How To Install a Pot Rack

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Estimated Time: 
1 hour
Kitchen Spacesaver: Install a Potrack
potrackAn organized kitchen is a successful kitchen. If every object in your kitchen has its own place, you're more likely to use things and never misplace them again.  

Hanging a pot rack is a great way to maximize storage in a small kitchen. In a larger kitchen, a pot rack gives a bit of flair and can focus on an otherwise empty space. All of those pots and pans eat up valuable cabinet space that can be used for food, spices, and utensils. A pot rack is a simple solution with great aesthetic appeal-and installing it is easier than you think.

When shopping for your pot rack, you will find countless options. Be sure to take into consideration the style and size that will work best in your kitchen. Should you have a very traditional kitchen, then a stark, sleek, modern rack will look out of place. If your kitchen is the size of a coat closet, an extra-large pot rack will not be a good choice, either.

Project Steps

Decide where you want the pot rack to go, taking the following factors into consideration:

Make sure you have enough space from the ceiling. Obviously, if you have an island, above it is the ideal place for installation.

How high are your ceilings? You don't want your pot rack hanging too low. Not only is it a hazard, it could make your kitchen less attractive.

Step 1

A pot rack is quite heavy when fully loaded, so be sure to properly secure it to the ceiling joist and not just to the drywall.

Jane Tip: Be sure to ask the salesperson how much weigh the pot rack can hold.

Step 2

Since you'll be working above your head, remember to wear your safety glasses. Once you've decided where to place your rack, measure the area and take these measurements into the store with you when you buy your rack. This will ensure that you purchase a pot rack that will fit into the space.

Step 3

Use the stud finder to find the studs-which, in the ceiling are called ceiling joists. You will be attaching the hooks to these to help support the weight of the pot rack. Do not hang a pot rack into plain drywall. Drywall will not support the weight.

Step 4

With a pencil (so you can erase later), mark the location of the ceiling joists. Use the stud finder and mark off where the joists start and end, widthwise (usually 1 ½ inches). Once you find one, you can measure 16 or 24 inches in either direction to find the next one. You'll also want to determine which way the joists run.

If your desired location for the rack is not directly beneath a joist in the ceiling and you have access to an attic above the ceiling, you may be able to install a piece between the two closest joists. You'll need to go to the attic, find the joists adjacent to the spot you want to hang the rack. Then, you'll need to cut and place a piece of "backing" (an intermediate block of wood) that runs perpendicular to the joists right above where you'd like to hang the rack. If you go this route, be sure your backing piece is made from 2"x 4" lumber and is structurally attached to the adjoining joists so it can supply enough support for a fully loaded pot rack.

Step 5

Take the pot rack components out of the box and get familiar with them. Look at the bits and pieces in the kit and make sure you have all the pieces the instructions say you should have. Read through the instructions to learn what each piece is and what it does.

Jane Tip: Preassembled kits are often missing a key piece, such as a screw or nut. Be careful if replacing these pieces that they have the same strength and durability as the pieces the manufacturer included.

Step 6

Lay out the rack on the cardboard. Draw a template of the rack on the cardboard. Then, make holes on the template where the hooks will be hung. To do this, place the rack on the template. With a pencil, mark on the cardboard where the hooks are located; this is where you will make the holes in the cardboard template. The holes should be large enough for your pencil to go through.

Step 7

Tape your template to the ceiling where you intend to install the pot rack. Line up the holes on the template with the center of the width of the ceiling joists. Mark the spots on the ceiling with the pencil through the holes on the template. Remove the template from the ceiling. You should also find a reference wall and measure equal distance from the wall to the two holes on one side of the pot rack. This way the rack will be parallel to the wall and not look crooked.

Step 8

Create holes for the hooks to go into by drilling starter or pilot holes in the ceiling using the recommended size drill bit. Check the instructions to know which size you'll need. Drill the holes slightly smaller than the size of the screw.

Step 9

Screw the hooks into the pilot holes in your ceiling. This can be a little tough, as you can't drill them in. When the going gets tough, try to slide a screwdriver though the opening of the hook, and with one hand grab the handle and with the other grab the screwdriver and twist the hook into place. You can also try a pair of pliers to give yourself a better grip.

Step 10

Attach the chains and then attach the rack. Because the rack itself may be quite heavy, don't be afraid to get someone to help you lift it. Let go of the rack slowly to ensure it's properly supported.

Step 11

Hang the pots and admire your handiwork!

Jane Tip: To help keep your cookware clean and ready for display, consider purchasing a cleaning product called Barkeeper's Friend. It doesn't scratch your cookware and does a fantastic job of removing burned-on foods and stains.

You are now officially allowed to go shopping for beautiful cookware to show off your new pot rack!

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