Since your floor to ceiling bookshelves will be holding a wide range of reading material and decorative items, you want to be sure each shelf has plenty of room for your favorite items. According to Frances Merrill, most floor to ceiling bookshelves will measure an average of 9 feet tall with some being much taller for vaulted ceiling rooms. The width can be anywhere from 3 feet to 12 feet or more for custom bookshelves, but the average will be more reasonable for standard home offices and businesses.
In most cases, the most common material for large floor to ceiling bookshelves is wood. This can be either solid wood or manufactured wood, but a majority of the bookshelves on the market today are wood of some kind. Interior decorator Nate Berkus suggests looking for solid wood as the main material in your bookshelves. Not only does this provide more weight and a higher quality feel to the bookshelf, but it also improves the durability and longevity of the unit. Some other bookshelves may be made from a combination of metal and glass, but it's somewhat uncommon to find these materials used for floor to ceiling sizes.
When it comes to construction quality of floor to ceiling bookshelves, the hardware used can come into play. Nick Olsen suggests looking for high quality hardware to ensure the most reliable construction overall. For example, look for metal L shaped brackets to hold shelving instead of plastic as the metal will offer a much more reliable option when holding several pounds of books or decorations. Additionally, all metal hardware will last much longer than plastic making your bookshelves suitable for several years of daily use within your home or office.
While standard bookshelves are vertical rectangles, you can also find bookshelf units in more unique and stylish shapes. Some will be simplistic with little to no decorative options, while others will have scrolled tops and unique framing to help add an extra dimension to the design aesthetic. According to Kathryn M. Ireland, an interior design specialist, elegant scrollwork on wooden tops or along the bottom can help add a touch of maturity making these bookshelves perfect for a home office, den, or private library.