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Does a Floating Shelf Above a Fireplace Look Good?

Floating shelves, just like standard mantels, look good with fireplaces. Check out the benefits along with some tips on how to decorate your fireplace floating shelf.

Living room with a glass-enclosed fireplace topped with a floating shelf.

Fireplaces are awesome. They create a great mood in the home, the way they sound gives me this nice feeling in my stomach, and they keep the place nice and warm on cold and dreary nights. 

It’s like popular author Gladys Taber once said: “A house with no fireplace is a house without a heart.” And who wants a home without a heart? 

Decorating fireplaces is something that you need to think about carefully. There are many do’s and don’ts, but for the most part, it’s up to you and what you like.

I’m just here to convince you that floating shelves above fireplaces are awesome and you should definitely consider it.

Why Are Floating Shelves Above Fireplaces a Good Idea?

Stone fireplace with a firewood box and a floating shelf.

There are so many benefits to having a floating shelf above your fireplace, but I will keep things brief and only discuss my favorite reasons. I know you’d rather be off admiring your fireplace and thinking of ways to decorate your shelf. I know I would!

Gives Your Fireplace a Classy but Modern Feel

Floating shelves, if done right, look really awesome. They are somehow able to feel modern but also quite classy at the same time. I don’t know how they manage, but I love it!

If you want to decorate your living room or bedroom (wherever the fireplace is located) but don’t want to go overboard or make it look silly, floating shelves will save the day.

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Lets You Show Off Your Prized Possessions

I love showing off the little knick-knacks I’ve collected over the years, and I’m sure everyone else does too. With hanging shelves above your lovely fireplace, you can show off all your prized possessions with style.

Whether you want to show off with photos, cards, plants, or ornaments, you can do so with these shelves and give the room your personal touch.

Can Shield the Fireplace

Hanging shelves can help to protect your home from the flames and smoke of the fire. Although mantels are more effective at this, floating shelves still help out.

You just have to make sure that the shelves are made from materials that won’t splinter, crack, or damage when exposed to heat.

Increases Your Home’s Market Value

Last, but certainly not least, having beautiful floating shelves above your fireplace can really increase your home’s market value. Because they look so good, they elevate the value of the entire room, which enhances the overall value of your home.

People put a lot of value on aesthetics, and fireplaces with floating shelves will please even the pickiest homebuyer. At least, that’s my humble opinion on the matter.

Things to Consider With Your Floating Shelf Above Your Fireplace

Fireplace with a rustic shelf complemented with a red checkered armchair.

Although I love the combination of floating shelves and fireplaces, there are some factors you must keep in mind for your safety and peace of mind.

Local Fire Codes

It is important that you do research about your local fire codes. There may be specific laws about how high your shelves must be, and how far away from the fireplace. It all depends on the material that the shelves are made of.

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Be sure about the laws and codes before you buy and install your shelves because you might end up needing to remove or move them, and that would be unfortunate.


Keep in mind what kind of décor and vibe you’re going for. That will influence the materials you’ll choose for your floating shelves. Also, consider the items you wish to store on the shelves — are they flammable? If so, you may want to install the shelves further away from the fireplace for safety.


The installation of your floating shelves won’t be a quick matter. You have to plan it well or you’ll risk causing a fire and discomfort for yourself. Remember to do proper and accurate measurements before buying your shelves.

Don’t place the shelves too close to the fireplace. Even if they’re made of fireproof materials, they can still get damaged. The items you place on your shelves can also get damaged or catch on fire.

How to Decorate Your Fireplace Floating Shelf

Close-up look at a fireplace mantel decorated with vases and candles.

Decorating your floating shelf can be a lot of fun, but because there are so many options and ideas to play with, it can be difficult to stop planning and get started. It’s like Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman, philosopher, lawyer, Academic Skeptic, and scholar said: “There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.” 

Decorating your floating shelves is sometimes the most creative fun you’ll have while decorating the area around your fireplace, so give it as much time and thought as it deserves.

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Here are a few ideas to gently shove you into action:


If you love books, why not securely fit them on your floating shelves so they’re nearby for reading when you’re relaxing in front of the fire?

Seasonal Décor

Christmas and Halloween decorations look amazing near a fireplace, but you can use any season for inspiration to keep things fresh all the time.


If you’re an art lover like me, you’ll love the idea of displaying paintings and other artwork above your fireplace.

Travel Souvenirs

You can put all the small things you’ve bought on your travels on your floating shelves and reminisce in front of the fireplace.


Plants are always a lovely addition to any area, whether they’re real or fake. Just make sure your plants get enough sunlight and water!

Those are just a few ideas, you can flip through magazines and browse the internet and find a million more. Everything goes, really, from candles to clocks and figurines. Use this space in your home to express your taste in décor.

Fireplaces Are Better With Floating Shelves

Gray armchairs situated in front of the wooden fireplace.

It is only my humble opinion, but fireplaces just look so much better and more unique with floating shelves. They’re attractive and practical and can do anything a standard mantel can do, but better!