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Build a floating bench

A step-by-step tutorial on how to build a floating bench for any space in the home.

Are you looking for a creative way to add seating to a room? 

A wooden bench is a popular choice and there are plenty of options online. 

But what if you have a narrow area to work with and you need something sturdy but customizable?

After finishing our basement, I finally had a small space to create a mudroom. I wanted a simple bench for the area but I couldn’t find anything online that matched my style. 

My solution was a wall-mounted bench. This project is simple and does not require many tools. The bench doesn’t take up too much space and blends in nicely with the surroundings.

Read on to find out how to build a floating bench for your room.

DIY floating bench for mudroom

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BUILD A FLOATING BENCH


MATERIALS:

TOOLS:

You can print the material list and instructions below.

Here is our mudroom before assembling the floating bench, see our full mudroom room tour here.

mudroom before floating bench

STEP 1: PREP THE WALL

To prep the wall, determine where the studs are in the wall and how high you want the bench. The best way to decide on the height of the bench is to measure the height of your favorite chair. I chose to have a height of 19” for our bench.

Next, subtract the thickness of the wood from that measurement. For example, my board is 2″ so my measurement is 17″. This measurement is where you want to mark your wall (floor to measurement).

SIDE NOTE: I purchased rough lumber, not lumber from a standard hardware store (Home Depot or Lowes), so my wood was 2″ thick. The actual size of wood from the lumber store will be 1-1/2″ thick. 

Now that you have that measurement, find the studs on the wall. Place a mark where the measurement hits each stud for the length of your bench.

SIDE NOTE: Have you heard of a magnetic stud finder? I decided to try it out, and with this tool and my regular stud finder, I never miss a stud.

After marking each stud, determine what studs you will use to place a shelf bracket to hold the bench in place. These will be set up in the next step.

bracket for floating bench

STEP 2: INSTALL SHELF BRACKET TO THE WALL

Take one of the heavy-duty shelf brackets and place the 8″ side on the wall where you marked the studs. 

Have the top of the right angle (where the 8″ and 12″ metal pieces come together) sit at the measurement you placed on each stud.

Using a small magnetic level, make sure the bracket is level. Once the bracket is level, mark the screw holes (there will be three).

level bracket for floating desk

Remove the bracket from the wall and using a 1/8″ drill bit, pre-drill the marked holes.

TIP: You always want to make sure you are drilling a stud. You will be able to tell if you hit a stud – there will be wood on the bit.

drill holes in wall for shelf bracket

Then, add the bracket to the wall using the #12×1-1/4″ black wood screw.

TIP: Check to make sure everything is level. 

SIDE NOTE: I like using a 90-degree attachment!

attach shelf bracket onto wall

Continue this process for all the shelf brackets you will be using for your bench.

STEP 3: ATTACHING THE WOOD TO THE BRACKETS

Now, it’s time to assemble the wood for the bench. Remember, you have two 2″x8″ (by the length of the bench) boards that will be attached together.

To prepare the wood, sand the boards using #120 grit sandpaper; an orbital sander is fantastic for this! Then, to make the wood even smoother, finish sanding the boards with #220 grit sandpaper.

sanding wood for floating bench

Once each board is smooth, wipe the dust off with a dry rag. Then, apply a wood stain (we used English Chestnut by Minwax).

After letting the stain dry, I applied 100% Tung Oil to protect the wood. See why Tung Oil is my favorite wood finish on this post.

When the Tung Oil has dried, attach the boards by using the tie plate and 3/4″ metal to wood screws.

wood for floating bench

Clamp the two boards together so that the ends are flush. If you do not have clamps see the tip below.

TIP: Instead of clamps, place one of the boards on a flat surface against a wall (a corner wall would be better). Then, put the other board next to this board, making sure the ends are flush. You will be using the wall to push the two boards together. 

Take a tie plate and place it centered between each board plus about 3″-5″ from one end of the boards.

SIDE NOTE: You do not want a tie plate placed where a shelf bracket is, so be mindful of placement.

add tie plate for floating bench

Attach the tie plate to one board using four 3/4″ screws. Then, push the two boards together (if not using clamps) and attach the tie plate to the other board using four more 3/4″ screws.

TIP: When pushing boards together make sure they are still flush at the ends and still laying flat on the surface. 

Repeat this process for all the tie plates.

After, place the wood onto the shelf brackets; the tie plates will be facing down. Center the wood, then attach the shelf brackets to the wood using the 3/4″ screws.

how to build a floating bench

And that’s how you can create a floating bench in your home. This project cost us about $50 and took a couple of days to finish because of the dry times.

But I LOVE how easy it was to build a floating bench in my mudroom. And I was able to create low-profile seating that’s beautiful and sturdy. I hope this will help you add more seating space to your home.

Yield: floating bench

Build a floating bench

how to build a floating bench

Are you looking for a floating bench tutorial? Look no further with these step-by-step instructions on building a simple floating bench.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $$

Materials

  • two – 2″ x 8″ by the length of your bench boards (our bench is 5ft x 14″)
  • 8″ x 12″ heavy duty shelf brackets (one about every 2ft plus ends)
  • #12 x 1-1/4″ black wood screws
  • #8 x 3/4″ metal to wood lath screws
  • 3″ x 7″ strong tie plate (one about every 3ft plus ends)
  • stain (optional)
  • Tung Oil
  • #120 and #220 grit sandpaper
  • face mask (for dust)
  • eye protection
  • ear protection

Tools

  • drill
  • miter saw (if you need to cut wood)
  • stud finder, try this magnetic one!
  • level (one with magnetic works best)
  • 90-degree attachment (optional)
  • orbital sander
  • clamps (optional)

Instructions

  1. Determine where you want the bench on the wall and locate the studs in the wall.
  2. Install the shelf bracket to the wall.
  3. Cut, sand, and stain the wood.
  4. Attach the tie plates to the wood.
  5. Attach the wood to the brackets.
  6. Enjoy your floating bench!
build a floating bench