Building my “floating” Kitchen Bench/Window Seat (over baseboard heater)

Hi friends! This week I finally got started on building my “floating” banquette/bench seat in the kitchen, and I’m so excited about how it’s coming along. Last week I shared some of my inspiration for this little breakfast nook, which actually serves as our main dining area, and today I’m sharing how I sorta, easily pulled it together.

How to build a “Floating” Banquette

I say “floating” in quotation marks because this banquette is basically just an oversized shelf, so the concept is pretty simple:

Install heavy duty shelf brackets to studs, cut wood to fit, attach wood to brackets, add finish trim and Voila! You have your bench!

This is typically how simple things sound in my head, but on this project, I quickly realized that this type of project is a *little* more involved than that.

Here’s a slightly more detailed description of the process:

What you’ll need:

  • Heavy duty shelf brackets
  • #14 x 2 in.  Screws (recommended on the bracket label)
  • I used 3” wood screws with washers (more on this later)
  • 3/4” plywood cut to size (the depth of my plywood was 22”x the length of your bench
  • 1x4x the length of your bench
  • Stud finder
  • Wood filler
  • Wood glue
  • sanding block
  • Jigsaw (optional)
  • Level, tape measure, pencil
  • Miter saw (optional)
  • Table saw (optional)
  • Brad Nailer

Step 1) Decide on your layout and find your Studs

If you’ve been following along on IG, you know that I was torn between building a corner bench or just a straight bench. Ultimately I decided on a straight one and figured I could always add on later if I want.

Once you decide on your layout, begin finding and marking your studs using a stud finder. If you have awful concrete walls and your stud finders won’t work—like mine didn’t, begin measuring from the corner of a wall 16” out and hope for the best! Kidding!! Sort of! I did this, but started on the wrong end of the wall which resulted in numerous holes that I needed to patch. Once I attempted this from the other end, it worked like a charm.

Step 2) Install Brackets

I initially thought I could get away with spacing my brackets every 32”, but quickly realized after a test run with the plywood, that the plywood would need more support.  Apparently, 3/4″ 5-Ply plywood, can hold 170 lb per square foot, so plan accordingly.

So I decided, for safety’s sake to install my brackets every 16” down the length of the wall.  The label on the brackets recommend 1 1/2″ screws, I bought 2″ screws and they weren’t long enough for our concrete walls.  So I resorted to using 3″ deck screws, but needed to use washers as the holes on the brackets were too large.

Step 3) Cut your plywood to fit.

If you are building a simple banquette that’s straight wall to straight wall banquette/bench, this step should be fairly easy.  Our wall has a diagonal corner, thanks to the plumbing stack so I had to get creative with my cut.

And because my wall is a little larger than 10’, I needed to use two piece of plywood to make up the bench. See below: 

Plywood measured to be cut

Next, to join the two boards, I cut the first board down so that the two boards could rest on one bracket.

Plywood cut to fit

Step 4) Add an Apron and Support the Apron

I decided on a 1×4 to finish the front edge of my plywood. I used wood glue and my brad nailer to attach the front trim flush with my plywood. 

I cut blocks of scrap 1×3 for additional support for the front apron. I spaced them out and nailed them with my brad nailer.  And then nailed from the front apron into the blocks.

Step 5) Fill holes & Sand

Using your wood filler, fill your nail holes and seams as needed.  Using a medium grit sanding block sand the areas until smooth.

Step 6) Supplement if Necessary 

In some areas, where I didn’t have brackets, I used cut down 2×4’s attached to the wall to add additional support. 

Next up, I’ll be sharing how I finished the bench and added a cushion! Stay tuned!



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  1. Mary Linnova
    March 25, 2022 / 2:12 pm

    Love it Carli! Very clever and creative. I start to wonder how you get projects so done at my old age 😅😂hehe, can’t wait to see the cushion addition ❤️

    • madebycarli
      March 27, 2022 / 8:25 pm

      Thanks so much Mary! I needed to rest for two days after🤣. Can’t wait to share the rest

  2. D
    June 10, 2023 / 6:25 pm

    How has this held up over time?

    • madebycarli
      June 22, 2023 / 1:55 pm

      I’ve had no problems with it at all. Our family members are not lightweights, so installing brackets to the studs was HUGE in providing adequate support.

  3. Erica
    September 3, 2023 / 1:40 pm

    Did you screw the plywood piece into the tops of the brackets? Trying to determine what screws I’d need for that and how to properly make the screw heads flush.

    • madebycarli
      September 4, 2023 / 12:06 pm

      Hi! Yes! I screwed from the underside of the bracket. Depending on the thickness of your plywood, you’d want screws that are at least a 1/4” shorter.

    • madebycarli
      September 4, 2023 / 12:07 pm

      You may need to use washers if you’re unable to find screws with heads wide enough.

  4. Elaine
    September 6, 2023 / 4:51 pm

    I simply LOVE this! You did an amazing job, Carli. You’ve inspired me to try and do this in my kitchen! I do have an important question though…how high off the ground did you install the brackets?

    • madebycarli
      September 6, 2023 / 6:41 pm

      YAY!!!! you won’t regret it! I chose 17″ off the ground because I knew I would eventually add a pad. But 12″ from the seat to the table. Good luck!!!

  5. Elaine
    September 6, 2023 / 9:27 pm

    Got it. Thank you again, Carli!!

  6. October 10, 2023 / 1:27 pm

    Hello Carli, we live in a cold climate and the baseboard heater usually puts heat up to the windows. Were you concerned at all about heat going up to your windows in the winter. Just wondering if we can do the same thing in Canada

    • madebycarli
      October 13, 2023 / 5:56 am

      Hi Pauline, no that wasn’t a concern of ours. The heat still comes out a little through the back of the seat and out from the front.

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