The most important feature of your walk-in kitchen pantry is the shelving. When you're designing your new kitchen pantry, however, the sheer number of shelf options might easily overwhelm you. How do you find one that is right for you? Here are some tips for choosing the perfect kitchen pantry shelves.
What are you planning to store on your shelves? With a walk-in pantry, you'll have lots of storage space. If you're planning to stack larger, rarely used items in your pantry, you should choose a shelf that is strong enough. Weak shelves can collapse or buckle under the weight over time. Although you may not typically think that the items you'll be storing in your pantry are very heavy, tons of cans, glass bottles, and even boxes can start to weigh a lot when they're all on the same shelf.
Shelf strength, however, is also linked to the weight of the shelf itself. If you don't intend to attach shelves to the walls and instead want freestanding shelves, you should be prepared for a pantry that holds fewer items that may not be as heavy as you may want. Heavier shelves usually need a strong support system, including the ability to be attached to the walls.
The deeper the shelf is, the better, right? Not really. Deep shelves are sometimes a good idea, but only if you can reach to the back easily. Some people choose extremely deep shelves and later find themselves losing items in the back! If you're shorter in stature, extremely deep shelves can be hard to reach not just at waist-height, but also at higher levels. Even if your topmost shelves are only storing items you rarely use, using extremely deep shelves isn't always a good idea.
Shelves that are too deep can also be hard to clean. Your pantry is where you'll be storing much of the food for your family, so it has to be dust free and. Deep shelves can be hard to reach on all levels, even on the bottom. Keeping your shelves on the shallow side can definitely make cleaning your house easier!
Number of Shelves and Expense
For your price range, how many shelves can you get? The number of shelves you need depends both on the size of your walk-in pantry as well as the amount of food (and other items) you intend to store. This may seem like common sense at first until you begin to explore shelving options. Some shelf units are sold on square footage. Other shelf units are measured length by width by height. It can be really confusing to determine just how much shelving you need.
Start by measuring your space to determine the maximum depth you can use (see the tip above), as well how high you'd like your shelves to be. When you explore options, take cost into consideration. How much ground can you cover for each dollar you spend. One shelving unit, which may at first seems very inexpensive, could actually be a bad deal because of the amount you have to purchase. Other shelving units, which may at first seem too pricey, could actually wind up being the best value for your money. The point is that you can't generalize price range without determining exactly what you get for your money.
Can you do it yourself?
If you're currently undergoing a huge kitchen renovation process, you likely have a team of construction professionals helping you with the remodeling. Shelving, however, is often easy enough to do on your own. Think about the following before you decide to finish your walk-in pantry yourself:
- Do you have the time? Constructing and hanging shelves can take some time — a day or more depending on the size of your pantry.
- How much of the work are you doing versus buying? If you want to purchase the lumber and design your own shelves, you're typically better off getting a professional to help you. However, if you're buying a shelving unit that is simple to assemble, you could do it yourself.
- Do you have the tools? You may need screwdrivers, hammers, drills, and many other tools to complete this project.
If you do opt for DIY pantry shelving, start by making sure that the flooring (if the shelves sit on the ground) and walls are level and finished. You may want to assemble the shelves or part of the shelves in a larger area, as pantries are often too small to allow you to work safely. If you'll be drilling into the wall, you may want to lay down sheets to protect the floor and make cleaning up easier. If you're buying a pre-packaged unit, read the directions before you start assembling it, and if you're building your own, remember the old adage measure twice, cut once .
Walk-in kitchen pantries are nothing without shelves, but the perfect shelving units can be hard to choose. Whether you're using a pre-packaged unit or building your own, make sure you consider the above tips when choosing the perfect pantry look for you.
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