How To Build An Ace Hotel-Inspired Plumbing Pipe Shelf

Inspired by Morgan of The Brick House and her hutzpah in building her own version of the Ace Hotel’s plumbing pipe shelving, I decided to take my own spin on the design. I opted to use Baltic Birch plywood, because I really like seeing the wood layers along the edges, and plain galvanized pipes.

What You Need

2 – 5′ x 1′ Pieces of Baltic Birch Plywood
12 – 1/2″ Galvanized 90 Degree Elbows
8 – 1/2″ Galvanized “T”s
2 – 28″ x 1/2″ Galvanized Pipes
8 – 8″ x 1/2″ Galvanized Pipes (these are your shelf supports)
2 – 18″ x 1/2″ Galvanized Pipes
2 – 10″ x 1/2″ Galvanized Pipes
4 – 12″ x 1/2″ Galvanized Pipes
4 – 1/2″ Galvanized Flanges
1 – Can Clear Spray Sealer
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Dawn Liquid Detergent or Other Degreaser
Clear Varnish for Wood
Newspaper or Cardboard
Anchors to Suit Your Flooring and Walls

1/2″ Hole Cutter
Table Saw or Hacksaw
Paint Brush
Gloves (recommended)
Eye protection (recommended)


1 Remove labels and price tags, wash adhesive and all grease off pipes. Dry. Coat with clear waterproof sealer.

2 Prep wood for cutting. Lightly sand all sides with fine grit sandpaper (I used 240)

3 3. Use a 1/2″ hole cutter. Make sure you’re drill is powerful enough. If not, the lack of speed can make cuts on the underside of your wood very messy.

4 Sand edges and inside of hole smooth before sealing or painting wood.

5 Finished cutting and sanding the holes. Now it’s time to seal or paint the wood. You can let them dry as you start to assemble the pipes.

6 Attach your first two flanges to the pipes that will form the base for your bottom shelf. Attach a “T.” Then add an 8″ pipe and 90 degree angle to the “T” to create support for the shelf.

7 Thread the shelf through the first two pipes, adjust the pipes as necessary for stability.

8 Repeat Step 6

9 Repeat Step 7

10 Continue until your shelf is built, but not yet secured to the wall and floor. Check the level before you anchor it.

Note: All walls and floors are different, so please make sure to use anchors that suit the materials you have in your home. On my concrete floor, I didn’t use anchors but opted for a dollop of Liquid Nails instead.

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(Images: Michelle Chin. Originally published 2010-10-07)

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