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