Getting new shelving in your garage might seem simple, but there are far too many options to look through. Whether you’re concerned about the aesthetic, materials, or how much weight it can hold, you shouldn’t settle. Luckily, you’re in the right place to learn all about various types of shelving for your garage.
The best garage shelving should be big enough for all of your supplies, durable enough to prevent scratches, and it needs to be space-saving. The point of garage shelving is to reduce clutter and organize the room. Make sure that your shelves are secured to the wall, floor, or ceiling if need be.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about the best garage shelving on the market:
- Different styles of shelving and materials used
- How you can find the perfect shelves for your garage
- Safety and installation tips to prevent accidents
- What to look for when you’re shopping for new storage solutions
Types of Garage Shelving
High-quality garage shelving is hard to come by. From the materials to the shape and size, the shelves should be exactly as you’ve envisioned (or better). There are five primary types of shelving that almost all garage storage options stem from. They are as follows:
Overhead Garage Storage
Perhaps one of the most common types of storage is the overhead rack. Garage Master Blog points out that overhead storage solutions are the best choice if you have a cluttered garage floor. With a car, tool chests, and other items scattered all over the place, an overhead storage rack can be a breath of fresh air.
The only issue associated with these types of shelves is that they don’t always offer the most storage. Since they’re pressed against the ceiling, you don’t want to bump your head. They often only have about one to two feet of overhead storage, which may or may not be enough for the supplies that you’re storing.
Another excellent choice to keep the shelves off of the ground is the wall-mounted shelf. This storage solution is fairly self-explanatory; You’ll mount a shelf on the wall with screws to free up space on the floor. You can store books, tools, storage bins, and all sorts of other gear on a budget-friendly wall-mounted shelf.
Perhaps the most notable issue of this type of storage option is that it’s limited by the weight capacity. Some high-end models can carry hundreds of pounds, which is great. However, if you try to cut corners and lower the price, you might only be able to set about 50 to 100 pounds before it starts to crack.
Bin Rack Shelving System
Bin racks are excellent if you want to optimize your organizational skills for a specific category of items. For example, you can use the bins to store different types of hand tools and power tools. You could also consider using this type of system for holiday decorations, sports equipment, long-term food rations, and more.
There aren’t too many cons associated with bin rack storage systems since they’re so organized and condensed. However, you might have trouble fitting it in a small garage or one that’s packed to the brim from edge to edge. Other than that, they’re one of the best garage shelving options on the market.
Standard Shelving Options
Standard shelves are incredibly common. Almost everyone with a garage has either seen or owned a standard shelf. They’re a basic tiered system that has between 3 to 10+ shelves, allowing you to store anything you want on the flat surface. Most of these shelves are made out of metal or wood, but there are ABS options as well.
Standard shelving solutions for garages can be a bit bulky, which could be the only issue. That being said, they have so much room for storing your belongings that most owners find that it makes up for the size.
BONUS: Hooks and Sports Racks
Although they’re not shelves, hooks and sports racks shouldn’t be bypassed. You can get bike racks or sports racks to store bicycles, snowboards, ball bags, gym equipment, and many other items that would fit awkwardly on traditional garage shelves. There are plenty of sports racks that also offer shelves.
Hooks are a top choice for people who want to save space while storing a few items. Needless to say, you won’t be able to fit countless items on your hooks. The great thing about using a storage hook in place of a shelf in your garage is that they can be installed on the wall or the ceiling.
What to Look For
Before you dive in and buy the first shelf you come across, you should consider a handful of questions. After all, garage shelving is an investment that should last well over a decade. When you’re ready to get your new setup, review the following five key considerations:
- What are the materials? Is it made out of wood, metal, or plastic? Wood is tough and it looks great, but it can rot if your garage is too humid. There’s also the possibility of splintering down the road if you’re not watching the weight distribution. Metal is durable, but it’s susceptible to rust. Plastic is lightweight and cheap, but it doesn’t last as long.
- Check for the weight capacity of the shelving. After you’ve chosen the material, you can consider the overall weight capacity of the shelves. In most cases, metal will offer the highest limit, but wood is a close second place. While plastic might not be the best, it can be more than enough if you don’t have much to store.
- How big is the whole setup? Make sure that there’s enough space for your belongings. If your coats are hanging over the edge or the storage bins won’t stay on the shelf, you could risk injury. Also, it shouldn’t be too big to the point that it’s cluttering the ceiling, floors, or walls of your garage. Bob Vila points out the importance of shelf dimensions.
- Research customer reviews about the shelves. Even if you think you’ve hit the jackpot and found the best garage shelf on the internet (or in-store), it’s essential that you check what other buyers have to say. You might notice a small quirk or issue that you don’t like the sound of.
- Are there any manufacturer warranties? While they’re not required, a limited or life-long warranty can be a big decision-maker. If you’re comparing two similar shelves and one of them has a warranty, you’ll have better chances of making it last long. A company that offers a warranty has confidence in its product.
As you can see, there are plenty of features to keep an eye out for when you’re about to purchase garage shelving. However, everyone’s unique, so how are you supposed to know what to get?
If you’re stuck on the fence or need a bit of guidance, proceed to the next section.
How to Choose the Best Garage Shelves
Since you’ll be stuck with the same shelves for many years to come, it’s important that you like what you get. Below, you’ll find four helpful tips to guide you in finding the garage shelving solutions that will work best for your home.
Decide What You’re Putting on the Shelving
Before you consider materials or anything else, you should focus your attention on the items that you’ll store on the shelf. Knowing what goes on top or inside will point you in the right direction. For example, you shouldn’t store liquids on wooden shelves since they’re porous and susceptible to mold and mildew.
On the other hand, small, lightweight items usually do fairly well when placed on plastic shelves. Most people who end up getting storage bins or plastic shelves do so to save money. While it’s not always the best choice, plastic has its pros and cons. If you’re storing big items, make sure that the shelf is wide, long, and deep enough to accommodate.
Consider Your Family Members and Pets
Sharp edges and abrasive materials might not be the best choice if you have young children or curious pets roaming the garage. It’s a recipe for disaster if you want to avoid harm, but you can use the Roving Cove Corner Guards if you want to protect the edges. They’re made with an adhesive that sticks to almost any material, providing a rubberized barrier.
Another thing to think about if you have family members and pets is that you could consider guard rails. Whether you’re using overhead, wall-mounted, or traditional storage shelves, guard rails prevent items from sliding off. Furthermore, they keep everything looking neat and tidy rather than cluttered or disorganized.
Choose Between Wall-Mounted and Overhead Storage
If you’ve decided that you don’t want to go the traditional route with a storage shelf on the ground, then you’ll have to choose between wall-mounted and overhead storage. Wall-mounted storage offers the convenience of decluttering the floor while keeping everything within reach. You’ll also enjoy the easy installation process.
On the other hand, overhead storage allows you to move around your garage without bumping into anything. If you have a small garage, then overhead storage is quite possibly the best choice available.
Both of them are excellent choices, so it’s up to you to decide what works best for your situation.
Measure and Outline Beforehand
Finally, measure and outline everything to know what you can fit in your garage. You can measure the size of your belongings, check the weight, and decide what can fit on the shelves when you get them.
You should also measure the space that you intend to install the shelving. Make sure it’s big enough to fit the shelf with room to spare. As a rule of thumb, ensure that there are about six inches on all sides of the shelf, regardless of how or where it’s mounted.
These simple suggestions will help you choose the best garage shelving setup for your home. Remember to start by measuring everything, checking the weight of your items, and considering the various types of materials. Not all shelves are created equally, so it’s a good idea to know everything prior to getting one.
Now that you’ve seen how you can choose the shelving for your garage and what to look out for, you’re probably prepared to pick one out. However, there are a few common questions that many homeowners want to be answered before they make the final decision. After all, you don’t want to rush the process and risk getting a low-end shelf.
Please take the time to review the following Q&A if you want further guidance on the subject.
- How do you mount garage shelving? Depending on the type of shelving you choose, you’ll have to either have to buy your own brackets or use the ones provided with the kit. Overhead and wall-mounted solutions have brackets that come with them. Floor shelving can be secured with cement screws.
- How much weight can a garage storage system hold? Shelfology estimates that wall-mounted shelves can hold up to 300 pounds, in most cases. High-end overhead shelves can hold between 600 to 1,000 pounds, whereas Hunker shows us that traditional shelves usually hold between 100 to 250 pounds.
- What type of shelving should you get? Overhead storage racks are good for decluttering, wall-mounted racks keep items off of the floor, and traditional shelving offers the most spaciousness out of the three options. For further details, refer to the intro of the guide to assist your decision-making process.
- How do you maintain garage shelving? Different materials and styles of shelving call for different maintenance methods. For example, metal develops rust; therefore, it needs rust preventative spray or paint. Wood and plastic should be wiped down regularly to prevent moisture, mold, and mildew from forming.
- How long does it take to install garage shelving? Traditional floor-style shelves can take seconds since you only have to put it together. However, it’s highly recommended that you mount all types of garage shelving. It usually takes between 10 to 60 minutes for the average installation process.
Hopefully, all of your questions were answered. There are a few safety suggestions below, but you’re all set to get your new shelving. Whether you’re going with a large metal overhead rack or a small wooden mount-mountain shelf, you’ll be happy with the results!
Additional Safety Tips
- Always ask for help from a partner when you’re installing wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted storage solutions. It’s better to pay someone for a few minutes of their time rather than risk an injury. You’ll also get a better angle, allowing for the neatest installation possible.
- Never forget to protect the corners of your storage shelves. All of the materials can be painful if you bump into them. Get the aforementioned foam and rubber guards or find something around the house to keep yourself safe from harm. Consider painting the guards to make them look flush with the shelf.
- Remember to use screw anchors if you’re drilling into drywall. Some kits don’t come with the anchors, but never cut corners. Failure to do so can and will cause the shelf to loosen, especially when you add the weight of all your belongings on top of it. You’ll risk injury, break the shelf, and damage the wall of your garage.
- Consider using rust-proof paint, such as POR-15 Rust Preventive Paint, to prevent corrosion on metal shelving. This particular product offers multiple colors to check out and it leaves a rubberized feeling on the surface. It wicks away moisture, preventing rust from forming. Rust can ruin the shelf and cause painful cuts if left untreated.
- Inspect your shelving once every month. Although it might seem tedious, it’s better to notice cracks or fractures around the screws before they become a big deal. You can often fix such issues with epoxy or by drilling new holes. On that note, always make pilot holes before mounting any brackets or shelves.
These safety suggestions should help prevent disaster and inconvenience. Ask a buddy to come out and help you while you use a leveler, paint the shelf with a rust inhibitor, and anchor it into the wall. You’ll be glad that you took the extra steps later when you don’t have to repair everything monthly!
Garage shelves offer an unparalleled way of decluttering your garage. If you don’t have a shed or your garage is small, you can still take advantage of these methods to figure out what offers the most convenience.
Here’s a quick recap of the post:
- There are five different types of garage shelving that you can choose for your home.
- Metal, wood, and plastic are the three most common materials to review.
- Always use anchors and brackets to secure any type of garage shelving.
- Keep an eye out for the dimensions and storage capacity of the shelf.
- Use guard rails to prevent items from falling off the edge of the storage unit.