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Pot Rack Guide

When choosing a pot rack, you want to find a design that not only improves your storage, but also enhances your kitchen space and decor. You have many options to choose from. You can stack one or more straight pot racks against a wall. You can mount several wall mount pot racks in vertical alignment. Wall pot racks that extend out from the wall will increase your storage space. Corner pot racks are handy for smaller kitchens, or just to utilize unused space. Rectangle or oval hanging pot racks work great over kitchen islands and countertops. Or, for variety and intriguing lighting effects, you might hang a circular, square, or bar pot rack in front of a window. When hanging your pot rack, remember to be creative!

How do you choose the right size, shape, finish, and location of your new pot rack? First, get together the utensils and cookware that you own. Examine your biggest stock pot, your longest handled fry or sauté pan, and the smallest pan you normally use. Now gather together all the cooks who regularly use the kitchen and who must be able to access the pots and pans easily on a regular basis. Have the cooks hold out the assortment of pots and pans at the same hanging level where you want to hang your pot rack. In other words, your cooks should be holding out the pots and pans at the height that is comfortable for them to reach. Make sure they hold the pots and pans at the appropriate distance from the top and edge of the counter and in the right direction. Be sure to account for the following: 1. Make sure the tallest person’s head clears the longest pan while working at, or bending over, the counter. 2. Make sure the shortest person can reach the smallest pan hanging from the pot rack. If there is substantial difference between the tallest and shortest cooks, plan for the tallest cook for safety’s sake, and think about getting a step-ladder. 3. Make sure your pot rack will not be positioned to interfere with countertop or island lighting. You have just designed a space for your pot rack. Now measure the space you have just designed. Measure the length, width (if applicable), and distance from the pan’s hook to the ceiling. You might want to use small pieces of masking tape on the ceiling to mark out distances and remind you where you will be installing the rack. Remember also that from the hanging ring on the pan, the distance to the ceiling is measured from the distance from the bottom of the hook hanging down from the bottom of the pot rack. This distance will consist of the length of the hooks, the height of the pot rack itself, the hook or chain from the top of the pot rack to the ceiling hook, and the height of the pot rack ceiling hook itself. Keep this total distance in mind when you plan your pot rack hanging space.

To get an idea of how many pots and pans you will be able to hang on your pot rack, try positioning some next to each other. For wall pot racks, you can position the pots and pans on a table or counter. Be aware that some pots and pans may fit better on your pot rack if they are turned sideways. The next thing to do is check your ceiling or wall for the location of joists or studs to support the pot rack. If you find that your joists or studs are not where you need them to be, a local carpenter can fashion suitable trim to attach to the joists or studs. You can then hang your pot rack from the trim. When choosing the finish of your pot rack, consider the required maintenance, the weight, and how the finish will fit with your kitchen décor. How much pot rack maintenance are you willing to deal with? When thinking about this question, note that brushed stainless pot racks are the easiest to clean and to keep clean. They also don’t show scratches from abrasives as much as other pot racks do. Bright metal pot racks, such as copper, brass, chrome, and stainless steel generally require regular polishing, unless otherwise specified or unless they are covered with a clear resin or varnish to protect their surface from scratches, and the copper and brass from tarnishing. The most popular pot rack finishes are hammered steel and wrought iron. These finishes are relatively easy to maintain. Provided the metal doesn’t get deeply scratched, all they will need is a little dusting on a regular basis. It is possible that very deep scratches in the pot rack surface will require a little touch up with paint. You may find that painted pot racks need re-painting over time. Also be aware that colors other than black can show scratches more prominently. The good thing about resin or varnish coated pot racks is that the resin or varnish coating helps prevent scratches from reaching the metal. Because scratches on this surface are usually clear, they are generally not visible on these surfaces. If you prefer minimal maintenance, a wood pot rack may be the best choice for you. Because wood is less strong than metal, though, wood pot racks generally hold the least load. After considering maintenance, the next thing you will want to consider is how your pot rack finish will fit with your kitchen décor. For more stunning and less predictable effects, consider mixing finishes. A stainless steel pot rack in a stainless steel kitchen may be less visually compelling than a copper or wrought iron pot rack in the same setting. Highly contrasting finishes can make a great design statement. A glistening polished copper or brass finish is sure to attract attention. Pot racks in wrought iron or hammered steel finishes have a traditional rustic look that works well in nearly any kitchen space. If you want a pot rack that will hold the most weight, you want to go with the heavy solid metal pot racks, such as those made of iron, steel, and stainless steel. The pot racks that hold the least amount of weight are made of wood, aluminum and other lightweight metals. Pot racks plated with copper, brass and chrome will hold more weight than solid copper or brass pot racks.

When hanging your pot rack, it is crucial that you provide adequate support for both safety and convenience. Consider carefully how to hang the pot rack and how it will be supported. Bear in mind that the pot rack’s weight should be balanced whenever possible, both for proper support and to keep the pot rack from swinging when you access your pans. If your pot rack hangs from multiple chains or hanging points, be sure that each point is suspended from a separate hook, ring or bolt. Be sure to check your ceiling or wall for adequate support before proceeding with your installation. Remember that your wall or ceiling must be able to support the weight of both the pot rack and the pots and pans. Examine the construction of your ceiling. Drywall ceilings generally have wood joists, spaced 16" apart on center. This is true in all but the oldest of such ceilings. To proceed, find the center of the joist and drill a pilot hole of the recommended size for the screw hooks. Next, screw the hook until the threads no longer show. Never hang a pot rack directly from drywall. The drywall is not strong enough to support the weight of the pot rack. If your ceiling joists are made of metal, not wood, you will have to use toggle bolts to hang your pot rack. We recommend that you consult a local professional for assistance. If you have a plaster ceiling, you probably have thin wooden strips behind the plaster. These wooden strips may not be strong enough to support a lot of weight. Big wooden joists hold these strips in place, and will hold the weight of your pot rack. You will want to find the center of these big wooden joists and proceed with the installation as described above. To secure a pot rack to a cement ceiling, you or a local professional will have to use a masonry drill bit along with molly bolts made for cement, solid or block. The pilot holes must be exact and the cement must be an appropriate thickness for the molly bolts to handle a heavy load. When installing a wall pot rack, follow the same general instructions outlined above. If your walls are made of wood, plaster, or drywall, make sure your wall pot rack is installed securely to a wall stud.

Should you add extra features to your pot rack? One of the most popular features to add to a hanging pot rack is a center grid. The center grid increases your pot rack’s hanging space. It can also be used as a shelf for storing additional kitchen items. Some pot racks also come with the option of adding a center bar. A center bar can increase the storage space in your pot rack by up to 50%. What accessories should you get with your pot rack? Most Pot Rack Source pot racks come with some accessories included. Most come with pot hooks and mounting hardware. If you have many pots and pans to hang, you may need extra pot hooks. The type of pot hook you should buy depends somewhat on the cookware you have to hang. Long hooks are good for lids or for the easier reach of some utensils. Angled pot hooks can increase the amount of space available, because they turn the pots 90 degrees to make most pans nest each other. The pot hooks that work best with grids are the "S" shaped hooks because they are easy to move and can hold more diverse shapes of utensils and cookware. When choosing a location for your pot rack, look out for cabinet doors that might swing open and get in the way of reaching your pots. Consider how far the doors will open as you plan your space. Also take into consideration the amount of headroom you will need given your height and the length of your longest pans. You don’t want to bang your head on the pans as you move through your kitchen. Consider placing your pot rack in less used spaces in your kitchen. Another thing to bear in mind is how close your pot rack is placed to your stove top. Stoves can splatter grease on your pans and on your pot rack if it is placed too close to the stove. Finally, be careful to not place the pot rack in an area that will substantially interfere with kitchen lighting. Remember also that you will want to perform some routine maintenance on your pot rack, especially if you choose a shiny metal finish that needs polishing. Pot rack maintenance will generally involve the following: 1. Dust your pot rack regularly and take care to use all your pots and pans so they will always stay clean. 2. Once in a while, wash your pot rack with mild soap and water 3. If you find that the metal tarnishes, move the hooks a bit from time to time so that it will tarnish more evenly. You can also use a polish. You can either use a polish that is based on a jeweler’s rouge, such as Wenol, or you can use a spray varnish that is specifically made for the metal. When using a spray varnish on your pot rack, be careful not to overcoat, or scratches will show more readily on the finish. Maintenance needs may grow with time for some pot rack finishes. 4. Note that plated metals are generally long lasting. Do not use abrasives on plated metal pot racks, or you may remove the metal plating. 5. Painted pot racks ought to be maintained in the same manner as plated metals. If you have a damaged spot on your painted pot rack, you may need to sand it down and prepare the spot with a metal primer (if you can see bare metal). Then finish it with a high quality metal paint. Applying a varnish or urethane may prolong the surface finish. 6. Greasy pot racks generally need cleaning with strong detergents. Be aware, though, that most finishes are not made to withstand these detergents for long; frequent use may damage the surface finish. 7. Stainless steel pot racks are easily cleaned, and can withstand strong grease removing detergents. Satin or brushed stainless steel finishes do not show abrasive etching as much as a smooth or polished finish.

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