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New for Spring: Stainless Steel Cookware Sets!

Stainless Steel Hanging Pot Racks
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Even in homes where space is incredibly tight, there is typically open space overhead. Hanging pot racks take this space that would otherwise be wasted and add a useful storage area for hanging pots, pans and utensils. A suspended rack gives relief to cupboards that are overflowing with cookware and tools and extends the life of these items, which can become scratched and worn from being stacked and stuffed into cabinets.

Choosing a stainless steel hanging rack for your kitchen also brings the sleek look of the durable metal into your space. Stainless steel is the perfect complement to metal appliances and counter tops, and matches well with silver tone hardware cabinetry. The strength and durability of the metal also makes it an ideal choice for use in suspended racks, as the metal can stand up to heavy loads and to the temperature and humidity conditions found in most kitchen spaces.

When shopping for racks, you'll find a wide variety of styles available from today's manufacturers. To help you decide which of those is best for your home kitchen, we've developed our Buyers' Guide to Stainless Steel Hanging Pot Racks.

In the guide, you'll find answers to the most common questions that we receive from customers like you who are exploring the options available in today's styles. The guide covers everything from measuring to ensure your rack fits your home to how to care for it once it is installed. Read over the guide once from start to finish, and you'll love how much easier shopping will become.

Where can I install a rack that hangs?

A stainless steel hanging pot rack can be used with any type of ceiling; however, in some cases you'll need to enlist the help of a professional for advice before installation or to perform the installation for you. Whether or not you can hang your rack completely on your own will depend on the type of ceiling that you have.

In all cases, the object of choosing a location within your kitchen is to locate the ceiling joists, the beams that form the frame of your ceiling. When you install your rack, you need the strength of the joists to bear the weight of the rack and prevent accidents. If you have a plaster ceiling, the joists are typically set back behind the plaster, which will make it difficult for you to locate them on your own. A contractor will be able to show you the spots where the joists run, so that you can have a guide for installation.

For masonry ceilings, you'll need special drills to make the holes that are necessary for installing your rack. To determine what tools you'll need and where the best location for the hanging the rack will be, consult a stonemason. Drop ceilings can also pose a bit of a challenge for finding the joists, which are located in the true ceiling above the tiles. Generally, you can still locate the joists on your own, but you'll need to shift the ceiling tiles out of the way first.

If you have a standard drywall ceiling, finding the joists is a simple task and can be done entirely on your own. To get started, you'll need a tool called a stud finder, which you can find at most hardware, big box and home improvement stores. All stud-finders work a bit different from one another, but in general, the tool has a flat surface that you will run slowly from left to right across your ceiling. When the stud finder passes over a joist, it will alert you with a message on the screen, a light that shines over your wall or a sound indicator. You'll want to mark the location of the joists with a pencil to make it easier to measure later.

How do I know if a hanging style rack is better for my home than a wall style?

Wall style racks are an alternative to hanging styles that have benefits of their own; however, if your kitchen doesn't have adequate wall space, you will automatically need to opt for a hanging style.

The other situations in which a suspended style is preferable to a wall style are more subtle. You'll need to consider the location where you'll be hanging your rack and compare it to the perfect spot for a wall style. Ask yourself which is more centrally located to the places that you walk as you move through your kitchen while preparing meals. Also, think about which location is closer to the spot where you perform most of your food preparation tasks. You'll also want to consider where you currently keep your cookware, and which location will be less of a change from the way traffic presently moves through your kitchen.

In many cases, a suspended style will offer the most convenience over a wall, but if you do decide that the other style is preferable, you can check out our Buyers' Guide to Wall Mount Styles for shopping advice.

How do I measure the length for a rack?

To measure for the length, get a tape measure and find the distance across the front of the working surface, appliance, plumbing fixture or counter top where you intend to hang your rack. You'll want to measure in inches as most American manufacturers use the English system for the dimensions given in product specifications.

Once you have the length measurement, subtract 12 inches from the number. This will give you safe clearance space on either end of the rack.

How do I measure for the width od a rack?

To find the width, you'll measure the distance across the end of the working surface, appliance, plumbing fixture or counter top that you measured to find the length. Place your tape measure in one corner and then record the distance from that spot to the back corner directly above it. Then, subtract 12 inches to allow for adequate clearance space both in front of and in back of your rack.

How do I measure the height of a rack?

To start off measuring for the height, you need to determine how high you can easily reach over your head. To do this, you can take your height and add 6 inches, or to be more precise, hold your arm over your head and have someone measure from the tips of your fingers to the floor.

Next, you'll need to gather up the items that you wish to hang from your rack and determine which is the longest and which is the shortest when hanging vertically. You'll also need to look up the height of your ceiling in your home plans or measure it.

The maximum height for your rack will be your reach height plus the length of the longest piece of cookware subtracted from the height of the ceiling. The minimum height is your reach height plus the length of the shortest piece of cookware subtracted from your ceiling height.

For example, let's say you are 6 feet or 72 inches tall and your reach height is 78 inches. Your longest piece of cookware is 12 inches in length and your shortest piece of cookware is 9 inches in length. You have standard 8-foot ceilings, which are 96 inches tall. The minimum height for you to reach your rack easily is 12 inches. The maximum height for your rack to fit safely in your space is 15 inches.

What shapes are available in stainless steel hanging racks?

Manufacturers produce styles in four primary shapes:
What stylistic features are available in steel racks?

One stylistic feature that many homeowners love is the grid, which allows you to hang items from the center of a rack in addition to around its frame. In some styles, you can also use this grid as a shelf. You'll find that some racks include their grids, while others have grids sold separately.

Some models made from the metal feature electric lighting to eliminate shadows on your working area. These styles can range in appearance from resembling traditional racks to looking like candelabra chandeliers. Adjustable racks that can be extended to accommodate extra cookware are also available in the metal.

How do I care for my new rack?

Stainless steel hanging pot racks require very little maintenance to keep them looking their best. Wipe off dust and dirt with a dry cloth or a cloth moistened with warm soapy water. Never use a harsh abrasive cleaner on a stainless steel pot rack as this can cause the piece to rust. If your rack is subjected to very heavy use, you may also notice the formation of rust. When rust develops, using a rust remover that is clearly labeled as safe for use on the metal will usually remove the discoloration.
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