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New for Spring: Stainless Steel Cookware Sets!

Stainless Steel Bar Pot Racks
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Among the shapes of pot racks produced by top manufacturers, the bar pot rack is one of the most versatile. Its design is understated; most models consist of just one bar of metal mounted with hooks for hanging cookware and utensils. The style allows you to combine several bar shaped racks one above the other or end to end in order to store everything in your cookware collection.

Manufacturers produce styles in numerous finishes, and of these, stainless steel is one of the most practical and attractive. The appearance of the metal adds to the decor of many kitchen styles, particularly those with stainless steel appliances and sinks. The durability of the metal means that a rack will require only minimal maintenance and be strong enough to hold even heavy pots and pans.

The benefits of steel racks have made them popular among homeowners, with demand for them increasing more and more each year. As a result, manufacturers are always releasing new styles, giving you a variety of choices to select from as you shop.

Our Buyers Guide to Stainless Steel Bar Pot Racks was designed to help you quickly select the best piece for your home. The guide covers answers to the most common questions that we receive from customers shopping for bar racks and will help you to hone your focus to simplify shopping.

Where can I install a rack in my home?

Racks can be both hung from the ceiling or mounted along a wall. Both styles can be used with any types of ceilings or walls, but in some cases, you may need to enlist the help of a professional contractor for guidance or to perform the installation for you.

Plaster walls and ceilings can make it difficult to locate a secure, strong point for anchoring a rack on your own, but a contractor can easily find the best spot. Since their materials are extra hard and thick, masonry walls and ceilings make it necessary to use specialized tools, which a professional stonemason can advise you on selecting. Drop ceilings have an extra layer of difficulty for do-it-yourself installations of racks because you'll need to move aside the ceiling tiles to access the true ceiling prior to installing the rack.

Drywall is by far the easiest material to work with when installing a wall or a ceiling style. If you have drywall on either your walls or ceiling combined with another material, you may want to opt for the style that can be installed in the drywall surface.

In kitchens where both the ceiling and walls are made of drywall, you'll next want to consider whether or not you have ample space for a wall style. Also, consider your existing decor and decide if you have any decorative items like a chandelier or bulkhead that might be detracted from if you added a hanging style to your space.

The last consideration you'll want to make when choosing whether a wall or hanging style will be best for your home is the installation location. You'll want to pick the style that will keep your cookware closest to you as you work or that is the most centrally located as you move about your kitchen. Also, keep in mind which storage location will keep your cookware the closest to its current location; you'll have an easier time adjusting to your new rack if you keep it as near to your current storage area as possible.

What size will fit the best in my kitchen?

Before you install a wall or hanging style, you'll need to locate the best anchoring point within your walls or ceiling. In your walls, these are the vertical solid wood beams called studs, which form the frame of your house. In ceilings, the heavy wood beams are known as ceiling joists. Only the wall studs and ceiling joists have enough strength to bear the weight of a rack, particularly when it's fully loaded with utensils and cookware.

Both ceiling joists and wall studs can be located with a handheld tool known as a stud finder. A variety of styles of stud finders are available for purchase from home improvement centers, online retailers, hardware stores and discount department stores. The stud finder uses either magnets or a sensor that can detect changes in dielectric energy to spot the solid surfaces beneath your walls or ceilings. To find your ceiling joists, you'll also need a ladder in addition to the tool.

Each stud finder will operate slightly differently, but in general, you will need to power on the tool and then run it slowly from right to left over your walls or ceiling. When the stud finder passes over a wall stud or ceiling joist, the tool will notify you through a message on its screen, a color changing light or a sound. Make sure you mark the locations of the studs or joists with a pencil, so that you can spot them easily for measuring and later for installation.

After you have located your wall studs for a wall mounted model, visit our Buyers' Guide to Wall Mount Styles for measurement instructions. For a hanging style, consult our Buyers' Guide to Hanging Styles for step by step directions.

Do any steel racks have special features?

Some steel racks are adjustable; their bars can be slid out to expand storage space or pushed in to reduce their size. If you are always adding new pieces to your cookware collection, an expanding style allows your pot rack to grow along with it. The expanding style is also great if you anticipate ever remodeling your kitchen or moving to a new home, as you can adjust the rack to fit into your new space.

A small number of wall mount models sit out from the wall and allow you to place items between the metal and the wall for extra storage space. Some may have decorative elements like a metal half circle mounted to their frames.

What does "finish" mean?

The term finish relates to the overall appearance of the model. Many steel racks will have a brushed finish, which is polished so that the metal is not reflective and does not show fingerprints and dust as well as a mirror finish would. Some steel racks have satin finishes, which reflect a small amount of light, but do so unevenly across their surfaces to keep fingerprinting to a minimal.

Some manufacturers produce electroplated steel racks. With these pieces, electricity is used to melt a metal other than stainless steel and then apply it in a thin layer over top of the bar. This changes the appearance of the metal, but still allows it to have a durable steel core. Common electroplated finishes include copper and chrome. The electroplating helps the frame resist rusting and tarnishing.

How do I care for my new rack?

A model left with a natural finish is simple to care for. On a weekly basis, remove dust and dirt by wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth. Then once a month, give the frame a good wipe down with soap and water. If you notice fingerprints on your rack that are difficult to remove with just a dry cloth, invest in a stainless steel cleaner.

Avoid using harsh abrasive cleansers on your rack as these can scratch the surface and lead to the formation of rust. Frequently using a rack can also result in scratching and allow the metal to become oxidized. Rust can be removed from a rack using a rust remover that is approved for stainless steel. Check your frame for signs of rusting often, as the sooner you work to remove the discoloration, the easier it will be.

Electroplated racks should also be cleaned with dry cloths each week and basic soap and water once per month. Also electroplating makes racks less likely to tarnish, a chrome or bronze frame may still tarnish with time. If your bronze electroplated model begins to turn, you can use a bronze cleaner to wipe it away. For chrome and other electroplated metal finishes like brass, a mild jewelry cleaner is usually gentle enough to remove the discoloration.

Our care advice consists of general guidelines based on our experience with stainless steel bar pot racks. Whichever style you choose will come with specific care directions developed by the manufacturer for your rack. Always be sure to follow the instructions given to you as these best practices will ensure that your rack will keep looking great year after year.