When we designed our new open concept kitchen and dining space it was important for us to consider seating. While we are a small family of 4 we often have family over at the house (often as in nearly every day), as well as our team, and need enough space to house everyone comfortably. We decided that we wanted to build out a space in the dining room that created a moody surprise with extra ambience and seating with a custom floating bench. So, now that we built it, we wanted to pull together a guide on how to build a floating bench.
Leveraging the most amount of seating in a small space is difficult. A floating bench allows for more seating at any shape table – round, square or rectangular – and adds depth to any space. Whether you’re looking to add a floating bench to a space that is built out like ours, or possibly looking to add more of a banquette design, this guide will help you pull it off.
1. Measure the space where you want to build your floating bench. You will need the total width and depth of the space.
2. Mark a 2×4 at the total width and cut it with your miter saw. This will be the horizontal support board attached to the back wall of the space.
3. Install on the back wall using your Drill/Impact Driver and construction screws. Be sure to level the board as you screw to the wall.
4. Continue by cutting 2 – 2x4s for each of the sides, and then the front horizontal support board.
5. Measure and cut some additional center support boards that will run the distance between the back and front horizontal boards. These should be spaced out every 16 inches.
6. Repeat the installation steps from step 3 for all the boards you have cut.
7. Once you have installed the “frame” it is time to cut the top. We used premium red oak plywood for our bench top, but you could use any plywood or pieces of wood you like. Re-measure the total width and depth (to the edge of the front horizontal support board) and begin cutting with your Table Saw (for plywood) or Miter Saw (for boards)
8. Once you have your top cut you will install with your Brad Nailer. We used 2” brad nails to attach the top.
9. Once the top is installed, cut your 1×5 front edge piece with your miter saw. The 1×5 is a little longer height wise then the 2×4 with the added top, which is okay because it will hide the support frame.
10. With your front edge piece cut, install with your Brad Nailer.
11. Fill all of your brad nail holes with wood filler, allow time to dry, then sand them with a rotary sander or sand paper (this will just take longer)
12. Now you are ready to finish the bench with stain, paint or polyurethane.
And there you have it. As always, please let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below. And if you decide to build a floating bench in your home, send us pictures and tag us! We want to see how you did it in your space.