floating design elements

Whatever Floats Your Boat: Floating Design Elements

Here are several design elements that can “float” in your space. We want to focus on the two main floating items that we tend to design around. Although these can look really cool, there is a little more that goes into making them look perfect. Unfortunately, we haven’t discovered the secret of levitation so there tends to be a lot going on behind the scenes. There are also tons of considerations and prep work for designing a floating item in your space. Ready to dive in? Grab your water wings and let’s get floating!

Floating Vanities

This is quite possibly our favorite way to get things off the ground. It’s also great in wet rooms because they avoid direct contact with any wet floor. You may think: “well, wall cabinets float, so how are base cabinets any different?” and you kind of have a point. We also know how to install cabinets directly to a wall without bottom support. However, if you think about it, base and vanity cabinets tend to be a lot deeper and also support a countertop, sink, faucet, and anything else you put on top. Sometimes, it has to hold up against people sitting on it! So, additional support is required and we always include additional bracing on the side of a sink base cabinet for support. Also, when installing a vanity cabinet, you have to make sure that your plumbing is pulled up off of the ground, inside the cabinet cavity.

Floating Shelves

Our second favorite, and probably the most common floating element: shelving. Just like anything else we show you today, these shelves need to be supported. Additional blocking in the wall before you install sheetrock is very important, especially for shelves that you know will hold heavier items. Metal brackets are a favorite way to “hide” the supports inside of a hollow shelf. Solid shelves need even more creative ideas to support. And don’t worry about not getting task lighting under a shelf – we can install LED lighting just like under your wall cabinetry. This calls for a bit of creative engineering on the cabinet maker or installers part, but it looks really good.

Floating Shower Benches

You thought we were done with just the first two items, didn’t you? Well hold on – we’ve got three more floating items to get through! A floating shower bench is a perfect solution for more contemporary spaces. You can frame this out and have it as a permanent feature, framing it with tile to match your walls or even counter material for a sleeker look. But, if you want to maximize your shower space, what you see below is another great solution. This floating teak wall seat from Mr. Steam mounts directly to the wall – with the appropriate blocking and support – and can be flipped down to use, or up to get out of your clear floor space. They have an updated version but you can also find the older version from several online retailers.

Floating Vent Hoods

You’ve all seen hoods that mount directly below a cabinet, are attached to the wall and vent through the ceiling or seem to float in the middle of the room over an island. However, you can create a “floating wall mounted hood” just as we did in this clean-lined kitchen below. We wanted showcase this gorgeous book-matched stone slab, so the smaller the hood, the better. We settled on a floating style so a chimney didn’t cover up the top portion of the stone. This, however, isn’t as easy as it looks. There is a lot going on in only eighteen-inches of height to ensure that the hood is properly mounted to the wall as well as get the venting to go directly back through the exterior wall and not hit any stud in the way. But, done correctly, you get such a cool contemporary look.

Floating Commodes

Yes – we have one more for you! And it’s one of our most popular spaces on Houzz. A small kid’s bath needed a lot of creative designing in order to maximize space. We designed floating vanities and linen storage to free up the floors and make it feel larger. Then, we used that same idea with the commode. The Maris Wall-Hung Commode from Toto was a perfect solution, and with an In-Wall Tank System, we saved a total of 9″ of floor space in front of the commode from a traditional floor mount model.

Hopefully you can now get things off the ground (pun intended) and start your next remodel! What floating elements would you consider in your space? For more bathroom inspiration, check out this Friday Feature that showcases three bathrooms that all have floating vanities. Or learn even more about open shelving and other non-floating options that give you the same kind of look for less!