How to Build a DIY Floating Bed Frame

Bedroom with floating bed frame
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Overview
  • Working Time: 8 - 12 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 2 days
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $150 to $300

A floating bed frame can make a sleek, unique, and stylish addition to a bedroom. Instead of being held up by visible legs on each of the outside corners of the frame, floating bed frames are suspended by a virtually invisible base platform underneath an upper bed frame. This makes the bed look as though it's floating mid-air.

As awesome as they are, floating bed frames often come with a pretty hefty price tag. Fortunately, you can build a DIY floating bed frame with a just a moderate amount of tools, skills, and money. Read on to learn how it's done.

Before You Begin

The building plans that follow are for a standard Queen-sized bed that's 60 x 80 inches, but the dimensions can be modified to accommodate any sized bed. If doing so, just ensure that the center boards and support blocks line up on both the base platform and top frame.

When assembling the two frames, it's recommended to use self-tapping screws that don't require pre-drilling. However, you can use standard screws as long as you pre-drill the holes with an appropriate bit. Otherwise, you risk splitting the wood.

Safety Considerations

This project involves the use of potentially dangerous power tools, including a miter saw and a circular saw. You should only attempt this project if you know how to safely handle these tools, and if you possess the necessary safety equipment. Always wear eye and hearing protection.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 10-inch compound miter saw
  • Circular saw
  • Impact driver
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Speed square
  • Safety glasses
  • Framing square
  • Chalk line
  • Woodworking clamps (c-clamps, pipe clamps, etc.) (optional)
  • Straight edge (8-foot spirit level or straight lumber) (optional)

Materials

  • 2 1/2-inch self-tapping wood screws
  • 1 5/8-inch self-tapping wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 2x6 lumber
  • 2x4 lumber
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • Construction adhesive

Instructions

  1. Cut the Lumber for the Base Frame

    Using a miter saw, cut your lumber to the following dimensions:

    • 2 x 2x6s at 48 inches
    • 3 x 2x6s at 56 1/2 inches
    • 6 x 2x6s at 22 1/2 inches
    • 10 x 2x4s at 11 inches
  2. Cut the Lumber for the Top Frame

    Using a miter saw, cut your lumber to the following dimensions:

    • 2 x 2x6s at 60 inches
    • 3 x 2x6s at 78 inches
    • 10 x 2x6s at 28 1/2 inches
  3. Cut the Plywood for the Top

    Use a circular saw to cut two sheets of plywood down to 40 1/2 x 60 inches. Depending on your level of skill with a circular saw, you can use a chalk line to mark your cut, or clamp a 8-foot straight edge—like a straight piece of lumber or a spirit level—onto the plywood to guide the circular saw. Using a straight edge to guide your saw will produce a straighter cut, especially if you have limited experience with using a circular saw.

  4. Assemble the Base Frame

    Measuring from the end of one of the 48-inch boards, make a mark at 23 1/4 inches on the top edge of the board. Use a speed square to mark a straight line perpendicularly (at a 45-degree angle) onto the face of the board at the mark. Mark an X on the outside—on the opposite side you’re pulling the tape measure from—of the line.

    Lay the 48-inch board you marked edge to edge with the second 48-inch board, and transfer the mark onto the second board with a framing square. These marks are where the center support board will go.

    Secure one of 56 1/2-inch boards to the outside of one of the 48-inch boards. Rest the edge of the 56 1/2-inch board on the face of the 48-inch board, holding the end of the 56 1/2-inch piece flush to the top and outside edge of the 48-inch piece. Drive two 2 1/2-inch self-tapping wood screws through the back of the 48-inch board into the end of the 56 1/2-inch board.

    Repeat these steps on the opposite end of the 48-inch board with another 56 1/2-inch board.

    Place the edge of the third 56 1/2-inch board—the center support board—onto the X of one of the 48-inch boards. Ensure that the edge of the board is flush with the straight line you marked at 23 1/4 inches, and the top edge of the 48-inch board. Drive two 2 1/2-inch self-tapping screws through the back of the 48-inch board into the end of the center support board.

  5. Install the Base Frame Blocking

    Measuring from one end of one of the 48-inch boards, make a mark every 13 1/4 inches along the top edge of the 56 1/2-inch board fastened to it. Use a speed square to mark a perpendicular line across the face of the board at each one of these marks, and mark an X on the opposite side of the line that you pulled your tape measure from.

    Repeat these steps on the other side of the frame, and on the center support board. This will be where your support blocks go.

    Place the edge of one of the 22 1/2-inch boards—the blocks—onto one of the Xs you made on one of the outside 56 1/2-inch boards. Ensure that the edge of the block is flush with the straight line you marked at 13 1/4 inches, and the top edge of the 56 1/2-inch board. Drive two 2 1/2-inch self-tapping screws through the back of the 56 1/2-inch board into the end of the block.

    Rest the other end of the block onto the corresponding line and X on the center support board. Toenail two screws—top and bottom—from one side of the block into the 56 1/2-inch board, and toenail one screw through the center of the other side of the block into the 56 1/2-inch board.

    Repeat the above steps for all six blocks on each of the marks you made.

    What Is Toenailing?

    Toenailing is the act of fastening two boards, oriented perpendicularly from one-another, with screws or nails driven at a 45-degree angle.

  6. Install Vertical 2x4s Onto the Base Frame

    Place one 11-inch 2x4 into each of the four inside corners of the frame, where the three 48-inch boards meet the two 56 1/2-inch boards. Stand the 2x4s upright so they protrude 5 1/2-inch from the top of the frame. Hold the 3 1/2-inch face of the 2x4 against the 5 1/2-inch face of the 48-inch board, and drive two screws through each 2x4 into the 48-inch boards.

    Repeat this process on each one of the blocks, by securing the remaining six 2x4s to the inside corners of the blocks and 56 1/2-inch boards.

    Tip

    When screwing into the 2x4s, stagger the screws so they're oriented diagonally from each other. For example, drive one screw into the top left-hand corner of the board, and the other into the bottom right-hand corner. Doing so will keep the wood from splitting.

  7. Assemble the Top Frame

    Measuring from the end of one of the 60-inch boards, make a mark at 29 1/4 inches on the top edge of the board. Use a speed square to mark a straight line perpendicularly onto the face of the board at the mark. Mark an X on the outside—on the opposite side you’re pulling the tape measure from—of the line.

    Lay the 60-inch board you marked edge to edge with the second 60-inch board, and transfer the mark onto the second board with a framing square. These marks are where the center support board will go.

    Secure one of 78-inch boards to the outside of one of the 60-inch boards. Rest the edge of the 78-inch board on the face of the 60-inch board, with the end of the 78-inch board flush to the top and outside edge of the 60-inch board. Drive two 2 1/2-inch self-tapping wood screws through the back of the 60-inch board into the end of the 78-inch board.

    Repeat these steps on the opposite end of the 60-inch board with another 78-inch board.

    Place the edge of the third 78-inch board—the center support board—onto the X of one of the 60-inch boards. Ensure that the edge of the board is flush with the straight line you marked at 29 1/4-inch, and the top edge of the 60-inch board. Drive two 2 1/2-inch self-tapping screws through the back of the 60-inch board into the end of the center support board.

  8. Install the Top Frame Blocking

    Measuring from one end of one of the 60-inch boards, make a mark every 13 1/4 inches along the top edge of the 78-inch board fastened to it. Use a speed square to mark a perpendicular line across the face of the board at each one of these marks, and mark an X on the opposite side of the line that you pulled your tape measure from.

    Repeat these steps on the other side of the frame, and on the center support board. This will be where your support blocks go.

    Place the edge of one of the 28 1/2-inch boards—the blocks—onto one of the Xs you made on one of the outside 78-inch boards. Ensure that the edge of the block is flush with the straight line you marked at 13 1/4 inches, and the top edge of the 78-inch board. Drive two 2 1/2-inch self-tapping screws through the back of the 78-inch board into the end of the block.

    Rest the other end of the block onto the corresponding line and X on the center support board. Toenail two screws—top and bottom—from one side of the block into the 78-inch board, and toenail one screw through the center of the other side of the block into the 78-inch board.

    Repeat the above steps for all 10 blocks on each of the marks you made.

  9. Attach the Top Frame to the Base Frame

    Using a helper, lift the top frame onto the top of the base frame, resting the top frame's center support board onto the base frame's center support board. The blocks on both frames should be aligned with one-another, and the vertical 2x4s protruding from the base frame should rest against the face of the top frame's blocks.

    Drive two screws through each of the 2x4s into the top frame's blocks.

  10. Attach the Plywood to the Top Frame

    Use a caulking gun to spread construction adhesive evenly over the top edges of the top frame. This includes the four sides, the center support board, and the 10 blocks. Place the plywood onto the top frame, with the two 40 1/2-inch sides meeting in the center, and the 60-inch sides flush to the outsides of the frame.

    Drive 1 5/8-inch self-tapping screws every 12 inches around the outside perimeter and down the center of the plywood.