary. They also make a quick and convenient place to keep washcloths, towels, and other bathroom accessories. That’s both beautifully traditional and functional.
That said, there are a lot more ways that floating shelves can work in a space. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Image credit: Scott K. via ShelfExpression
Another way to look at things
Do you still need extra storage space without breaking the budget? Add a few hooks or a towel rod or two to the underside of a floating shelf, and you’ll have somewhere to hang additional bathrobes and towels. It’s also a great solution for adding an extra décor element to the room, such as a hanging plant, a strand of shells, or anything else that brings the look of the space together. The best part of hanging items under the shelf is that it still leaves the entire topside of the shelf available for anything you may want to store there.
It's all about getting the most use from your shelving.
Faux built-in shelving
Do you want built-in shelves without all the work and extras? Run easy-to-install floating shelves between two walls to create the look of built-in shelving, sans the investment or the need for major construction. It’s an easy solution and a great storage option for many bathroom purposes. Floating shelves are also a lot easier to keep free of dampness than actual built-in shelving. That’s something vital to consider when deciding on what to add to a bathroom.
Image credit: Jamie A. via ShelfExpression
A real edge
The edges of a shelf can remain the same color and material as the rest of that shelf, but why? Give the look of the room its own edge by adding metal trim or a contrasting color to the edges of your shelving. If your bathroom mirror has metal trim, consider matching that to keep a continuous look and feel throughout the room. It won’t take a lot of extra material, but it will make the shelving really pop visually.
Keeping everything secure
Generally, floating shelves are perfect for storing all kinds of things without worrying about mishaps, but we like to be extra safe in the bathroom, especially when it comes to where glass bottles and small items are kept. Consider shelving that has an extra length of wood or a bar built onto the front to prevent items, such as beauty products, from being accidentally knocked off the shelf. If your bathroom has a beach vibe to it, then running rope across the front to keep everything contained may give it that feeling of a ship anchored in a harbor.
Making the space come alive
Sometimes, bathrooms are just dreary. Use custom floating shelves to create a space on the wall for plants, additional lighting, and decorative items to bring some natural, light, and a unique style into the room. It can really make the difference in an otherwise plain bathroom.
Image credit: Anastasia R. via Shelf Expression
A part of the background
Do you want your shelves to be a part of the background rather than having them take center stage? Is there something else that you want to use to create a theme within the space? Paint your handmade floating shelves to match the walls, and they will blend right in without causing a distraction. This is especially nice in bathrooms with white or light-colored walls, but it can also add to the dramatic effect of a darker painted or tiled bathroom.
Now, your bathroom is ready for any distinctive and personal touch to be added.
An under the sink solution
Usually, when we think about floating shelves, something at eye-level comes to mind, but that’s not the only place that the shelving can go. If there is an open space beneath your bathroom sink, it could be the perfect spot for a floating shelf and that extra towel storage space you’ve been trying to find.
Right where you need it
Is the back of your bathroom sink covered with the items that you use frequently? You’re not alone in that. No matter how hard we try to keep things organized, it seems like the sink is an inevitable home for toothpaste, hairbrushes, hand soap, makeup, and other frequently used things. Get your sink back (and make it easier to clean by keeping the space around it clear) by installing a shelf in the space above the sink and below the mirror. It’s a perfect location for keeping everything right where you need it when you need it while not having to worry about any of it accidentally sliding into the sink. If there isn’t enough room between the mirror and the sink, then look for wall space directly to the side of the mirror or sink.
Tile, glass, wood, and more
- If you have a lot of glass in the bathroom area already, continue the look with glass floating shelves. It will create a space with a stylish, modern, and clean appearance that doesn’t obstruct your view.
- Do you have a tile mosaic? What about a clean and uniform tile look? Why not continue either of those styles by tiling the shelving as well?
- Even metal shelving can work if it compliments what is already in the space.
Brackets to match
Choose brackets that fit the style of the room. Our metal pipe brackets are great for an industrial look, while painted rods or ornate brass brackets can really add to the look of a space as well. Think about how you want your bathroom to appear and what design elements are already in the room. Then go from there. There are a ton of shelf bracket options out there in every color, material, and style imaginable. There is one that is just waiting to be discovered by you.
Of course, if you can’t come to a decision about brackets, then hidden brackets are always a good idea for a clean and minimalist look. Our Hovr bracket system can handle a substantial amount of weight without any sagging. Floating shelves with no distracting brackets look great in virtually any area, especially if they’re made to a high standard and fit against the wall flawlessly.
While wood and neutral tones are great options for bathroom shelving, and they tend to fit into the space aesthetically, you can also add a distinct color to create a starker contrast and make those shelves really stand out.
Black shelving creates a distinct but clean look and makes a nice visual statement. A deep or bright color, such as red or blue, can really add some flair in some cases as well, depending on the look of the bathroom and what you are going for. If you have already incorporated an accent color in the bathroom, consider painting one or more floating shelves in that color to really make it a part of the design.
Taking advantage of small spaces
Floating shelves are ideal in so many spaces because they can be attached to nearly any portion of a wall. This includes corners, nooks, crannies, over the toilet, over the door, behind the door, and any other space that you can think of in the bathroom. If there is a space on the wall visible, it’s probably a viable spot for a floating self and some extra space to display your bathroom décor and store any necessities.
Image credit: Janet R. via Shelf Expression
The sky (or, in this case, the wall) is the limit.
Becoming a part of the décor
How floating shelves are placed can add to the feel of any room. This is true in the bathroom as well. Consider using floating shelves to perfectly frame and highlight the bathroom sink. Or scatter them across a wall to create a sense of art and movement. If you have a stand-alone tub, a well-placed shelf or two above the tub will fill an otherwise empty wall area while providing a convenient spot for keeping everything you need to turn your bathroom into a mini-spa experience with everything in reach.
Maximize your storage space by running a floating shelf across an entire wall. If you still need more space, add more than one layer of shelving. You’ll never have to search for a place to put your phone, or anything else, down again.
Taking advantage of window space
We often forget about the area in front of a window when looking for somewhere to place things in the bathroom, but it’s a good spot for a floating shelf to stretch across without taking up space that could have been utilized otherwise. It’s also a great idea if you want to bring some greenery into the room. Plants flourish in the sunlight, and most do wonderfully on a shelf right in front of the window.
Making it your own
We all have a unique style that we want to have reflected in our homes. While kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms are the primary areas that we think about when it comes to storage space, design, and home décor, the bathroom should not be forgotten. Don’t neglect the bathroom when making your house into a home. Customize the appearance of the room and get the most use out of the space available at the same time with perfectly placed floating shelves.
Hi, I’m Ben! I’m a woodworker, shelf creator, stain matcher, and general DIYer who blogs about all things woodworking and current custom floating shelf design trends. I'll even try my hand at non-shelf topics. Anyone can be an expert these days as long as they sound authoritative, right? I may even add some humor here and there (my wife thinks I'm funny, sometimes). Here's my story: Learn more.