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Top 10 Best Wood for Floating Shelves of 2024

Can you find me a house that has no shelves inside? I’m almost certain that you can’t. There are absolutely no homes that don’t have shelves.

Let’s take a step back and try to picture a shelf. It contains a frame, doesn’t it? Well, the frame thing actually increases the area that shelves take.

Top 10 Best Wood for Floating Shelves

In order to solve that issue, a genius came out with the idea of installing planks directly onto the wall studs instead of making solid wood shelves. People started calling them wood floating shelves.

And now, floating shelves have become an industry. Since the idea became a hit, people have bought and wanted to install floating shelves. Some even went for DIY floating shelves.

So, we have picked up the 10 best wood for floating shelves that you can buy to make a floating shelf at home. Get ready to pick up some solid wood for making them wood shelves.

Table of Contents


As you are going to make this floating shelf for yourself by there’s a huge space for you to get creative. But too much open space can make you confused.

So, to ease you from the confusion, we have created a list of different types of wood shelf formations just so that you can have a few options to make a choice or to gather inspiration while making your floating shelf.

What are Some Popular Wooden Shelves Formations

Most floating shelves are made very simply. People just pick up a few planks, locate wall studs and mount them with mounting hardware. That is indeed a floating shelf. In most cases, people make three shelves.

Let us give you a few formation ideas. You can build the following 15 types of floating shelves.

  • Simple Shelf
  • Mantel
  • Hexagon wood floating shelves
  • Shelf with storage
  • Wooden pegboard
  • Pallet shelf
  • Corner Shelf
  • Wood slice shelf
  • Circular shelf
  • Spherical shelf
  • Freestyle shelf
  • Triangle Shelf
  • Ship shaped shelf
  • Foldable wood floating shelf
  • Boxed Shelf
  • Love letter shelf

So, these are the most commonly made and used floating shelves. I’m sure you’re digging one of them. If you aren’t, these will definitely work as inspirations when you design your very own unique floating shelf.

10 Best Floating Shelves for Home, Office, and Study

1. Baltic Birch Plywood – Best Plywood For Shelves

Baltic Birch Plywood-Best Plywood for Shelves

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Plywood is considered the most convenient wood for floating shelves because they are cheap and have the best smoothness in terms of wood. Plywood is already created in a factory and is completely prepared for meeting your shelving needs.

The best thing about these plywood sheets is that they are properly cut and sized for making a floating shelf. Each and every piece of these sheets are laser cut. that’s why the edges are very smooth and the weight capacity of each sheet is equal.

So, there are no specifications regarding which sheet can be used for what. You can randomly pick a sheet and use it for anything related to a floating shelf. The sheet that you picked for the base can be used to for framing. What else makes any sheet the best plywood for shelves


These plywood sheets have extreme durability. The fact that it’s suitable for floating shelves that don’t have any foundation, makes it a very appealing product that you use for fulfilling your woodworking needs at home.

A major and common problem with plywood is that you can really paint them. the smooth exterior doesn’t really accept the paint. But these thick sheets are made keeping in mind that people might want to choose a color for their floating shelves. That’s why you can paint them the color you want.

Most plywood sheets don’t really let you engrave on their surface. As the inside of plywood is made of wood fiber, engraving can destroy its integrity of it. But Woodpecker has kept the B/BB grade of Russian Baltic plywood so that you can engrave these sheets if you want.

2. Dakota Floating Fireplace Pine Wood – Best Pine Wood For Wood Floating Shelves

Dakota Floating Fireplace Pine Wood - Best Pine Wood for Wood Floating Shelves

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Every Christian house has a mantel were framed pictures, Small Jesus sculptures, urns and many other smaller items are placed. These mantels are actually floating shelves that only have one shelf.

The best wood for making such a metal or a floating shelf is pine wood. You can call them pinewood floating shelves too. Because these are the best pine wood for wood floating shelves.

The best part about a pinewood shelf is that the wood itself has a dark color that suits any wall and any decoration. So, there’s no need to worry about the aesthetics of your living room shelves .


The mantel wood has such a divine color that it adds a rustic look to wherever it is placed. That’s why it is considered to be ideal for farmhouses, village homes rather than apartments. But no one is stopping you from getting one for your apartment.

Pinewood is a block of solid wood. Unlike factory-made wood, it is real wood scraped from a pine tree. So, there is no scope for not getting durability on your mantel. No matter how heavy your mantelpiece is, this has the weight capacity of keeping it.

Unlike other wood for floating shelves, this one from Mantelsdire comes with installation hardware, iron brackets and mounting equipment. So, it’s extremely easy to install. You don’t need anything extra to mount this as a mantel.

3. Wood-Hawk 15 Board Combo – Ideal Wood For Shelving

Wood Hawk 15 Board Combo Ideal Wood For Shelving

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Have you ever wondered what would like to be if you got to have a mix and match between different wood for floating shelves in one pack? I know I would feel overwhelmed because not only it’ll be good but also, I will be able to make a fusion floating shelf or at least two different floating shelves using one pack of wood.

Wood-Hawk has exploited that thought and has brought a pack of 15 wood boards having solid walnut, cherry and hard maple wood; 5 boards each wood type. This offer is too irresistible to deny.

Each board is 24″ long and has a width of 2″. What Wood-Hawk guarantees is their wood will not have any knots, cracks or defects. Which makes it the ideal wood for shelving.


Most wood manufacturers fail to make each pack the same. People have purchased this pack from Wood-hawk several times and every time the entire pack was well conditioned and almost identically good.

By good shape what we mean is these boards have the perfect shape for any kind of woodwork. But they are actually the perfect fit for making floating shelves.

The problem with wood is that it’s nearly impossible to maintain the integrity of the wood boards. The tree trunks are not similar. So, it’s hard to make timber that is of the same size. But somehow wood Hawk has perfected that. Each board is of the same size and of the same tree that they state.

4. Barrington Hardwoods’ Padauk Lumber Board – Best Wood For Bookshelf


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The timber that we talked about above didn’t have enough width for anyone to turn them into a bookshelf. Books might seem flat objects but the page width is actually what determines how you will be able to place them.

The least width you need to place your books on a floating shelf is 6″. So, does it mean you can place books on any 6″ wide wood floating shelves? No, not necessarily. Definitely, the best wood for bookshelf would have a lot of other good features.

The wood needs to have a few good features apart from having a 6″ width before you can use a stud finder, find wall studs and start mounting them on the room. But if you have a Padauk Lumber board, pick up your mounting hardware and get busy.

Perfect Color

Where some people prefer colored bookshelves, people mostly want their bookshelves to have a natural wood color with a little varnish on top. That’s all. With this two-piece pack of wood boards, you can have two shelves minimizing your additional cost of getting perfect color,

All wood boards need some sanding. This one does too but barely. the factory sent boards are smooth enough that you don’t require much sanding.

The size of the wood boards is precise. You don’t really need much of a cutting before you can start mounting them. The boards are perfectly straight and are of perfect size and shape.

5. Barrington Hardwoods’ Walnut Lumber – Best Walnut Wood For Floating Shelf

Barrington Hardwoods Walnut Lumber Best-Walnut Wood for Floating Shelf

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If you ask an expert carpenter which wood is best for furniture work. he would reply walnut. Indeed, walnut lumber is best for furniture work. Especially, when it comes from a company like Barrington Hardwoods, then there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, it is the best walnut wood for floating shelves.

Walnut lumbers have great color. You can check the walnut lumbers’ authenticity very easily. They are of dark brown-coffee color. Walnut is a pretty hardwood. Won’t say that they are as good as red oak, but still, they are cheaper and offer almost the same durability.

This pack contains 4 pieces of walnut lumber each having a depth of 3/4″, a width of 2″ and a length of 12″. The sizes are great if you want to customize the wall cabinet, store and display heavy items. They definitely offer extra storage because of the good weight capacity.


One thing that you can be sure of while using walnut lumber is that it will be extremely durable. There is some lumber available for shelving that is not sturdy and breaks when heavier items are placed.

The size of each piece is precise. You will not get any piece of lumber that will be smaller than the said size. If you are lucky, you might get a lumber piece that’s an inch or two longer.

These lumbers might be designated for floating shelves but people have actively used them for picture framing, repairing the furniture, making knife handles, etc.

6. Cherry Lumber Square Turning Blanks – Best Wood For Building Bookcases

Barrington Hardwoods Cherry Lumber-Best Wood For Building Bookcases

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In search of the best wood for floating shelves, we found the best wood for building bookcases. Of course, floating bookcases.

Barrington Hardwoods is already a famous name. One of their most famous lumbers for bookcases is the Cherry lumber. Cherry is another fine wood for making floating shelves.

The color of the lumber is light. that means it will suit literally any home that has wooden work inside. You can even use it to make floating shelves in a modern home.


What makes wood hard and more durable is when they are dried properly. Manufacturers dry the wood in a kiln. These wood sheets are dried inside a kiln making them more durable.

The storage capacity of any shelf depends on how much weight the lumber is capable to carry. Definitely, you can have extra storage with this lumber because it can hold a decent amount of weight.

Cherry wood lumbers have a very sweet-toned color. The light color of the wood actually lets you get creative and mix-match other color woods to make the perfect floating shelf for your home.

7. Woodchucks Aromatic Cedar Hardwood Lumber – Best Wood For Open Shelving

Woodchucks Aromatic Cedar Hardwood Lumber - Best Wood For Open Shelving

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Another name in the timber industry that people know and easily rely on is woodchucks. They are famous for maintaining the minimum standard of wood.

While other wood sellers are busy making a fool out of people and giving them products of subpar categories, Woodchucks have maintained their standard.

Apart of that standard lumber is the best wood for open shelving, that’s the aromatic cedar hardwood.


These lumber pieces are kiln-dried for extra toughness. Kiln-drying doesn’t make the lumber lose its color. Rather, kiln drying ensures that the color won’t come off soon.

You can always buy extra lumber for your shelving needs. But when you are done, the rest of the wood is highly usable. You can make kitchen cutting boards, knife handles, etc.

Every inch of these pieces is usable. The color it bears is pretty unique so while it may not serve everyone’s need, but can definitely serve the people who require reddish wood for their floating shelves.

8. Barrington Hardwoods’ Red Oak Lumber Board – The Best Wood For Floating Shelves

Barrington Hardwoods' Red Oak Lumber Board - The Best Wood For Floating Shelves

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Red oak timbers are not just the best wood for floating shelves, these woods are best for all kinds of furnishing work. If you are up for displaying books or want extra storage and more space in your bathroom, start to measure the walls because you are about to hang out in the bathroom for a long.

Red oak lumber pieces are often less thick than the other ones. But remember, woods are judged according to their density. Depending on how many things you are planning on keeping on the shelves, you should choose the material.

Undeniably, red oak is the best choice. Because it has better color than other tree lumber. making it the most obvious choice for everyone.


The pack contains 4 pcs of lumbar that are 4 feet in length 2″ in width. that means only getting these, you can expand and increase the width of the shelf you want to make.

If you think sanding is a problem, then you have nothing to worry about anymore. Because the pieces are sanded to the thickness they have. The edges and the sides are pre-sanded to a smooth finish.

As I’ve said earlier, it may be the best wood for floating shelves but you can make absolutely anything. You are buying red oak lumber with the brand name of Barrington Hardwood. That means undeniably quality.

9. Manufacturer Direct’s Construction Premium Douglas Board – Strongest Wood For Shelves

Manufacturer Direct's Construction Premium Douglas Board - Strongest Wood For Shelves

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Have you ever been to a construction site? If you have then you must’ve seen these light-colored but heavy lumbers that are used for building construction purposes.

Among those, the Manufacturer Direct’s Construction Premium Douglas board is the strongest wood for shelves. You can literally do anything with these lumbers. They are great for almost everything.

The most important factor to note is that you will be making a few construction changes to the room as you will be mounting the shelves on the wall. Better use construction wood for DIY projects related to construction.


The best part about this timber is that it’s 4 feet long. You can easily reshape it in any way you want. You can extend the width of the shelves if you want to.

Another thing is, as the exterior of the lumber is light-toned, it makes it easier for anyone to put versatile color over it.

Speaking of color, versatility is not only there. You can also use it for different purposes. You can use it for framing and repairing existing furniture.

10. Barrington Hardwoods Mahogany Lumber – Best Wood For Built-in Closet

Barrington Hardwoods Mahogany Lumber - Best Wood For Built-in Closet

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Another beautiful piece of wood lumber is Mahogany Lumber. It’s considered to be the best wood for a built-in closet. You have to understand how much weight is put inside a built-in closet.

On the same note, if you use mahogany lumber for making a floating shelf, you would see that the shelf by default has a lot of weight capacity.

Each piece of lumber is 18″ long and 2″ wide. This size is precise for making absolutely anything.


Just like any other Barrington Hardwoods product, this lumber is kiln-dried. So, they are hardened. Mahogany lumber is already naturally hardened. They can be easily shaped used for heavier items.

The grain is beautiful, just varnishing the surfaces of the lumber and using them will make your shelves look very nice.

3/4″ thickness sometimes is low considering the fact that other lumbers are not hardened. But in the case of mahogany, it’s enough.

Things To Consider Before Buying Wood For Floating Shelves

You see, getting any random wood will not only be unsuitable but also will be a burden for you. So, you need to get yourself the best possible product out of the thousands that are available online.

Weight Capacity

Each type of wood has its own weight capacity. As you are making a floating shelf, the entire weight depends on how much weight the wood timber can carry. So, determine what the shelf is for and select the wood carefully.

Floating shelves wood capacity


Color is a very important factor even in the case of choosing furniture. As you are making furniture, it has to match the color scheme of the home. So, pick up a wood that can match the color scheme of the entire house.

floting shelves color


if you are making a floating shelf just to give your home a better look and keep small things, spending a lot of money will be a mistake. That’s why pick the pack that offers you the most features at the least price.


What is the best wood for floating shelves?

There any many wood types. The best ones to choose from will be red oak, mahogany, cherry, walnut, plywood, etc.

How thick should wood be for floating shelves?

3/4″ is enough amount of thickness for making a floating shelf. Anything more than that would make the floating shelf look too buffed.

Final Words

So, this is the list of the best wood for floating shelves. You can pick any of them and rest assured, it will be the best one that you can buy today. 

Also, make sure you take all the factors under consideration. Because without maintaining these, you might end up getting something you didn’t want.

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