There's nothing quite like the gleaming finish of stainless steel for enhancing the appearance of a kitchen. When used to create a pot rack, the natural silver tone of the metal ties the piece together with steel appliances and sinks as well as with cabinetry that has matching silver tone hardware.
The metal is also an appealing material for racks due to its durability. The blends of alloys added to iron to produce the metal make it resistant to high temperatures and to the oxidizing effects of the air that can lead to tarnishing, and the incredible strength of steel makes it perfect for holding large cookware collections.
To help you select the perfect model for your kitchen, we developed our Buyers' Guide to Stainless Steel Pot Racks. We have designed our guide around the questions that we most often receive from customers as they shop for racks. By reading the questions and answers, you'll quickly learn about all of the major features and options found in the rack lineups from top brands. The guide also provides tips on how to find the right size, style and shape to suit your kitchen.What mounting options do I have for a stainless steel rack?
The racks offer two mounting options: hanging and wall mounted. A wall mounted style requires ample free wall space to accommodate a rack, so in some kitchens, the style may not be practical. In kitchens that have decorative overhead elements like bulkheads or chandeliers, a hanging style might detract from your existing decor.
You'll also want to consider the types of materials that your walls and ceiling are made from when deciding what type of rack you should use in your home. When it comes time to install your rack, you'll need to find the ceiling joists or wall studs to anchor the piece into, and in some types of building materials, this can be difficult.
For example, plaster walls and ceilings usually have wooden or metal strips directly behind their surfaces, and the studs or joists are set further back. To locate them properly, you'll need the help of a contractor. Masonry walls may also require the assistance of a contractor or mason, as special tools are necessary to install a rack in their surfaces. Although you can install a hanging rack in them yourself, drop ceilings also require extra work to move aside the ceiling tiles and run the chains through them into the natural ceiling.
If you have a drywall ceiling or walls combined with a ceiling or walls made out of a material that requires more complicated installation or professional assistance with installing, you may want to opt for the style that can be used with the drywall surface. This will help save you time and the cost of hiring a professional.
In kitchens where a hanging or a wall style would be equally easy to install, think about the locations where the racks would be placed in relation to the rest of the kitchen. Opt for the rack style that will be the most centrally located to your working area to help make it easier to grab your cookware while you work. How do I know what size to buy?
If you're opting for a wall mounted rack, the location of the studs in your walls will largely determine the size of a rack that you can use in your kitchen. To find the studs in a drywall wall, use a tool called a stud finder, which uses either magnets or dielectric sensors to locate the solid wood beams beneath the drywall.
Although their exact features will vary from model to model, using a stud finder is an easy task. Just slowly run the flat surface of the stud finder across the wall from right to left and look for changes in the indicator screen or the light that shines on the wall, which signal that you're passing over a stud. Some models also have sound indicators that notify you when you have located one.
Once you have found the studs, use a pencil to mark their location. Then, visit our Buyers' Guide to Wall Styles
for detailed measurement instructions.
If you have opted for a hanging rack, finding the location of your ceiling joists will allow you to determine the perfect dimensions for the piece. You can use a stud finder for the ceiling joists, provided you have drywall ceilings. After finding and marking the studs, refer to our Buyers' Guide to Wall Styles
for easy-to-follow measurement instructions.What is the finish of a steel rack, and what finishes are available?
The finish of refers to its luster, reflectivity and color. The natural silver tone stainless steel rack often has a brushed finish, which does not reflect light and makes fingerprints more difficult to see. A satin finish also shows off the natural silver color of the metal, but reflects a small amount of light, giving the piece a slightly shiny appearance.
Some manufacturers offer additional finishes to make a rack resemble another metal. Manufacturers may also offer their lines with painted finishes, allowing you to add black, white, red, brown, blue or another color to your decor.I've heard that hanging racks can cast shadows on counter tops. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
It is true that a hanging style can create a shadow on a counter top or other surface. While some people don't find this troubling, for others, it makes food preparation more difficult. Hi-Lite Manufacturing Co. offers a line of lighted hanging pot racks in steel finishes, which light up the area beneath them. Some models even look like chandeliers and can serve as the primary lighting fixture in your kitchen.What shapes of stainless steel models are available?
Pot rack manufacturers offer four primary shapes of wall and hanging steel models.What is the purpose of a grid for a rack?
In many designs, the metal is shaped into a frame with an open center. Hooks are mounted on this frame and are used to hang your cookware from. A grid is a metal piece that fits down into the frame. The open spaces between the metal allow you to add hooks, expanding the storage area into the center of the rack rather than just confining it to the frame. In many styles, adding a grid also enables you to place items on top of the fr to use it as a shelf for additional cookware or for displaying decorative plates, glassware, knickknacks and other items.
Some models have the grid built-in or feature it as an included, separate piece. Other styles have grids that must be purchased separately, making it important that you read the product descriptions carefully before you buy. If you opt for a style with a grid, you can purchase additional hooks
. Many manufacturers produce hooks to perfectly coordinate with the finishes available in their lines, but you can also purchase hooks made by other brands.How do I care for my steel rack?
Because steel is a durable metal, the maintenance on your rack should be minimal. You should remove dust approximately once per week with a dry cloth, and use soap and water to give the rack a thorough cleaning at least monthly. If your rack is located over a cooking surface like a stove or built-in island grill, you may need to clean it with soap and water more frequently.
Should you develop fingerprints or smudges on your rack from lifting cookware on and off its hooks or reaching up onto its grate or shelf, you can remove them with a cleaner intended for the metal. Never use harsh, abrasive cleansers on a steel rack because these products can damage the metal and promote the formation of rust.
Although steel racks are resistant to tarnishing, heavy use can cause scratches in the surface that can combine with moisture in your kitchen and lead to rusting. If you notice rust, you can use a rust remover formulated for the metal to wipe away the discoloration. The sooner you remove the rust, the easier the task will be, so when you clean your rack, inspect it carefully for signs of rusting.
If you have purchased a painted steel pot rack, only use soap and water to clean it. Any type of cleaner, including those designed for the metal, can lift away the paint.
Your rack will come with additional care instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure to read these over carefully, particularly if you have purchased a piece with a colored or painted finish. Follow the instructions carefully in order to keep your rack looking its best.