In recent years, design trends for home furnishings have focused heavily on bringing as much utility to kitchens as they do beauty. Interior designers increasingly incorporate space-saving pieces into kitchen plans, and among the pieces used, the various styles of pot racks available on the market are some of the most popular. Standing racks offer an alternative to wall and hanging styles and are ideal for use in some kitchen spaces.
As the demand for freestanding racks continue to increase year after year, designers release new styles to meet the needs of consumers. When you begin to shop for freestanding racks, you'll have a wide variety of looks and styles to choose from. We created our Buyers' Guide to Standing Pot Racks to assist you throughout the shopping process. The guide explains all of the points of comparison that you'll need to consider as you look for the perfect piece for your home. Read the guide from start to finish, and by the end, you'll be ready to make a quick, informed selection from the collections on the market today.Getting Started
Before you begin shopping, you'll first need to ensure that a freestanding style is what's best for your home. First, you'll need to make sure that you have adequate floor space available to accommodate the rack. Unless you have an open floor plan and intend to place the standing pot rack away from the wall, you'll also need a blank section of wall for the new piece.
Next, you'll need to consider how you prefer to work in the kitchen. If you like to move around frequently, is the available space located within the areas where you normally walk while preparing meals? If you prefer to stand in one place for most of your tasks, will the position of the rack be convenient for quickly retrieving items?
In some situations, freestanding racks are clearly preferable to hanging and wall styles. For example, if you're not fond of do-it-yourself projects and don't want to hire a contractor, standing styles will allow you to just unpack your rack, assemble it and be finished with no installation required. Freestanding racks are also great for kitchens with plaster or masonry walls and ceilings, where the assistance of a contractor is usually necessary to install hanging and wall racks.Considering Your Storage Needs
Once you've determined that a freestanding rack is perfect for your home, you're ready to start thinking about what pieces you will be storing on your rack. Take some time to look through your cupboards and see what areas are the most cluttered. What items take up the most space and would create the most room if shifted to your rack?
Unlike hanging and wall styles, the storage space in a rack is fixed. Since the pots and pans sit upon shelves and there is no opportunity to add hooks to hold more items, you'll need to select your rack based upon how many pieces of cookware you wish to store.
Most styles hold between three and eight pieces and have a tapered construction to hold the largest piece at the bottom and increasingly smaller pieces above it. Typically, the shelves are not large enough to hold two large pots or pans of identical size.
The easiest way to plan for what items you'll store on your rack is to use the rack to hold one specific cookware set, as these sets usually feature pots and pans in a variety of sizes. If your cookware set is larger than eight pieces and you want to store it all, consider purchasing two freestanding racks to place side by side in your kitchen.
If you have a mix-and-match cookware collection, take some time to measure the pieces that you wish to store. Place each pot on a flat surface and use a measuring tape to determine the diameter and height of each piece. For pans, you'll record the height, the diameter and the entire length, including the handle. Keep in mind that you may be able to let the handle extend beyond the frame if the handles will not pose a hazard by blocking a walkway. If your kitchen's design will allow the handles to extend beyond the frame, you'll just need to know the diameter of your pans.
After measuring, keep your list handy to help you as you shop to ensure that you can store everything you need to on your new rack.Size
Once you have determined what specific items you'll be placing on your rack and know the sizes of these pieces, you're ready to think about the overall size of the perfect rack for your home. Most standing pot racks are roughly 12 to 20 inches in length and 13 to 18 inches in width. If you have an extremely limited amount of space in your kitchen, you may want to measure the area to be sure you'll have enough room for the piece that you choose. Keep in mind that you'll need roughly 30 to 36 inches of clearance along any side of the frame to function as a walkway.
The height of your rack will be largely determined by how many pieces of cookware it can accommodate. The tallest racks are usually around 68 inches tall, which is within comfortable reaching height for most people and much shorter than standard ceiling heights. Finish
The final consideration when shopping for racks is what finish will best suit the decor in your kitchen. The finish is the term given to the color or look of the rack. In some cases, the finish is also the materials from which the rack is made. In others, the piece may be made from steel and then covered with another metal to change its appearance. The process used to create this look is called electroplating and involves using electricity to apply a thin layer of metal over top of another metal.
There are six common finishes found among collections of racks.
- Hammered Steel is created by subjecting carbon steel to a series of treatments, which gives the metal a patina or tarnished look. The finish has a rich, deep color that is dark gray and similar to pewter and is usually covered with a protective coating to preserve the patina and prevent it from flaking off. Hammered steel is generally low maintenance and can be kept clean with the use of any mild, non-abrasive cleaner or basic soap.
- Copper racks are typically made from steel and then electroplated to give them the look of natural, solid copper. The metal has a slightly red, warm glow that many people find appealing. Solid copper racks have the potential to tarnish due to the highly reactive nature of the metal. If you develop any tarnishing, simply use a mild copper cleaner to wipe it away. Because tarnish is the easiest to remove when it first forms, inspect your copper rack regularly for signs of tarnishing.
- Graphite finishes refer to metal that has been covered with plating or treated to give it a dull, dark gray appearance. The finish looks striking in a number of different decors and is stunning with brightly colored pots and pans. A standing pot rack with a graphite finish should not tarnish and can be cleaned with any gentle cleaner or with basic soap and water.
- Maple wood freestanding racks are crafted from genuine hardwood that is coated with a natural finish to show off the beautiful hue and markings found in the light wood. Often, maple wood racks feature metal shelves paired with a wood frame. Pieces made from maple wood require little maintenance to keep them looking great year after year. Cleaning is simple and requires a mild cleaner or basic soap and water.
- Oiled Bronze or oil rubbed bronze freestanding racks are typically covered with plating rather than being crafted entirely out of the precious metal. The oiled look gives the finish a slight luster without being truly reflective. Oiled bronze has a deep gray color that coordinates well with many appliances as well as in homes that have cabinetry with oil-rubbed bronze hardware or sinks with oil-rubbed bronze faucets. To clean an oiled bronze rack, you'll need either a mild cleaner or basic soap and water.
- Satin Nickel models may be crafted entirely out of nickel, but typically are made from electroplated metal. The finish has a bright silver color that looks beautiful with black pots and pans and complements many decors. The satin look of the finish reflects light unevenly across the metal's surface, creating a shiny, luminous appearance. A freestanding rack made from satin nickel will not tarnish and can be cleaned with a mild cleaner or soap and water.