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How Long Should Floating Bathroom Shelves Be?


Floating shelves are a great way to maximize vertical space in your bathroom. They help keep things organized while adding aesthetic value to the room. The greatest challenge for many DIY-ers is getting the measurements just right. 

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Bathroom shelves that go over the standard toilet commode should be at least 20 inches (50.8 cm) wide to have consistency with the tank’s width. This measurement can vary depending on the toilet type. The general rule is to have some uniformity with the width of the tank for a streamlined look.

The rest of this article will further discuss the recommended measurements for the length of floating bathroom shelves. Keep reading to learn more about how to size up your specific bathroom dimensions to get your shelf measurements right. 

Are There Standard Dimensions for Bathroom Shelves?

There are no standard dimensions for bathroom shelves as no one bathroom is the same. You’ll have to do the work of meticulously taking the measurements yourself–if you plan to DIY it. (Source)

Floating shelves can go over almost anywhere where there is some wall space in your bathroom. Typically, we see floating shelves over the toilet commode and under the vanity. The length of your shelves will be determined by the respective widths of your commode and vanity. 

While no specific measurements are recommended for floating bathroom shelves, we can put in our best effort to provide you with the estimates. So whip out your measuring tools and get measuring. 

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Length for Floating Bathroom Shelves Over the Commode

While it’s human nature to think that when we’ve seen one toilet, we’ve seen them all, this couldn’t be more untrue. Many different toilet types vary in width, height, and depth; your shelf measurements will vary accordingly. 

Regarding the commode bathroom shelves, there are some general considerations to follow. Here they are:

  • Alignment
  • Spacing
  • Exposure
  • Accessibility
  • Function & Form

Alignment

The length of the shelves should be around the same as the width of the toilet tank to achieve a tied-together sense of alignment. As already mentioned, the standard width of toilet tanks is 20 inches (50.8 cm), with other toilet types hovering around that measurement.

Your floating shelves can exceed this, but the shelves should not be shorter than the tank. This alignment mishap could ruin the whole aesthetic of your floating shelves. 

An example of a shelf that exceeds the width of the toilet tank without ruining the aesthetic is the HGH Industrial Pipe Shelf (link to Amazon). It measures 24 inches (60.96 cm), just a little over the length of the standard commode but checks all the boxes for aesthetic value and functionality. 

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Spacing

The purpose of installing floating shelves is to maximize space for storage or display. Therefore, poorly spaced shelves can limit how much you can put on your shelves. Spacing also matters because it can either make or break the entire project. 

The lowest shelf should be at least 2 feet (0.61 m) above the tank. This allows you to conveniently access the tank for maintenance or fixes. 

Exposure

For some people, the primary purpose of installing floating shelves is to break the monotony of a blank wall. The added storage space is just a welcome bonus. 

There should be at least 12 inches (30.48 cm) between each shelf. You can bump this up to 15 or 18 (38.1 or 25.72 cm) inches to enhance that sense of exposure that makes minimalism look so appealing. 

Accessibility

The shelves should be sufficiently in-depth to meet your storage needs. They should also make your essential items more accessible. 

14-inch (35.56 cm) deep shelving is recommended for efficiency. It enables more storage space and will keep your decor well away from the edge. 

A great shelf-top organizer is the Seville Classics Foldable Handwoven Bin (link to Amazon), which measures 13.25 x 13.25 x 8 inches (33.66 x 33.66 x 20.32 cm).

This fits perfectly in 14-inch (35.56 cm) deep shelving. If the recommended 12-inch (30.48 cm) space between each shelf is followed, it would be just enough for your Seville Classics. 

Function & Form

Running lights through the shelving adds functional and aesthetic value to your floating shelves. It helps with illumination that makes for a great display of decorative items. Even storage items can be enhanced with some downlighting or uplighting. You can have this professionally installed, or you could DIY it. 

A great affordable option for DIY-ers is the dimmable Asoko Under Desk Light (link to Amazon). This measures 16 inches (40.64 cm) in length.

While intended for desks, it can be used on your floating shelves too. For dramatic lighting, install the lights on the top surface of your shelf. They are both easy to install and hide and come in warm and white light options. 

Length for Floating Vanities

Floating vanities or sink shelves are the latest rage. They are functional and a departure from the boring freestanding vanities that we’ve come to expect in the average bathroom.

Floating vanities add dramatic flair to your bathroom without compromising functionality.

The length of your floating vanity will depend on the size of your bathroom.

Unlike floating shelves that go over the commode, there are no standard sizes for vanities like there are standard sizes for toilets.

A project like installing your own floating vanity is going to be a feat that will require skill and experience. There will be plumbing and some masonry involved to install plumbing that will have to be hidden from view. Leave the work to professionals if this is something beyond your DIY capabilities. 

An example of a vessel sink that would go perfectly with your floating vanity is the Sinber Ceramic Vanity Vessel Sink (link to Amazon).

Measuring 16 x 13 inches (40.64 x 33.02 cm), it is enough to meet your bathroom vanity needs. 

Final Thoughts

The length of floating bathroom shelves will depend on the size of your bathroom. Over the commode floating shelves will typically measure 20 inches (50.8 cm) or more in length to be consistent with the average width of your toilet tank.

As for floating vanities, standards and averages don’t apply here. Your floating vanity shelves can be as long as your bathroom space and imagination allow. 

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Marsha

I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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