Nothing expands the storage available in your kitchen quite like a pot rack. With their decorative appearances, racks enhance the beauty of your kitchen while allowing you to quickly reach for your cookware without having to open a cupboard. In addition, storing your pots and pans on a rack instead of stacked inside of a cabinet protects them from scratching and can greatly extend the lives of your pieces.
While designers produce racks in a wide variety of looks and finishes, there are some major styles that are commonly available from retailers. Our Buyers' Guide to Shopping for Pot Racks by Style was created to briefly introduce you to each of these common styles. Before shopping, read over the guide from start to finish to determine which style will be best for your home kitchen. By knowing your preferred style, you'll save yourself time and be enjoying all the benefits of a rack in your home much more quickly.
Hanging styles keep your pots and pans within easy reach overhead and are ideal for kitchens where wall and floor space are limited. In many kitchens, hanging styles can be placed in a central location, making it convenient to retrieve your cookware as needed.
All ceiling types can accommodate hanging styles, but to securely install them, you must locate the joists or beams within your ceiling. With a drywall ceiling, this can be done with a simple stud finder. You can also use this handy tool to locate the joists in a drop ceiling, but first you will need to move the ceiling tiles to reach the true ceiling surface. If you have a plaster or masonry ceiling, contact a contractor for assistance or advice prior to installing your hanging model.
To ensure that your hanging rack will fit your space, taking accurate measurements is crucial. Consult our Buyers' Guide to Hanging Pot Racks
for measurement tips.
Wall racks allow you to use available wall space over a counter, appliance or even open floor to store your pots.. Do-it-yourself homeowners with plaster or masonry ceilings often opt for wall racks when possible, so that they can install the pieces themselves. In kitchens with decorative ceilings or bulkheads, wall racks may also be preferable to hanging styles, as they do not detract from the beauty of these interior design elements.
Keep in mind the flow of traffic through your kitchen and your personal work habits when considering wall styles; if you must place your rack in an out-of-the-way spot, you may find the style less convenient than a hanging rack. Home chefs who are frequently on the go while cooking may not be troubled by the location of their wall rack as much, since they are typically moving all throughout their space anyway.
Secure installation requires locating the studs within your walls. This can be done with an ordinary stud finder in homes with most wall types. To measure the space and determine the best size of a wall rack for your home, consult our Buyers' Guide to Wall Pot Racks
As their name suggests, bar styles are a simple bar of metal or wood outfitted with hooks. Both wall and hanging bar styles are available, and many homeowners like the style because of its minimalist, modern look. To expand the amount of storage provided by a bar style, you can select a style that has an over-shelf, which can be used for storing more cookware, spices or even decorative items. Some bar racks feature a double style, which consists of two bars running parallel to one another to accommodate more cookware.
With wall mounted bar racks, you can hang multiple racks one above the other to maximize the space on your walls. For hanging styles, some homeowners place multiple bar racks end to end over an entire island or length of counter top.
One common complaint about hanging pot rack styles is that they can cast a shadow onto the surface directly below them. If you install your hanging model above a working surface that you frequently use, this may make it difficult for you to see to properly work. As a solution to this problem, some manufacturers produce lighted racks
These styles have electric lighting built right into their frames and add extra illumination to your working surface. Even in areas where the positioning of your built-in lighting does not create a noticeable shadow over your work surface with a hanging model, lighted racks can still add a secondary light source that many people find useful when completing food preparation tasks. Hanging lighted racks are available in a variety of shapes, including oval, rectangle and round.
Rectangular styles feature metal frames with two long sides and two short sides, which correspond to their length and width, respectively. The very first racks ever produced were rectangular in shape, and many manufacturers construct rectangular styles to resemble old world, antique pieces. Updated, more modern styles are also available from top designers. In fact, the popularity of rectangular racks has led manufacturers to produce one of the widest selections of models available in any of the most common styles. This means that you will have a large number of decorative looks and finishes to pick from as you begin to shop.
Many hanging rectangular racks consist only of a frame along which pots can be hung. You also have the option of purchasing a metal grate for these styles to increase the overall amount of storage space available. Rectangle racks are also available in wall mount styles and sometimes feature shelves for added storage above the rack.
Oval styles feature long sides with shorter, rounded ends. Pots and pans can be hung around the perimeter of the frame, or in the center from grates. Like rectangular styles, oval racks often have their grates available for purchase separately, though some styles offer a completely built-in grate.
Another similarity between rectangular and oval racks is the wide array of styles available in the shape. Homeowners have long loved the look of oval racks, which some find sleeker and more stylish than the angled, geometric look of a rectangular style. The shape of oval racks allows for a large amount of cookware to be hung from it, but its frame has slightly less space due to its rounded corners. In fact, if you compare a rectangular and an oval rack style with exactly the same dimensions, the rectangular style with have a larger perimeter and grate surface area.
Today's lineup of oval styles features numerous finishes and options for decorative embellishments. Both wall and hanging styles are available in the shape.
Round styles are perfect circular frames that have a balanced look preferred by some homeowners. When outfitted with decorative elements and lights, hanging round racks can even resemble chandeliers rather than overhead storage pieces. Similarly to other shapes, round racks may be sold as a simple frame with an available grate or as an all-in-one grate and frame combination.
Generally, round racks do not hold as many pots and pans as other shapes, and are not as commonly used in home kitchens. As a result, you will not find as many options available for finishes among round rack lineups.
The shape of a round rack makes it better suited to hanging rather than to use on a wall. Some designers offer a semicircular wall mount style, in which a flat edge is available to rest against the wall, while the round front extends forward to hold pots and pans. The majority of styles in round rack collections are hanging styles, however.
are freestanding frames that can be used to hold pots and pans. Typically, standing styles are shaped similarly to a pyramid with a broader base and a narrower top. The frame features rows of shelves upon which you place your cookware. The shelves become more narrow as you travel to the top of the standing rack, making the piece more attractive and suited for holding entire cookware sets that contain pieces in numerous sizes.
To use a standing rack in your home, you will need available floor space, and typically, available wall space. Standing rack styles are typically made from steel, wood or a combination of the two. Since they do not require installation, homeowners with just a few pots and pans to store often prefer their styles. If you have more than eight pots or pans that require storage, you will likely need two standing racks or to opt for a hanging or wall style.