Determining the Weight Capacity of Floating Shelves

Putting too much weight on your floating shelves can cause the shelves and its contents to collapse. Not only that, but floating shelves that are built into the wall can scrape the wall and cause a big hole in the process. In an attempt to keep your possessions safe from falling off shelves, find out the maximum weight of the shelves before starting to put things on top of them.


  1. Read the package that comes with shelves. It is likely that the manufacturer includes the maximum weight capacity, or the recommended load for the product on the label. The information may be provided in pounds or ounces.
  2. Look for ways to increase the maximum weight safely by adding reinforcements. Wall brackets, for example, can ensure floating shelves that are built into the wall, so they can hold more weight effectively. You can also add posts shelves between shelf levels to support more weight to the shelf and reduce sagging.
  3. Understand how the weight capacity of the shelves is determined. Different materials have different methods for determining the weight. For example, glass shelves have a weight capacity based on the density and thickness of the glass. Even within the glass materials, however, certain types of glass can carry more weight than others. For instance, according to Nova Displays, tempered glass is four times stronger than annealed glass. In addition, wooden, plastic, glass and metal shelves all have their own weight capacities.
  4. Research product reviews from other consumers. Consumers provide their own personal experiences with shelves and you will know if the maximum capacity of a particular product is more or less than what the package says.
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