How to Install a Floating Mantel Series. Part One: Mounting Over Sheetrock
So you have an amazing slab of wood you want to float as a mantel? Sweet! We have you covered. In this series we will go through the various ways to mount a floating mantel--live edge or regular.
This is part one: mounting a floating mantel over sheetrock.
Step 1. Gather the right parts, tools, and mojo for the job:
- Glenn Floating Mantel Bracket
- 2” #10 Wood Screws (We recommend GRK R4 Multi-Purpose Screws)
- A killer wood slab mantel!
- Pencil (Sharp)
- Tape Measure
- Stud Finder (For mounting over sheetrock)
- Drill Driver with small drill bit
- Screwdriver attachment for drill
- Bullet Level
- Longer level
- Positive vibes
- Good music to listen to
- Air high fives (Be safe)
Step 2. Lay that bad boy out & soft-mount it.
Layout means finding two things: first, the finished mounting height of the bracket and second, each stud that will run behind your mantel.
Determine the finished height of your mantel and make a small pencil mark. Next make a mark where the bottom of your mantel will be. The space between these marks is no-man's land. It will be covered, so feel free to poke holes and make marks anywhere in here as you lay the rest of this out. Remember, the thickness/height of the finished mantel should be larger than the height of the floating mantel bracket to ensure it disappears when installed. Therefore, the mounting height of the floating mantel bracket will be slightly lower than the finished height of the mantel. You find this mark by subtracting the difference in heights between the bracket and the mantel, dividing that in half, then subtracting that last number from the finished mantle height mark. For example, if your mantle is 5" thick/high and your bracket is 3" high, they are 2" in difference, then divide that in half and subtract. Your bracket mounting height mark in this example will be 1" lower than the finished mantel height mark.
Once you have the bracket mount height. Use a long level to make a level line at that height. Next, going along that level line, find the studs in your wall by tapping with your finger or with a stud finder. Once you find the approximate area, use a small drill bit to probe through the drywall to find the exact edges of all studs then mark the center of each vertically across the level line. These will be your screw guides when installing the bracket.
Once you have your layout, it's time to soft mount the mantel bracket. Soft mounting allows you to level your bracket and get it into the right position before you lock it down permanently. This usually requires another person to help hold it up. To soft mount, position the bracket along the level line and in the right place left to right, lining up with as many studs as possible. Next, install a screw in the furthest left hand hole. Using a level, pivoting the bracket up or down until it is level, then drive a second screw in the opposite end hole. Double check everything is level and repeat if necessary until level.
Step 3. Lock the bracket down & float your mantel
With the bracket soft mounted it’s time to finalize the installation. Using 2-1/2" x #10” Wood Screws, secure the rest of the bracket completely into your wall studs (and blocking if applicable). If the screw holes on the bracket don't line up with the studs you can easily drill through the bracket back bar to hit any studs. Use a 3/16" drill bit, then countersink with a 1/2" countersink bit to allow the screw heads to sit flush.
Dudes, it's time to install your sweet mantel! Get a six-pack of Henry Wienhardts and your hi-fives ready. Have your friend help you slide your mantle onto the floating mantel bracket. (If you need help drilling out your mantel to fit your floating mantel bracket, see this milling guide). Secure the mantel to the bracket with either screws driven through the top or bottom of the mantel into the horizontal support rods of the bracket, or squirting a bunch of silicone glue onto the same rods. Check for level front to back with a small bullet level. If tipping down at all, loosen the screws slightly on the bracket and slide shims under the bottom edge of the bracket. Reinstall the mantel and check level again. repeat until level. Thats it! Crack open your rootbeers, sit on the couch, and behold the fruits of your woodworking prowess. Nice job, Homie.
To sum it up, be sure to gather the right stuff for the job, layout and soft-mount your bracket, and finally lock down your bracket then float your mantel and enjoy the results. If you need any help or have any further questions, feel free to reach out to our insanely helpful shelf geeks at email@example.com or call us at 949.244.1083.xo Kevin