When you've got tons of boxes, Christmas decorations or tools from your husband's workshop piled up around the garage, wire shelving is an excellent option for getting everything cleaned up and organized, and keeping it that way. The shelves are easy to hang, and they give you lots of vertical space to keep your garage clutter-free -- so you can actually park your car in your garage again.
Choosing Wire Shelves
Wall-mounted wire shelves hang on brackets that are inserted into metal tracks or angled into the wall. The shelves typically have a silver finish or are painted black or white; they have straight edges without any embellishments or designs, serving a more utilitarian purpose than a decorative one. In addition to being easy to install and providing lots of space for storage, another advantage of wire shelving is easy maintenance. The shelf is wire, rather than a solid board that will collect dust and grime. The disadvantage of wire shelving is also that it doesn't have a solid board, which means you won't be able to put very small items on the shelf.
Hanging Shelves with Clips
One type of wire shelving is attached to clips that are mounted to the wall and supported by brackets that create an angle between the shelf and the wall. To install this type of shelf, you screw the clips into the wall along a level line and snap the shelves into the clips. Mount the brackets and let the unclipped edge of the shelves rest on the brackets. A simple 3-foot-wide shelf can hold up to 30 pounds of weight. However, if you install brackets that include a metal rod against the depth of the shelf and the height of the wall -- creating a triangular metal configuration -- you can increase that capacity to 250 pounds.
Hanging Shelves with Brackets
The other main type of wire shelving uses long metal tracks and brackets. To hang these, you install the vertical strips on the wall, and then insert the brackets and lay your shelves on top of them.The brackets will not form an angle for support like you get with the clipped shelves. Instead, the brackets stick out horizontally, providing a surface where the shelves rest. This type of wire shelving can support a lot more weight. Each bracket can hold up to 100 to 275 pounds of weight, depending on the brand you use, and a bracket should be placed about every 2 feet or so along your shelves. The longer the shelf, the more weight it can hold.
Ensuring Safety and Durability
While wire shelves can shoulder a great deal of weight, their safety and durability is contingent upon proper installation. You must be sure you are driving the screws into studs, and you must use screws that are at least 1 1/4 inch long. If you have to hang your brackets or tracks between studs, you must use a drywall anchor -- a hollowed out plastic tube you insert in the wall that expands when you push a screw through it. The ends break open and provide an anchor for the screw inside the wall. Giving your shelves the right support will ensure that your car doesn't end up covered in boxes of Christmas decorations -- or worse -- because your shelves fell down.