How to Install Suspended Shelves

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Cable clamps
Adjustable pliers
Wire cutter
Metal (or other material) shelving measuring 16 or 32 inches wide with holes for cables to run through
Stainless steel cables and hardware
Stainless eyebolts
Stud finder
Ratchet set
Paint (optional)

Regardless of the room, suspended shelves are a great storage solution. You can use them in a garage, office, living room, kid’s playroom and any other location. They can create a ton of storage with a look that is clean and modern. And, thankfully, installing them is a project you can do yourself.

Step 1: Install Eyebolts and Cables

Find your studs in order to set the location of your suspended shelves. Use a drill to drive two eyebolts into the wall studs high on the wall. The width should line up with the edges of the shelves. Attach cables by threading them into each eyebolt. Then, wrap it around itself and secure it with a cable clamp. You should have enough cable for it to hang below your lowest shelf.

Step 2: Add Top Shelf

Determine how high you want your first shelf and mark that height. Screw two L-brackets into the wall studs at that height so they can support that back edge of your top shelf. Place the shelf on the brackets and hold in place while you thread the cable through the holes at the front corners of the shelf. Use the level to make sure the shelf is straight, use cable clamps to secure the cables.

Step 3: Install Remaining Shelves

Now you just have to finish your suspended shelves. To do this you need to attach cable to the back corner holes of your top shelf so that there are 4 cables hanging from it. Secure them with cable clamps. Run the 4 cables through the corresponding holes on the second shelf and place cable clamps under the shelf after it has been leveled. You should continue this step until all of your shelves are installed. When your last shelf is hung, cut of the excess cable.

Safety Tip

Make sure the unit you are building will withstand more than the amount of weight you anticipate placing on it. Do not underestimate the load, because you will gather more over time. Talk to someone at your home improvement store when you buy your materials to make sure everything you buy is more that adequate to hold the load. Suspended shelves are not worth much if you cannot store anything on them.

Additional Tips

The material you use for your suspended shelves should depend on your capacity requirements, your budget and your overall aesthetic. You can use wood instead of metal for a softer look which you can finish in your own taste with molding and stain or paint. Or, you can use plastic if you prefer. You may even be able to have durable glass shelves made for this project. You can spray paint the cables so they blend with the walls, the shelves, or so they stand out. The point is that once you know how to build suspended shelves, you can modify as needed.