Pegboard or Rail + S-hook for Kitchen Pot Storage?
February 3, 2016 9:02 AM   Subscribe

My roommate and I want to increase our kitchen storage capacity by building something to store pots by their handles. The two current ideas are either a pegboard or a few metal rails with S-hooks.

Examples of pegboards; examples of rails + S-hooks. My concern with the rail system is that it will be annoying to take the pots on and off the S-hooks and they'll always be rattling around. Can anyone vouch for either of these storage systems?
posted by Maecenas to Home & Garden (29 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have S-hooks hanging from a wire shelf. You are correct; it rattles quite a bit, and sometimes, if I take a weird angle to lift the pot, the hook falls off. Aesthetically, though, I don't think I'd want pegboard in the kitchen, so I put up with the inconveniences.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:08 AM on February 3, 2016

Best answer: Neither is a on-handed operation until you're well accustomed to it, and either becomes such once you've got the knack. Personally I prefer the S hooks, because I really hate it when something sticks funny and I have to wrestle with it and pegboard hooks fall out of the board, and the S hooks are easier to just hook back on.

Caveat is, there are things you can do with pegboard that would allow you to support weirder pans (those cast-iron skillets in your example, and possibly the 2-handled stock pot) while the S-hook example is entirely pans that have a long handle with a hole in the end. So look at your collection of things to hang before you decide.
posted by aimedwander at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2016

Best answer: I have the IKEA GRUNDTAL wall shelf and I find that taking pots of the hooks is faster and less annoying than rearranging all of the pots in the cabinet so I can get to the one I need.
posted by stefanie at 9:16 AM on February 3, 2016

Depending on how many pots and pans you have, something like this (warning! Appears to now be $139) may work. I had one of those from when it was cheaper and it looks nice and is super sturdy. If money is an object, you could probably build one from parts (S hooks + the rail, a board on top, couple of braces ...). The fancy one in the link only had one flaw which is that big pots jutted out a bit from the top shelf. But if you made it from hardware store parts you could control for that.

In my old teeny tiny kitchen with like 4 cabinets it made a huge difference.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2016

I prefer rails/s-hooks. They are noisier, but they take up phenomenally less space than pegboard solutions if that's your end goal.

We've used something similar to (but not exactly like) this one, and it would hold a total of 8 pans, with 4 pots stacked on top. It needed to be mounted to studs to be able to hold that weight. In a prior house, the same pots and pans had to be mounted on pegboard that took up part of the wall the size of a door; it was kind of obnoxious.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:29 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think a lot of it comes down to aesthetics. But the nicer you arrange things, the better it can look. I've never liked the look of pegboard so I'd lean toward a rail or one of the other options people have listed – a shelf with rails looks like it has a little more purpose and solidity to me.
posted by amanda at 9:38 AM on February 3, 2016

I have an Ikea GROLAND kitchen island with rails under the edge of the counters, and you're right. It's a pain in the butt getting pots off and on the s-hooks on the rails. I wouldn't say they're always rattling around, though, except when you're removing or hanging up a pot. I also use similar rails on the walls to hang kitchen utensils and gadgets, which is handy and looks good if you don't overload them. One caveat, though: my 3-year-old is always taking down the hooks and losing them, so if you have kids around, buy extra hooks.

One day I'd like to build deep drawers inside our existing cabinet openings that pull out all the way, which I think would be better than either option, but that's in the future for now.
posted by pocams at 9:40 AM on February 3, 2016

Our pantry wall is outfitted with something like this grid system (although ours came from the Container Store). The hooks are secure enough for cast iron skillets and don't rattle at all.
posted by DrGail at 9:41 AM on February 3, 2016

I lived in a shared house for a while that dealt with this brilliantly. We had a piece of galvanized sheep mesh cut to the same dimensions as the sink and draining board and suspended flat over the sink on chains, and we hung all the pots and pans on big plastic-coated S hooks off that. The mesh panel was big enough to hang all the household pots and pans and high enough that we didn't bump our heads on them as we used the sink, and because it was over the sink we could wash our pots and and hang them up wet to drip dry.
posted by flabdablet at 9:45 AM on February 3, 2016

Best answer: We have a rack that hangs from our ceiling, with S hooks. We use it for pots and pans (both with long and short handles). You have to reach up fairly high to get things off the rack; our 5'3" son can't always reach the short-handled stuff.

It is an acquired motion, both in getting stuff off and putting it back on, but if the hook part of the S is narrow and deep, it's easier to manage.
posted by Lucinda at 10:01 AM on February 3, 2016

What about a rail system like the Ikea Fintorp, which has hooks that are fully attached to the rail (though they can still be moved) rather than S-hooks? That seems less likely to be annoying.
posted by decathecting at 10:04 AM on February 3, 2016

We made two pegboards and they have totally transformed my storage life. We just bought the pegboard stuff, cut it to size and mounted it using 2x4s. When you buy the little hooks, you can also buy plastic binders that hold the hooks in so that they don't fall out. On the right of this image you can see the plastic ties.

We got a variety of big metal hooks so that we can hang a variety of pots.

We also made a big one for the kitchen wall where we keep all our commonly used utensils. We also hung three metal cylinder containers from Ikea and keep our silverware there as well. Having the utensils within easy reach has made cooking so much easier. I cannot recommend pegboards highly enough and indeed wish I had more things that could be organized by pegboard.
posted by Frowner at 10:05 AM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

The plastic binders are wonderful for the peg board. We keep six pans/pots, a few colanders, pot holders, and a couple spatulas on our pegboard. We have binders on all the hooks and we aren't bothered by rattling nor do we have to be especially careful how we pull the pans down.
posted by Swisstine at 10:17 AM on February 3, 2016

We set up a huge pegboard in our kitchen for all our cast iron pans plus some storage baskets mounted on the bottom for heavy use items like measuring cups and funnels. Absolutely love it as I can to everything I need easily.
posted by Kitteh at 10:30 AM on February 3, 2016

I can vouch for the ease-of-use of a wall of peg board with various hooks. I have a whole wall (approx. 4x10 feet) covered with it. 90% of my kitchen necessities incl. pots, pans, spatulas, whiskers, etc. are on it. Got everything I needed for it including the huge variety pack of hooks and fasteners at Home Depot. I think I got the idea from Julia Child's kitchen, and now I would never go back.
posted by 2ghouls at 10:43 AM on February 3, 2016

I have the IKEA thing with the S hooks, and I just squoze the top hook of each S a bit with ViceGrips so it doesn't come off the bar. Much better!
posted by nicwolff at 10:49 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

I went with a two rail + hooks setup in my kitchen, mounted over some beadboard that I put on the wall to visually separate the space as well as keep the drywall from being beat to hell over the next few years. I have yet to have a hook come off with a pan or pot when I retrieve them.

(pardon the look of the rest of the kitchen - this was just after I moved in and I did not yet have the rest of the shelving installed)
posted by komara at 10:55 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm a big fan of pegboards in the kitchen, but for smaller things. Pots and pans are so big that the ratio of pegs to holes gets kind of ridiculous, and you might as well just use a rail. I personally use a pegboard for eggbeaters and spatulas and pizza cutters and stuff that doesn't fit well in a drawer, and a ceiling mounted pot rack for pots and pans. The pot rack does not use S-hooks though - the hooks are shaped like this which makes them stay in place better when you're trying to hang stuff on them.

The hanging pots and pans rattle around only when I'm putting stuff on the rack or taking stuff off. The rest of the time they just sit there quietly, thinking about what they've done.
posted by aubilenon at 11:24 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

We have several rails with S hooks, and a suspended pot rack with S hooks. I love them because they're always in the places that I need them to be (e.g., I can slide them down the rail when I need to plonk the pressure cooker on the counter and not block the measuring cups that hang on an S hook right by the outlet the cooker uses). They don't rattle unless you bonk them (and if you get heavier gauge metal hooks, not light ones that can be moved by little gusts of air).

My only experience with pegboard was in the garage where I grew up. Did you know that dust slowly fills up pegboard holes? That's a lot of detailed cleaning work, especially if you're using them in a kitchen where sauces and liquids and bits of baked potato will inevitably get flung into them.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:29 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

That's a lot of detailed cleaning work, especially if you're using them in a kitchen where sauces and liquids and bits of baked potato will inevitably get flung into them.

We have had a pegboard right next to the stove and right over my main baking space for coming up on eight years and it has required very little cleaning - I wipe off spots of sauce, etc, as needed, and try to have an annual "take down all the things" day, but I have not observed the pegboard holes getting filled up with ick. My surmise is that a garage (especially one where you're using tools - hence the pegboard?) is going to have a lot more particulate dust than most kitchens.

For me, I prefer a pegboard because nothing slides (as on a rack), nothing is over my head and I find the view of all the things laid out on a flat surface aesthetically satisfying. I suspect that which you prefer is personal rather than based on intrinsic superiority.
posted by Frowner at 12:40 PM on February 3, 2016

These pegboard hooks have never come out when removing a pan, so I was surprised to hear of that issue. My pegboard for pots and pans is mounted inside the basement door so it's not seen in the kitchen. The system works really well for me.
posted by raisingsand at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2016

Best answer: I had the exact same GRUNDTAL shelf as stefanie when I lived in a basement apartment. The unforeseen advantage was that it turned out that my saucepans would naturally nest on the rack, thanks to clever handle design. And when the upstairs neighbors threw a dance party everything would rattle, yes. But it didn't rattle from normal heavy-footed upstairs neighbor traffic, just the oontz oontz stomping. The wine glasses on a shelf on the wall did, but the pots didn't.
posted by fedward at 2:26 PM on February 3, 2016

I would tend to think that over time pegboard would disintegrate and brrak apart from having clean pots and pans hung up on it, unless you were careful to always dry them thoroughly. Maybe not, but for me that would be a concern. Or you could get a pegboard made of plastic instead of particle board, but then ew, plastic.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:43 PM on February 3, 2016

I would tend to think that over time pegboard would disintegrate and break apart from having clean pots and pans hung up on it, unless you were careful to always dry them thoroughly

You're right that untreated particleboard is terrible with moisture, and it's also ugly so yeah, you gotta paint your pegboard before installing it in a kitchen. 'Cause one of the big benefits of hanging storage is that stuff can air-dry after it's put away, which makes clean-up a little bit easier. I've been hanging wet measuring cups and cheese graters and so on on my painted pegboard for over a decade now and there's no visible damage.
posted by aubilenon at 5:20 PM on February 3, 2016

We had a piece of galvanized sheep mesh cut to the same dimensions as the sink

In case the asker is in the US, that is usually sold here as cattle or hog panels, or more generically as welded wire mesh. The non-galvanized version is commonly used as concrete reinforcement, while the galvanized type is often used as fencing, and for more money you can even buy stainless steel mesh; all can be bought in a variety of gauges (diameter of wire) and mesh spacings. It's cheap and easy to find, if you want to experiment with it.

Personally I don't like the aesthetic of pegboard in a kitchen, but there is no denying its functionality. Of the two I would prefer the rails and hooks, without finding either to be incredibly compelling.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:02 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We also have the IKEA Grundtal system; our pots hang from a shelf. I don't think I ever have to use two hands to take them off or hang them up. We use the small hanging shelf for our oil and vinegar next to the stove, the paper twoel holder, the spice rack, &c. It's pretty awesome for our needs.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:49 PM on February 3, 2016

We have a rail and S hooks. There is not a lot of clanginess because they're well spaced. I think eight pots on a six foot rail, organized from largest to smallest with 'least used' over on the side. After hanging the S hooks we squeezed the top part of the S with pliers or something (don't remember) so the S hooks themselves don't fall off.

Ours hang from a part of the wall that juts out about six inches from the ceiling, so they hang in free space and don't hit the wall. If that weren't the case I might mount a 2X4 piece to the wall securely, then mount the rail on top of that to make sure there was enough clearance that they didn't hit the wall, adding an additional 2X4 or whatever as needed.

So not really a lot of janglyness. We have talked about pegboard but don't currently use it, but for cooking utensils we have L hooks on a board next to the stove.

We used copper pipe for the pot rail.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:05 AM on February 4, 2016

I should add: copper is a bit soft so we used a middle support to keep it from bending under the weight of the pots. We hang eight items (six pots, wire pasta strainer, and mesh anti-grease splatter thing.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:07 AM on February 4, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, y'all! We ended up going with the Grundtal, and though it hasn't been installed yet, it seems like a good compromise!
posted by Maecenas at 12:56 PM on March 4, 2016

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