DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves

DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves

I’ve been wanting to build something out of industrial pipe for the last few years, but I never really had a good reason to try my hand at pipe fitting (all the professional pipefitters in the world are glaring at me right now).
I’ve seen lots of great projects. End tables, curtain rods, paper towel holders. Even dog beds.
So I got busy in the bathroom last weekend building some new industrial pipe shelves.

Because hey, if you’re going to use plumbing pipe for a DIY project anywhere in your house, it might as well be in the bathroom
A couple years ago when we renovated my son’s bathroom and made it handicap accessible, we opted to use vintage gym baskets as “shelves”. You can see more of that initial renovation on my Industrial Style Child’s Bathroom post.
The problem was a gym basket, as fun as it looks, just doesn’t have enough usable surface area to be used as a shelf.
There I said it. Gym baskets just don’t work that well.

I can not tell you how many times I sat down on the potty, bumped the toilet lid and the razor fell over and hit me in the back. And since this doubles as a guest bathroom, you just can’t be having razors cutting everyone’s back all up.
Margie – “Why do you have a bunch of band-aids on your back, Susie?”
Susie – “Oh, I spent the night at Pam’s house.”
Margie – “Enough said.”

So we decided to ditch the vintage gym basket look and go for a more traditional shelving idea. Well, as long as you consider industrial pipe and reclaimed lumber “traditional”.
For 3 shelves we used
• 6 3/4? Floor Flanges
• 6 3/4? Caps
• 6 3/4? x 8? Nipples
• 1 1/4? x 8 – 3.18 cm Coarse Thread Drywall Screws
• 1 Board cut to the length you need (in our case we used reclaimed lumber that was roughly 2? wide x 6? deep x 5′ long, cut in thirds – if you buy a new board from the hardware store, have them cut it to length for you)
• Black Spray Paint (I used less than 1 can of Rustoleum’s Universal Hammered Paint & Primer In One in the black color)
• Measuring Tape
• Phillips head screwdriver, handheld or electric as you prefer
• Pencil
• Leve
(A) Coarse Thread Drywall Screws / (B) Floor Flange / (C) Nipple / (D) Cap

• If you have shelves already in place, remove those shelves and patch any holes if necessary
• Wipe the grease and grime off your plumbing parts. I used soap and water for the floor flanges and the caps and since the nipples had tape wrapped around the price stickers, I used some Goo Gone on those. I think they are covered in “greasy stuff” so they don’t rust while at the store, which reminds me, be careful when carrying them around the store while wearing a white shirt. Been there, done that, not doing it again.
• Screw one floor flange and one cap onto each nipple (ouch). These will be your brackets.

• Decide where you want shelves to be.
• If possible, try to align your flanges with wall studs. We were only able to do this on one side of the shelf, due to the size of the shelves, but still felt they were pretty darn sturdy. You may want to use dry wall anchors if you are unable to hit a stud with your placement of the brackets.
• It looks best to have at least 2 1/2? – 3? between the outside of the bracket and the outside end of the board.
• Position your first bracket on the stud and screw into place.
• You can use a pencil to mark the floor flange holes onto the wall if you want to drill pilot holes first. I went straight into the drywall without pilot holes though. I’m wild like that.
• Hold your second bracket in place, put the board on top of the bracket and the level on top of that. Once the board is showing it is in a level position, screw the 2nd bracket into place.
• Screw remaining shelves into place the same way making sure they are spaced equal distances apart and all the brackets are placed vertically in line with each other

Really these industrial pipe shelves are probably one of the easiest DIY projects out there. They give you so much bang for your buck!
And just in case you need a visual reference, this is what the plumbing pipe items look like on the shelf at Home Depot.
Don’t forget, you can shop online at Home Depot and have the items all ready for you to pick up. Saves you from wandering down the aisles looking for this and that or waiting for your online order to arrive via UPS
It’s really easy to order online with Home Depot and then pick up your order at your local store. All you have to do is put it in the shopping cart called Pick Up In Store Today.
Once you have picked out all your items and put them in the Pick Up In Store Today shopping cart, just Check-Out like normal. Your items will be waiting for you all nice and neatly put together at the front counter at your Home Depot store. I love having them do all the shopping for me and then I can just quickly pop in, grab my cart full of stuff up front and get back home FAST.
Remember – put your items in the shopping cart called Pick Up In Store Today and it will be ready for you when you get there.

Our bathroom remodel might be one of the biggest transformations in our previous house (other than our kitchen of course). It’s packed full of DIY projects, and I’m honestly surprised how much I loved it when we completed it. When we started this remodel, we were literally doing it because we knew we were putting our house on the market. It was a room I always wanted to do, but selling our house sure gave me a shove to get it done. Ultimately I was just going as fast as I could to get this space show room ready, but I was more than happy with the results!
The MOST asked question I get is about my bathroom shelves, and today is the day I’m finally going to share those with you! I have a feeling you’ll be pretty shocked at how easily they are to make, though I won’t lie… industrial pipe projects can get a little pricey, but the smaller projects aren’t too bad.
• (2) 3/4? Black Iron Pipe @ 10? length (in the plumbing section)
• (2) 3/4? Pipe Cap
• (2) 3/4? Flange
• (1) 2×10 cut to desired length
• Spray Paint Primer
• Black Hammered Spray Paint
• Wall Anchors
• Tutorial for finishing technique can be found HERE
How to Build DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves
I used the black steel metal pipes, which if not painted and sealed, will rust over time. I was ok with this, but if you don’t want yours to rust you can prime it and paint with a Rustoleum Paint.
These shelves are petty heavy so you will want to make sure they are properly secured to the wall. Once you have determined where the shelves will be located focus on where the metal flange will be, then mark inside each of the screw holes with a pencil. Making sure you are level (which is extremely important with these shelves), insert your drywall anchors into your markings and hang the flange. The flanges do not come with screws so make sure your screw head is large enough for the holes provided. Repeat for the 2nd flange.