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New for Spring: Stainless Steel Cookware Sets!

Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Pot Racks
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Even in kitchens where the cupboards are completely overflowing, there is usually at least one spot along the walls that remains unused. A wall mounted pot rack converts this space into a convenient storage area for pots, pans, utensils and even decorative items and cookbooks. Adding a wall rack to your kitchen won't just relieve the clutter in your cupboards; being hung as opposed to being crammed in a cabinet is much gentler on your cookware. Your pots and pans will experience less wear and tear when kept on a wall rack, meaning they'll last far longer.

As a material for wall racks, the strength of stainless steel makes it a natural choice. Not only is the metal tough enough to support the weight of your cookware, but it also will stand up to the temperature and humidity fluctuations found in most kitchens. The look of the metal increases the appeal of the rack, making it well suited to fit in a variety of decors.

If you've never shopped for a rack before or it's been several years since you bought your last, our Buyers' Guide to Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Pot Racks is the perfect way to get started. The guide is arranged according to questions that we often receive from customers during the shopping process. Reading the questions and answers will help you get a clearer picture of the model that will work the best in your home.

Can a wall rack be installed in any type of walls?

Yes, you can use a wall style with any type of walls; however, in some cases, you may need to seek out the help of an expert to choose the best installation spot and to learn what tools are necessary to complete the job safely. For example, masonry walls require special drill bits, so you'll want to consult a stonemason or contractor for guidance.

To secure a rack safely to the wall, the bolts must be drilled into the studs, the wood beams that form the actual structure of your walls. With ordinary drywall, you can find the studs easily yourself using a stud finder. This tool uses either magnets or sensors that sense changes in dielectric energy to detect the presence of the beams beneath. When you run the stud finder over your walls, a tone, display message or light will signal that you've located a stud.

If you have plaster walls, the true studs will be located further back in the walls. As a result, an ordinary stud finder will not be able to locate them, and you'll need a contractor to help you determine their location.

When is a wall rack preferable to a hanging style?

If you have any type of decorative element overhead in your kitchen, a wall rack is usually the better choice as hanging a rack can detract from the decor. Examples would be hanging light fixtures, bulkheads and decorative plasterwork in the ceilings. If you have masonry or plaster ceilings but drywall walls, opting for a wall mounted style will allow you to perform the installation entirely on your own. Also, the tiles that form the false ceiling in drop ceiling kitchens add extra work to the installation process and often make wall styles preferable.

In kitchens where installing a hanging style would require you to place the piece over any type of cooking surface, a wall style may be better, as the hanging position could allow your pots and pans to become splattered and dirty while you cook. You'll also want to think about whether the wall style will give you a more central, convenient location to access while you work.

How do I measure for the length of my new rack?

Once you have found the studs, use a tape measure to determine the distances between them. You'll need to find a rack that is long enough to fit between the two studs or that has just one hanging point. Also, make sure to leave six inches of space on the sides of the rack to provide adequate clearance.

How do I measure for the width of my new rack?

For the width of your rack, you'll want to measure from the wall outward to the walkway that you use to walk past it. The rack should be at least six inches less in width than that measurement; however, in most instances, wall styles are designed to be compact and fit against the wall, so you'll have plenty of room.

How do I measure for the height of my new rack?

To measure the perfect height for your hanging rack, determine your reach height by holding your arm overhead and measuring from your fingertips to the floor. Next, measure the length of your longest and shortest pieces of cookware and determine the height of your ceiling.

To find the maximum height for your wall hanging rack, add your reach height to the length of the longest piece of cookware. Then, subtract that amount from the height of your ceiling.

To find the minimum height for your wall hanging rack, add your reach height to the length of the shortest piece of cookware. Then, subtract that amount from the height of your ceiling.

What styles of wall racks are available?

Today's manufacturers make stainless steel wall mounted styles in a variety of shapes and with features to make them more useful in home kitchens.

Some of the shapes and features that are the most common are:

  • Book shelf styles feature flat metal platforms that are mounted to the wall with arms. Items can be stored upon this platform, making it resemble a bookshelf. Underneath, the platform is mounted with hooks for hanging cookware.

  • Bar racks are a simple metal bar that is outfitted with hooks for hanging pots and pans. If you want to create rows of pots and pans over a large empty wall, bar racks are ideal. They are also great for placing end to end to create one long rack above an entire length of counter top or over an appliance or sink.

  • Hood racks are typically rectangular or oval in shape and have steel arches above their frames. Often, these racks have either built-in grates or grates available for purchase separately. The addition of the grate allows you to store items on top of the rack. You can even add hooks to the grate to hang cookware from the middle of the frame.

  • Oval racks feature a metal frame with an elongated round shape. They often have built-in or separate grates.

  • Galley rails
  • are metal bars that are positioned an inch or two above the frame of a rack that is designed for doubling as a shelf. The galley rail keeps stored items from slipping off and is great if you plan to place collectibles on your rack.

What is the finish of a rack?

The finish of a rack refers to its outward appearance or its shine or color. For stainless steel racks that have a natural, silver tone, the finish will often be referred to as a number. A No. 4 finish is known as a brushed finish and has been polished in a way that keeps it from reflecting light and showing fingerprints and dust. The higher the finish number, the more reflective the surface is, and as a result dirt and smudges will be all the more visible. The most reflective is the No. 8 mirror finish.

Stainless steel wall hanging pot racks can also have a colored finish, such as brown, gold or black. Some also feature accent colors. Each brand offers its own selection of colors in their metal pot rack lines. Racks will typically have swatches of color to represent their available finishes within their product descriptions.

How do I care for new rack?

Thanks to the durability of stainless steel, your rack should not require much maintenance to keep it looking great. On a weekly basis, use a dry microfiber cloth or a cloth made from another soft material to remove dust from the surface of the rack. Once or twice a month, wipe down the frame with warm, soapy water. Never use an abrasive cleanser on a stainless steel pot rack, as this can lead to rusting. You may also notice rust if your frame becomes scraped from heavy use. If rust develops, use a rust remover that is labeled as safe for the metal to wipe it away.

Your new rack will have additional care instructions provided in its packaging. Read over those carefully and follow them to the letter to keep your frame looking its best year after year.