How To Build An Ace Hotel-Inspired Plumbing Pipe Shelf

How To Build An Ace Hotel-Inspired Plumbing Pipe Shelf

Michelle Chin
Aug 23, 2011

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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