How to choose a pot rack

Pot racks 
Pot racks will free up cupboard space, but you'll need the right sort of space to install one.

Wall or ceiling pot racks are great space saving devices, increasing storage space in cupboards, allowing you to make better use of vertical space, and providing easy access to commonly used cookware. Pot racks can be quite large, and as such it's important to recognise that they're going to have a significant impact on how your kitchen looks. Some styles of kitchen (French provincial, for example), and kitchens with higher ceilings in general, are much more naturally suited to pot racks.

There are two types of pot racks: wall mounted or ceiling mounted.


Wall-mounted pot racks

Wall-mounted pot racks are affixed to walls, and protrude horizontally out into the kitchen. These are typically supported by triangular brackets, and can be placed on a bare wall or above a counter top, sink or appliance.


These types of pot racks are easier to install than ceiling racks, and because they're being installed on the outside of the kitchen there's considerably less chance that a wall-mounted pot rack will interfere with things like ceiling lighting. Wall mounted racks allow you to mount your pots away from the cooktops and splattering oil, and does away with the need to dig into deep cupboards to find what you're after.


Installation considerations

Wall mounted pot racks must be secured firmly to wall studs for stability and strength - and it's the studs that will determine the dimensions and position of the rack. The dimensions of a wall mounted rack are broken into length, width, height and weight. The proper length ensures that each end of the pot rack will sit squarely over the wall studs. Width (i.e. how far out the pot rack protrudes) is less important, as most pot racks won't extend beyond the width of your cabinetry or counter tops.

Height comes into play if you're planning on installing one above a counter top or other surface. You'll need to determine the lowest hanging point available, and consider what you're going to be hanging from the rack. Ask yourself whether you can reach the pot rack, and what it's likely to interfere with.

The heavier the pot rack, the more securely it must be attached to the wall. Check with the manufacturer when determining dimensions.

Kitchen tip 
  • In terms of length and width, you must have 15cm of clearance from the wall and walkways on all sides of your pot rack to ensure safety.


Ceiling mounted (hanging) pot racks

Ceiling-mounted pot racks are great if you have limited wall space, but unless you have an unusually high ceiling, they can be challenging to position. Installing above cooktops may get your pots splattered with oil or other bubbling food mess.


Installation considerations

The ceiling pot rack will need to be securely fastened to the joists within the ceiling. To determine your ceiling material and find the safest place to hang a ceiling mounted pot rack, it's best to call in a professional builder. How it's hung will depend on how your ceiling is constructed:

  • Drywall ceiling joists - Your pot rack will need to be mounted in the centre of the joists.
  • Plaster ceilings - The joists are deeper and more difficult to find.
  • Masonry ceilings - These require precise drilling to ensure secure installation. They do not require the location of joists.


Pot rack styles

Once you have determined the type of pot rack you'd like and how big it should be, it’s time to consider style. Pot racks can be rectangular, round, oval, square or shaped like a bar, and can be made of wood, steel, iron, chrome, brass or copper just to name a few options. You should consider matching the pot rack with the wood panels or look of the kitchen. You may also like to install lights into the rack (particularly if it interferes with your ceiling lighting).


General considerations for your pot rack

  • Does you pot rack have shelves or double hooks that can accommodate twice as many pieces of cookware?
  • Does the shape, the finish, the material and any decorative carvings or elements affect the aesthetic of your kitchen?
  • Is the rack large enough to accommodate all your pots, or do you only want to hang particular pots?
  • Should you leave room for pots you may be purchasing in the future?
  • Are you installing the pot rack in a position that's convenient for cooking?