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Hanging Pot Racks
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    The addition of a hanging pot rack to any kitchen instantly increases your storage space and the overall utility of the room. This style of racks keep all of your pots and pans within easy reach above your island or cook top, opening up room in your cabinets and making food preparation faster and simpler.

    If you currently have a rack that hangs in your kitchen, you likely haven't purchased one in years, and you may be surprised at the vast increase in the variety of selections now available on the market. If you are purchasing your first rack for pots, you likely have questions about how to get started and where to begin.

    We created our Buyers' Guide to Hanging Pot Racks to help both seasoned owners and those just beginning to discover the benefits of having one at home explore the available options on the market and choose the best one for their needs. Using this guide will streamline the shopping process, save you time and ensure that you select the perfect style to add to the beauty, space and convenience of your kitchen for years to come.

    Choosing the Style

    Pot racks come in two basic styles: hanging (suspended) and wall-mounted, each of which is ideal for different types of settings. If you still aren't certain that a suspended style is preferable in your space over a wall-mounted style, the best place to start in your shopping efforts is thinking about the space that you have available in your kitchen. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Do you have a limited amount of wall space?

      If you don't have enough room on the walls of your kitchen, you may have no other option than to select a suspended style.

    • How important is it to have your items within arm's reach while you work?

      If you have adequate space available for either style of rack, think about how you prefer to work. Home chefs who prefer to stand at a kitchen island or other fixed spot to perform the bulk of their work often prefer racks to keep items close by.

    • Where do you currently keep your pots and pans, and where is that in relation to where you would you need to mount a wall fixture?

      If you've lived in your home for a while, you likely have developed definite routines in the kitchen and are accustomed to going to a certain area to get your cookware as needed. In instances where a wall model must be placed far away from your current cookware storage location, you may find it irritating or difficult to switch your routine to travel to the rack. Because they are more centrally located and within easy reach, suspended racks are easier to adjust to.

    • Is the ideal mounting space for your new piece above any type of surface like a range, cook top or island grill?

      Although racks can be mounted above cooking appliances, you’ll want to carefully consider the mess that splatters from foods can make on your pots and pans. Some homeowners choose wall racks to avoid the hassle of wiping off their cookware after preparing meals when there is no other option than to place a suspended rack above their cooktop.

    Determining the Placement

    Once you're certain that a suspended style is for you, you'll need to determine precisely where on your ceiling you'll be installing the rack. To securely fasten your rack, you must locate the joists within your ceiling. The best method for locating joists is with an electronic stud finder, which uses an easy-to-read electronic display to tell you when you're in the area of a stud; how easy it is to locate studs on your own and the best place to look for them depends on your ceiling material:

    • Drywall ceiling joists are usually spaced 16 inches apart in modern homes, though there was no standard in those built decades ago. Your rack will need to be mounted in the center of the joists.

    • Plaster ceilings typically have their true joists located deeper, making them difficult to find on your own. We recommend hiring a contractor to assist you in locating them.

    • With Drop ceilings, you'll need to remove the tiles and hang your rack from the joists in the true ceiling directly above them.

    • Masonry ceilings do not require you to locate the joists; however, they require precise drilling to ensure secure installation. Contact a professional for assistance.

    Determining the Height

    Once you know where you'll be installing your rack, you're ready to figure out what dimensions will best suit your needs. For suspended models, the most important size factor is the height. If your new rack is too tall, it can create a low clearance hazard in the kitchen, and models that are too short make it too difficult to reach your cookware. Determining the right height for your suspended rack is a multi-step process.

    Step 1: Determine the Size of Your Cookware

    Since your pots and pans hang down from the rack, the size of your cookware has a direct impact on the overall height of your full rack. Due to this, you'll need to determine the lengths of your largest and smallest pots and pans.

    Most cookware ranges in length from 10 inches to 21 inches, though the actual sizes of your cookware may vary. To be precise, take the time to line up your pots and pans and determine which have the smallest and tallest heights when held vertically. Then measure the lengths and use this figure to guide you when determining the height.

    Step 2: Determine Your Reach Height

    Your reach height is how far you can comfortably stretch your arm overhead to access items. For the most accurate measurement, extend your arm overhead and have someone measure you from the tip of your fingers to the floor. Usually, the distance will be 6 to 10 inches greater than your height, depending on the length of your arms.

    Step 3: Determine the Height of Your Ceiling

    The height of your ceiling is the final component to determining the perfect height for your rack. Your building specifications or housing plans should have the height listed if you cannot remember.

    Step 4: Calculate the Height of the Rack

    Now that you have all of the necessary measurements, perform the following steps to determine the ideal height for your rack:

    1. Add your reach height to the length of the smallest pot that you have.

    2. Subtract the value obtained in Step 1 from the height of your ceiling. This is the maximum height of a pot rack that you should select for your space.

    3. Add your reach height to the length of the tallest pot that you have have.

    4. Subtract the value obtained in Step 3 from the height of your ceiling to determine the minimum height that your suspended model can be to maintain safe overhead clearance.

    Determining the Length and Width

    The length and width of your hanging rack are not as crucial to the utility of the rack as the height, but still can impact the safety of your kitchen. You must always have 6 inches of clearance from the wall and walkways on all sides of the unit to maintain safety in the space. To determine the maximum safe widths and lengths, measure the length and width of the island, counter top or other surface over which you intend to hang your rack and subtract 6 inches from each measurement.

    To determine a minimum size for your needs, you will need to consider how many pots and pans you want to hang, how much space they take up and in what configuration each style of rack that interests you will hang your cookware. It may help to draw diagrams of the racks as you shop and measure the widths and lengths of your pots and pans while hung vertically to establish whether or not a particular rack will work for you.

    Shopping for Style

    Once you have an idea of the perfect size for your new rack, you're ready to begin exploring styles to determine what suits your tastes and decor. The major stylistic considerations for hanging pot racks include:

    • Shape - the overall configuration of the rack. The most common shapes include:

      • Rectangle

      • Round

      • Oval

      • Square

      • Bar

    • Material - what your rack is made from. Common materials for models include:

      • Wood

      • Steel

      • Iron

      • Copper

      • Chrome

      • Brass

    • Finish - the color and reflectivity featured on the metal. This can correspond to the paint or stain on wood, the polish of metal or a coating added to a metal to give it a different color.

    • Lighting - bulbs built into the frame. Lighted styles are ideal for areas in which adding your rack blocks your light fixtures or casts a dark shadow that can make it difficult to see to prepare food.

    • Decorative elements - are the details that give a model style. Options range from simple, minimalist modern designs to formal, ornately decorated racks.