Whether you have a small garage or are just trying to find more space, overhead storage can be a huge help.
In my garage, I can fit a lot on my wall storage system, but there are some things I can’t.
Bigger or bulky items that just don’t fit on a hook.
That’s where overhead storage racks can make a lot of sense.
When you’re looking for the best garage overhead storage, make sure that it’s the right size, weight capacity, and material for your needs. Consider whether or not it’s porous since you could use hooks. Base your decision on the items you’ll store, such as tools or bicycles.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about the best garage overhead storage on the market:
- Various styles of overhead storage solutions for your garage
- Helpful tips to get your hands on the best choice for you
- Answers to all of the most common questions about overhead garage storage
- What you should look for before making a purchase
SafeRacks – 3x8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack
FLEXIMOUNTS 4×8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Koova Overhead Garage Storage Rack for Totes
Best Overhead Garage Storage: FlexiMounts Garage Storage Rack
The FlexiMounts rack supports storage dimensions of 96 x 48 x 22 inches. The frame provides up to 105 cubic feet of storage space in total. It has an adjustable height of up to 40 inches from the ceiling for additional space. It weighs about 60 pounds but has a maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds.
The design is more sturdy than standard overhead garage storage racks. Most have separate frames and wires, while the FlexiMounts rack has a welded integrated wire grid.
The components are made of sturdy cold-roll industrial steel, so you won’t have any trouble with it bending or flexing. All of its parts are held in place by FlexiMounts’ high-quality eight-inch screws, so you can be sure it will be durable.
The FlexiMounts design provides ample support with extended ceiling brackets, accounting for horizontal and vertical ceiling configurations. The design connects to two joists instead of one for added strength. It will stay safe and secure once you install it because it’s connected to more of your garage frame.
The ceiling storage rack is also compatible with clamps and hooks, so you can neatly store your tools, bikes, and more without subjecting it to pests or water damage.
The racks are available in white, black, and hammertone lacquer with a powder-coated finish.
The product comes with easy-to-follow DIY templates with instructions that almost anyone can follow. The integrated grid design keeps assembly uncomplicated.
It’s a secure and functional storage piece for a great price. The manufacturer promises a 45-day money-back guarantee. In addition, shipping is free to 48 percent of U.S. states. Each FlexiMounts product also comes with a 30-day free return policy.
Because it’s well-built, durable, and economical, it’s earned a place on this list and the #1 top seller spot for garage racks on Amazon.
The FLEXIMOUNTS 4ft by 8ft Overhead Garage Storage Rack is a great way to maximize your storage space. This heavy-duty overhead storage system is made of powder-coated steel and has a capacity of up to 550 lbs. The height can be adjusted from 22 to 40 inches.
Available in Black or White
Runner Up: SafeRacks Heavy Duty Garage Storage Rack
The SafeRacks overhead garage storage system is similar to the FlexiMounts rack but has some key differences.
The product dimensions are 48 x 96 x up to 21 inches, allowing for up to 56 cubic feet of additional storage space for your garage. I specifically chose the smallest rack because many manufacturers don’t offer small garage rack sizes.
The SafeRacks model extends between 12 and 21 inches from the ceiling, allowing you to accommodate lower ceilings than other storage racks while still storing plenty of stuff. The small space is also convenient for fitting the rack above the garage doors without complications.
This rack holds 600 pounds of storage weight. The design is firmly supported by sturdy alloy steel components and an industrial-strength powder-coated finish. The only downside is that the rack weighs 80 pounds, but that’s a testament to the product’s durability.
This model comes in both white and hammertone color choices.
Assembly is easy thanks to the step-by-step instructions and live customer support that all SafeRacks products provide. The product comes with all the steel wire decking units, steel brackets, steel beams, posts, and hardware needed for assembly. Some markets have installation services for an added cost.
The SafeRacks ceiling storage rack comes with complimentary accessory deck hooks, rail hooks, and utility hooks, granting extra storage space for your tools or other items.
SafeRacks products are eligible for free shipping, a thirty-day return policy, and limited lifetime warranties that protect your investments.
The SafeRacks overhead garage rack is on this list because it’ll fit in smaller garages than other manufacturers and because of its fantastic warranty. While you could find a storage rack cheaper than this model, a SafeRacks unit will get the job done and stay durable for years.
- Customizable ceiling drop-length (12″ – 45″)
- Holds up to 500 lbs
- Industrial strength with a powder coat finish
- Easy step-by-step instructions
Husky Overhead Ceiling Mount Storage Rack
The Husky brand garage storage rack is most comparable to the FlexiMounts rack. This ceiling-mounted rack has 104 cubic feet of storage with slightly different dimensions of 42-inch height and 48-inch depth.
The higher depth of this garage rack model makes it more convenient to store longer objects. Combined with the 96-inch width, you can easily arrange larger storage items vertically, horizontally, or otherwise.
However, this comes at the expense of being able to store slightly taller objects upright. Width, height, and depth measurements aren’t standardized for storage racks. I recommend measuring the things you want to store before choosing one.
The rack is made with industrial-grade steel that can withstand loads of up to 600 pounds. It weighs over 80 pounds, and full assembly is required.
The racks are available in both white and black.
Husky garage storage products come with lifetime warranties, meaning that if your rack ever breaks, the company will send you a replacement at no cost. In addition, depending on where you buy it, you can often find return policies of up to 90 days.
Husky products are available on Amazon and through popular home goods retailers like Home Depot. Many of these products are eligible for free store pickup, saving you some money on shipping costs. This also means you’re more likely to get your hands on it sooner than you would if you had ordered home shipping.
The lifetime warranty and extended return policy are what put the Husky garage overhead storage racks on this list. Plus, it accommodates larger depths than most garage storage racks, which might fit your needs better.
- Not intended for outdoor use
- Heavy-duty shelving holds up to 600 lbs.
- Provides up to 104 cu. ft. of storage
- Overhead shelving boasts a heavy-duty design and is manufactured with industrial grade steel
- Easy to install, all necessary hardware and instructions are included
E-Z Garage Storage Overhead Tote Storage Rack
The E-Z garage overhead storage rack is quite different from the other options.
Instead of hanging down from the ceiling for items to be placed on top, this rack is a track for up to 13 storage bins to hang from the ceiling. This innovative design conserves enough space to be placed above garage doors.
Often, it is sold under the E-Z Garage, Koova, or Keep Track overhead storage brands. Since they’re interchangeable, we’ll refer to them as one product.
The rack comprises three heavy-duty alloy steel channels, each accommodating several 27-gallon storage bins. The dimensions are 78 inches by 84 inches. The rails can be adjusted to fit several storage bin sizes. However, remember that you will need up to 18 inches of clearance on both sides of the totes.
The recommended maximum weight for each tote is 35 pounds. Multiplied by the number of possible totes, the weight limit is about 450 pounds.
Assembly is uncomplicated, and the product comes with all the necessary hardware. Totes are not included, but they are designed to fit the most popular storage bins and totes brands.
This overhead tote storage rack has a limited lifetime warranty to protect your investment. The price is relatively high for what it is, but free shipping is included for all products.
However, although ceiling tote storage potentially saves more space than other garage overhead storage racks, it might not be as convenient. You have to remove each tote to access the totes behind it, and it may be challenging to keep track of box labels when they’re all mounted to the ceiling.
The E-Z Garage overhead storage tote rack is on this list because of its customizability. The totes you pair with the product can be the difference between an ideal and low-quality storage solution. Depending on your storage needs, this simple solution may be just what you need.
- Each set includes 2 mounting rails
- Four advanced structural lag bolts and a T30 bit are included
- Supports up to 40 pounds
- Work with most standard storage bins including black and yellow 27 gallon bins
- Made in the USA
Garage Overhead Storage: Overview
Not every type of storage rack is right for your garage. In this section, we’ll discuss choosing the best overhead garage storage for your specific needs.
Here are some of the main types of garage overhead storage:
Garage Ceiling Racks
Traditional overhead racks are usually made of wood, metal, or ABS plastic. They attach to your ceiling on four posts, one at each corner.
These arms are mounted into the ceiling joists to ensure they can withstand the weight of whatever you’re storing on them. Expect to have between 2 to 4 feet of storage capacity to work with, depending on the model of the storage rack.
They come in a variety of different sizes but are usually between 2′-4′ deep and between 4′-8′ long.
Similarly, overhead garage storage shelves mount high-up on your garage walls to keep more items out of the way.
These are often the best choice for most homeowners with a bunch of storage totes and boxes. If you’re storing seasonal items like clothes or decorations, overhead racks will be a great solution.
Double-sided ceiling racks are just like traditional overhead racks, but they have a partition down the middle to separate the storage. Although you can get them in smaller sizes, they’re mainly used for massive racks so large you need to be able to access them from both sides to reach everything.
Regardless of which one you go with, many people like having the partition to give different people their own dedicated storage space.
Bike/Sports Storage Racks
Cycling is getting increasingly popular, but finding a place in your garage to store your bike can be difficult. Most bicycle racks are only about 50 pounds, so they’re easy to install and can hang from most garage ceilings.
Alternately, many overhead storage racks also have custom mounts that let you hand your bicycles underneath them for even more storage.
Another cool thing about bike racks is you don’t need to use them exclusively for bicycles. They can be used for skateboards, longboards, backpacks, hats, and other items.
Bike storage racks come in many different styles, so if a ceiling bike rack isn’t suitable for your garage, you can find racks that mount to your walls or garage floors instead.
Garage Storage Hooks
Last but not least, storage hooks are some of the most common garage overhead storage solutions.
Installation is simple. Drill a pilot hole with a bit, then hand-twist the hook into the hole.
While they’re not strong enough for bicycles and other large items, they’re great for hanging many other things. They’re a great place to store clothes, packed sports bags, kayak paddles, and decorations.
In my case, I was able to hang my ladder out of the way in my garage, saving a lot of space.
Storage hooks are extremely popular because they’re about as simple and compact as possible.
Depending on the size you’re looking for, most hooks only cost a few dollars each. Their only downside is that they don’t have as much weight capacity as overhead racks.
How to Choose the Best Overhead Garage Storage
Before you buy overhead storage, there are a few things to consider.
Buying the first one you see isn’t a good idea. You can’t always trust reviews on Amazon. Going cheap and buying a plastic rack might end up cracking or dropping all your supplies on top of your car.
OK, which overhead storage is right for your garage?
Here’s what you should keep an eye out for:
- Make sure it’s big enough: It’s tempting to cut corners to reduce the price, but the size shouldn’t be one of those corners. If you buy a rack that’s too small you’ll end up without enough storage space, and you’ll need to buy another rack down the road.
- Watch your head: Take it from me. Hitting your head on a steel storage rack isn’t fun. When installing your rack, ensure it doesn’t hang low enough to bump your head.
- Pay attention to the weight capacity: There are two weight limits to pay attention to. You want to ensure your rack won’t buckle under the weight of what you’re putting on it. You also want to ensure your garage ceiling can support the weight.
- Choose high-quality materials: Making our own storage racks from wood is popular with DIYers, but I recommend solid steel. Try to avoid plastic storage racks, however. It’s lightweight and cheap but not as durable as metal or wood.
- What will you store? Are you going to keep bicycles, decorations, heavy-duty tools, or a few lightweight items? Knowing what you’re putting on the storage rack or hook will give you a better perspective on what to look for. If you’re unsure, aim for a mid-sized metal rack for the best results.
With that in mind, here’s my process to pick the best overhead garage storage for your home:
Decide How Much Space You’ll Need
If you only store a couple of totes with Christmas decorations, you might not need much more than a 3′ x 4′ platform. However, if you want to store a set of bicycles, a dozen totes, a kayak, or storing your kid’s toys in your garage, you’ll probably need more room.
The best way to do this is to set everything out on your garage floor and measure how much space it takes up before you buy anything.
Start by laying everything out side-by-side. Decide what can be stacked on top of other items and what can’t. Try to organize everything as if it were on the overhead rack.
Once you’re done, measure the length, width, and depth. That’s the minimum dimensions you’ll need for your overhead storage solution. It’s a good idea to buy something at least a few inches wider, longer, and deeper for safe measure.
Flat panels or open grates?
Most overhead garage storage is designed to have open grating on the bottom so dust doesn’t accumulate. It also makes building nests harder for spiders, bugs, and other little critters.
Open grating also helps you to quickly see what’s in the center of the rack. Getting a rack with an open wire shelf is usually better because you can hang items from the bottom to get additional storage.
Note: You don’t always need hooks or strings to hang items on racks. If you have backpacks or purses, they can tie to the frame by themselves. Gym bags, sports ball bags, and many other products come with strings or hooks built-in. You could even hang lanterns from a porous rack if you don’t have a ceiling light in the garage.
Mark It Out on Your Ceiling
Once you know how much storage space you need, you need to ensure it’ll fit on your garage ceiling.
Note: Several smaller racks may be better than one big one. For example, you could arrange them in an ‘L’ shape to work around a corner or light fixture.
Grab some measuring tape, a pencil, and an eraser (unless you don’t mind marks on your ceiling).
- Once you know the size of the overhead storage rack you need, get their exact measurements from the manufacturer’s website. You don’t want to use Amazon’s dimensions because they might not be accurate.
- Consider where you want to place the rack. Corners are often the best placement since they don’t get in the way. Depending on the rack, you can secure it to the ceiling and your garage wall.
- Put a mark on the ceiling with your pencil at each corner of where the rack will go.
- Outline the area with a pencil to finish the ceiling sketch. If you like the location and size and it fits the length, width, and depth mentioned above, then you’ve found a winner!
Don’t Forget Removable Options
Most of us think of overhead storage as a semi-permanent solution. Once you start drilling holes and mounting the rack into the ceiling, it’s there for the long haul.
However, some of the best garage ceiling storage solutions are temporary.
For example, you could use Velcro, Command Hooks, or the screw-in hooks we mentioned earlier. Once you remove them, most small holes can be filled, and adhesives can be scrubbed off.
These solutions don’t have an excellent weight capacity but are suitable for lightweight items.
If you’re getting a wooden or metal storage rack, monitor the humidity in your garage. You might notice wood rot, rusting, or corrosion if it’s too high. In some cases, mold and mildew can start forming on the wood’s surface.
Fortunately, there’s a handful of fixes for humidity, including:
- Spray WD40 Specialist Corrosion Inhibitor directly on metal surfaces. You can also use it to remove rust, scrubbing the surface with a stiff brush or a ball of tinfoil.
- Apple cider vinegar removes mold and mildew from most surfaces. Place one cup in a spray bottle and mix with one cup of water. Spray the solution on the mold, wipe it with a sponge, and repeat this process once per month to keep the mold at bay.
- Garage dehumidifiers are your best option if you live in a humid area like I do. You can check out the dehumidifier I use in my garage, along with tips to control the humidity in your garage.
Additional Safety Tips
- Never install a storage rack on an old, rotted ceiling. The screws can come undone, even using epoxy or wood glue.
- Make sure that your items aren’t hanging off the edge. A minor earthquake, door slam, or bump can send your supplies tumbling all over the place.
- Always drill pilot holes before using the provided screws. Although it might take a bit more time, pilot holes ensure a strong grip while preventing your screws from getting stripped.
- If you want to remove the overhead storage, remove everything from the rack beforehand. Slowly unscrew one screw at a time. Consider getting a partner to hold the rack as you unscrew it to prevent it from falling.
Improving Garage Ceiling Storage Safety
No matter what type of garage storage system you choose, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re being as safe as possible.
Opt for a Heavy-Gauge Steel
A heavier gauge steel frame will go a long way to ensuring your overhead garage storage is safe.
Metal thickness is measured in ‘gauges.’ As the thickness increases, the gauge number decreases. So 8-gauge steel is thicker (heavier) than 10 gauge steel, for example.
It makes sense that a thicker metal will be more durable and hold more weight than a thinner metal. But you might not realize just how much of a difference that makes.
According to The Engineering Toolbox, increasing the steel’s thickness from 18-gauge to 12-gauge doubles the amount it can support (lb.\sq. ft.).
Many manufacturers won’t list the thickness of the metal they’re using on their overhead rack. However, it’s definitely worth asking about. The heavier gauge metal you can get, the more secure your overhead storage will be.
Check the Weight Limit (Ceiling & Rack)
The biggest danger is exceeding the weight limit for your overhead garage storage rack and garage ceiling.
Let’s tackle the easier one first.
Each storage shelf or rack will be rated for a maximum weight capacity. No matter what, don’t try to store more weight on the shelf than it can support.
Also, I mentioned earlier to figure out what kind of ceiling supports you have in your garage and whether or not they can support any additional weight.
Remember that it’s already supporting any lighting, HVAC ductwork, garage ceiling insulation, and drywall. Be sure to factor that into your calculations.
If your ceiling can’t support additional weight, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
Several manufacturers make large wall-mounted shelving units that still get your stuff off your garage floor but don’t stress your ceiling joints.
Get Professional Installation
I’m a big fan of doing projects myself, but sometimes it’s OK to call a professional.
Overhead storage racks will always come with detailed step-by-step assembly and instructions for DIY installation. There are a ton of YouTube videos available, so you can follow along if you’re more visual.
Most manufacturers have approved installers to do it for you if you’d prefer not to install it yourself. Going with an approved installer virtually guarantees a safe and secure installation.
Just in case you have a few unanswered questions, here are some of the more popular questions I hear about overhead garage storage:
- How do you install garage overhead storage? All storage racks should have instructions. Most of them are installed by drilling 4 to 8 pilot holes. Lining up the frame with the holes and drilling the screws through the pilot holes. Consider using wood glue or epoxy for a long-lasting hold.
- How much weight can overhead racks hold? Fleximounts claims their garage overhead storage racks can hold up to 600 pounds. However, you can find plenty of budget-friendly options that support about 100 to 200 pounds. Remember, you also need to consider how much weight your garage ceiling can hold!
- What can you store on a ceiling rack? The most common items to store on ceiling racks are plastic totes, toys, bicycles, and sports equipment. That said, you can store anything you want to keep out of the way to have more space in your garage.
- Is overhead garage storage safe? Overhead storage racks are incredibly safe if installed correctly, and you’re not putting more weight on them than it’s rated for. However, many professional contractors can install them for you if you don’t feel comfortable installing them yourself. You can read more about the safety of garage overhead storage in my article here.
Wrapping It Up
Overhead storage is about as convenient as it gets. It lets you get things off your garage floor and out of your way.
With this guide, you’ll get the best garage ceiling storage without sacrificing price, safety, or weight capacity.
SafeRacks – 3x8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack
FLEXIMOUNTS 4×8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Koova Overhead Garage Storage Rack for Totes
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