Today we’re talking through the planning and execution involved in adding a functional floating quartz shelf above our new range.
When we began the planning of our recently completed kitchen renovation, we knew functional open storage would play a huge part in the design. We enjoy cooking, so we wanted the space to be immensely practical with everything within easy reach, but of course it needed to look beautiful as well.
The decision to float a shallow quartz utility shelf above the range took a lot of planning and thought, but the execution and finished product turned out exactly as we planned. Here’s how it all came together.
Planning + Prep
When we first discussed this plan with our GC and our stone fabricator, everyone was admittedly a bit confused. But after we sketched the design out on paper, it all started to make sense and all parties were excited to execute the project.
After our contractor had finalized the electrical and plumbing changes on the wall, the final step was to install some horizontal blocking between all of the vertical studs. Once finished, he cut rough drywall patches that were held in place with a couple of screws as seen below.
While all of this was happening, we chose the slab from a nice selection of remnants at our favorite fabricator. (We love Granite Design of Midwest if you’re in the Chicago area!) Once the remnant was chosen, they stopped by a few days later to tackle the templating. One benefit of using a remnant from another slab is that the material costs next to nothing. This also keeps stone out of the landfill, so everyone wins. In our experience, most fabricators keep remnants on hand for small projects like this. You just have to ask!
Once the slab was cut and ready to be installed, we removed the temporary drywall patches in preparation the crew to arrive. The horizontal blocking was installed with the top surface at 24″ above the cooktop to make for easy access, but still be out of the way of cooking tasks.
Below is a better view of how the horizontal blocking was installed between the studs to support the weight of the quartz slab. The slab was cut at almost double the necessary depth so that the support ‘tongues’ would be hidden inside the wall. I promise it’ll make more sense shortly!
Install day was both exciting and nerve-wracking! The trusty crew showed up and got quickly to work. The slab looked like it would fit perfectly, but the first dry fit put us all at ease. After a collective sigh of relief, we were ready to move on. As seen in the photo below, the slab was notched to fit around the vertical studs. This left quartz ‘tongues’ that would provide support hidden inside the wall itself. This solution allowed us to completely avoid external vertical supports, which was very important to us.
With the slab installed, secondary horizontal blocking was screwed in place tightly above the surface of the shelf. This, in effect, sandwiched the quartz between two wood blocks. Think of it as a quartz sandwich on pine with extra construction adhesive! (Sorry. I’ll see myself out. I am, after all, a middle-age dad. The bad jokes just kind of appear.)
The quartz slab was installed and held in place using high-strength construction adhesive. This locked it into place quickly without risk of damaging the stone.
With the sandwich complete, we were ready to put the wall back together. We simply trimmed 1.5″ off of the bottom of the former drywall patches with a utility knife. We then screwed them back into place until we were ready to tile!
Overall, the process was actually pretty simple since this wall was completely open to provide access for plumbing and electrical changes. It was quite cost effective as well! The horizontal blocking was sourced from off-cuts from other lumber and the slab was a remnant from someone else’s countertop. The main cost was the templating and fabrication of the remnant. All in, the shelf added around $500 to the project and we think it was well worth it!
The functional storage goal was definitely met! Frequently used items like salt + pepper shakers and olive oil for cooking are right at hand and we think they look great where they stand. So, let us know: will you consider a floating utility shelf in your next project?
PS: We love sharing how-to posts in a simple, straightforward way! Here’s how to add lighting to your pantry, how to add a rotary dimmer to a sconce, how to remove a kitchen splash guard, how to paint anything, and how to get a perfect caulk line, among many others!
Looks great! What is the final visible depth of the shelf?
This is GENIUS! And now I finally have a way to think about adding an invisibly supported floating shelf to an existing wall, because I’m sure this would work with existing drywall … and I’m sure it could be finessed with our plaster wall. Amazing!
Yes, you got this!
I have the same Delta potfiller you do, and I love it. We use it multiple times a day, and one thing that has happened is that the joint closest to the wall has loosened up, resulting in water leaking. The first time it happened, I called Delta and they advised I needed a new one, but I realized that the cap on the first joint pops off easily, and that joint tightens up with an Allen wrench.
Oooh good to know, thank you for the tip!
I saw your stories a few months ago about this process and we used it for our recent kitchen reno. The fabricator was confused at first, but it worked perfectly. Thank you!
Great! So glad to hear it.
We are in the planning stages for our kitchen renovation, and this is incredibly helpful! I’m leaning toward installing a similar shelf behind our cooktop, but was really at a loss for how to execute it. Thank you for this and so much more, in your years of sharing!
So happy to help!
I literally said “That’s so cool” to myself out loud when I saw the final support step. What a great solution.
How strong do you think the shelf is? Assuming you wouldn’t pile glassware up there, but curious what sort of load you think it could bear. Thank you!
It is VERY strong, but we’re only using it for cooking supplies, plants and art. The oak shelf on the other side of the kitchen holds our glasses and dinnerware!
Thanks for posting this! It’s been a huge help to our project. We’ve made a few adjustments because we bought a custom piece of marble off Etsy that didn’t have the notches on it. It’s 4″x61″ We hope to put it about an inch in the wall and notch out the 2x4s behind it and hold it in place with the Horz 2x4s and adhesive. We will have a 3×61-inch depth shelf for just a couple of items. We really appreciate it and are excited. Fingers crossed.