Why Metro Shelves Are The Best Kitchen Shelves (2023)

To the point

If you want to gain more storage space in the kitchen, we recommend subway shelves such asthese by whitmor.

After working from home in a studio for six months, my wife and I have recently decided that, for the sake of our marriage and our mental health, we need to move to a larger place with at least one bedroom with a door other than the front door. bathroom is. Not only were we able to find an apartment that met such high demand, it also came with a major kitchen upgrade. Now I have a lot more cooking space, lots of natural light thanks to not one but two windows, and cross ventilation so the smoke alarm doesn't go off every time I put in a steak.

Gaining windows meant sacrificing closet space, which is already in high demand in New York City. So when I started transforming a corner of the new kitchen into a hybrid home office/test kitchen, I knew I needed extra storage for appliances and ingredients. The alcove also had to have space for a workbench and pegboard, and enough space for me to stand and sit comfortably, which meant that this storage system had to have a very specific narrow footprint. Fortunately, there is the perfect solution, and unlike living room furniture, it is quite affordable: Metro bookshelves.

Subway shelving, or "shelves" if you're familiar with American kitchen lingo, is the common name for metal wire shelving found in restaurant kitchens, suburban garages, warehouses, and homes everywhere. Just as Kleenex and Scotch have become generic brands for facial wipes and clear tape, the Metro brand is synonymous with these solid, no-frills shelves, though not all of them are made by this company.

Whitmor 4-stöckiges Chromregal

Why Metro Shelves Are The Best Kitchen Shelves (1)

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We use them in our Serious Eats test kitchens to store all kinds of equipment, for exampleblenderand rolling pins in piles ofcheesecake molds. We also have some kits to store all the accessories and plates for photo shoots. Little cupboard space to store dry goods? These shelves make that possible. I've even seen them used for hanging salumi for dry curing (the wire racks are easy to tie with twine and the open construction allows for excellent airflow) and as cooling racks for freshly baked bread. There aren't many storage tasks that Metro racks can't handle.

the professionals

What makes these bookshelves so good? These are the features we like the most.

adjustable shelf height

Why Metro Shelves Are The Best Kitchen Shelves (2)

One of the biggest problems in kitchen organization is finding a place for every odd-sized utensil – a jumbo bag of cereal and a 5-gallon can of olive oil. In an ideal world, we would all have access to carefully designed and installed kitchen cabinets with plenty of usable storage space. Instead, most of us are more familiar with trying to shove the top of a food processor into the depths of an under-counter corner cupboard, only to be ambushed by an avalanche of pot lids flying out of the cabinets.

Metro shelving can be a big help in this department thanks to its height-adjustable design. Units are sold unassembled with four legs, shelves, plastic shelf brackets and leveling feet. The legs have horizontal grooves etched at 1" intervals along their length that fit the shelf brackets at a spacing of your choice to adjust the height of each shelf. I cannot stress enough how great it is to have control over space between the shelves.

As shown in the photo above, configuring a device to suit your needs is easy. In my case, I wanted a cozy home for the bulky ones.Brevilles PizzakochOn the bottom shelf, a shelf on top with a little more vertical space to fit a recessfood processorit is atall mixing glass, and an even more spacious waist-length shelf forcutting boards, ABackstahland large trays. There are very few kitchen shelving solutions that allow for this level of customization at an affordable price.

(Video) Metro Top Track Shelving System

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How easy it is to readjust the shelf height spacing after the shelves are assembled depends on the type of unit you purchase. The lower-end entry-level models tend to be more difficult to adjust, as the plastic shelf brackets lock onto the shelves themselves, requiring you to drop the shelves to release them and slide the brackets off. Somehigh quality modelsThey are equipped with easy-to-release locking mechanisms that allow you to adjust the height of the shelves on the fly. It's a nice feature, but by no means essential; As long as you think about space before putting together a shelf, chances are your needs won't change much over time.

Items are visible and easily accessible

Cabinets are great for storing items, but they can also be a chore. Maybe it's just me, but I'm much less likely to use a food processor if I have to pull it out of a cupboard every time, and I definitely don't want it taking up valuable counter space when not in use. Storing commonly used countertop devices in a metal shelving unit gives you the best of both worlds: They're easily accessible but won't clutter up your workspace.

The same applies to ingredients and kitchen utensils. For example, if you're a baker or pizza maker, it's good to have flour and sugar on hand, along with proofing bowls, baking sheets, a scale and measuring cups. It's nice not having to rummage through drawers and cupboards looking for those common items. I also like to keep plastic deli containers on my shelves so I can grab a stack to serve mise en place while testing the recipe or packing up leftovers after a meal.

Units are available in various sizes and configurations.

My new apartment's kitchen has a lot more space and natural light than our old apartment's cramped, windowless pantry, but the small nook I converted into a condensed test kitchen at home is still cramped. In order to fit everything I wanted into the space – workbench, metallic scoreboards, trash can and Metro shelves – and still have room to work, I had to find equipment with very specific dimensions. Fortunately, these bookshelves come in a myriad of sizes, so I was able to find the perfect fit for height, width, and depth. Whether you're looking for a waist-high wood-topped shelf or, like me, need a set of tall, narrow shelves to take advantage of the vertical space that high ceilings provide, there's a shelf for you.

they are affordable

Metal wire shelves might not win a beauty pageant, but it would be hard to beat their value for functionality for the price. As with most shopping, the most expensive option is to head to the Metro shelves for brands that cost at least a few hundred dollars each. On the plus side, Metro units are very well built, have nice features like the easily adjustable shelf clips mentioned above, and generally offer the best load capacity in their class. But we're talking about using these shelves to store kitchenware, bulk items, and maybe a few dishes, not for storing in a shipping distribution center. Given that, you can ditch the frills by purchasing a very solid set of shelves for under a hundred bucks.

weight capacity

Even affordable shelves can withstand a rather heavy load. The unit I have at home has 12" x 24" shelves that can hold up to 350 pounds per shelf. Even if you are oneCast iron cookware collector like Danieland load the device with pans, these racks can easily support the weight.

easy to assemble

Moving into a new apartment often involves a very frustrating furniture assembly task. After cursing the overly smiling cartoonist who pokes fun at DIY furniture makers in the pages of IKEA instruction manuals, you develop a great appreciation for easy-to-assemble items, and these shelves are for you. All you need is a rubber mallet, or if you're like me and don't have one, a mallet wrapped in a sock so you don't damage the shelves and feet when you put them in place.

The most difficult part of assembling the shelves is determining the spacing between the shelves. I recommend using the bottom shelves for heavy items that aren't used every day, and keeping the items you reach most at waist and chest height, while the top shelves are reserved for things that don't cause injury. fatal and attract attention. if items fall while picking them up or putting them down.

Freestanding, easy-to-assemble shelves are particularly good for renters. Installing a few floating shelves on a wall sounds good in theory, but it's just another series of holes to patch when moving to a new location. And who knows if these shelves will fit well on another floor. Metal shelves do not need to be drilled into the walls and can be dismantled when moving them. Even if you switch to a different kitchen layout that doesn't work with the shelving, it can be used in multiple rooms to store everything from electronics to bedding, or the shelving can be sold second-hand if you don't want to. her with you.

The disadvantages

Of course, no team will work for absolutely everyone. These are the main disadvantages of these shelves.

(Video) Wire shelves used as work space

Aesthetics won't work for everyone

Why Metro Shelves Are The Best Kitchen Shelves (3)

Subway-style shelving definitely turns heads, and if there's one thing I've learned from Dream Home Makeovers during the pandemic, it's not something that works with every interior design aesthetic. The polished chrome legs and wire shelves are perfect for those looking for an industrial vibe, but they don't quite blend in with farmhouse decor. That's not to say these units aren't attractive in their own way; The few guests we've had in our new home, including my mother-in-law, who is a trained interior designer and doesn't like false praise, have complimented the look of my small corner kitchen, starting with the Metro shelving.

There is no hidden clutter

These bookshelves share one of the main disadvantages of the ubiquitous “open kitchen” design concept: since everything is on display, there is no way to hide clutter and disorganization. At some point in our lives, we've all done that crazy "oh shit, we've got company" thing by stockpiling piles of clothing and piles of half-opened mail (for me, it's always those performance ad statements) and reusables. Pockets in cabinets, desk drawers and kitchen cupboards to create a temporary Kondo-style illusion of order. Subway shelves, with their open display design, won't help you in that regard; They only look as clean and tidy as you keep them.

Before you buy any shelves, it's a good idea to take a moment to do an honest self-assessment of your (and your life partner's) kitchen organizing style and goals. Maybe everything doesn't always have to be perfectly arranged and you don't mind looking at one or the other chaotic shelf. Great! Or you may be the organized type and keeping a well-organized system is second nature. Even better. However, if you don't like visible clutter but also don't have the time or patience to keep it organized, this might not be the best option for you.

Not safe for children or pets

Having frequently used countertop appliances and dry goods within easy reach is a huge plus for people who cook a lot, but poses a potential danger to anyone sharing a home with a curious toddler or a cat that will freely explore all areas. Alta shelves. climbing challenge. It doesn't take much imagination to imagine the worst case scenarios of injuries from falling cast iron pans and frustrating cleaning of an overturned Flour Cambro.

What to look out for, what to avoid, and how to adjust

With so many different options for metal shelving on the market, choosing between brands or even distinguishing between product lines from the same company can be a little daunting. The good news is that you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a Metro brand unit. There is a fairly consistent basic quality standard across all sectors; If you're looking for some extra pantry space, almost any shelving unit will easily handle the task. On the other hand, if you're loading the racks with heavy, expensive equipment, it's worth spending a little more on racks that have a weight capacity of 300 pounds or more.

Think twice before putting your paws on the wheels

Putting shelves and kitchen islands on casters always sounds like a good idea: “The kitchen is much easier to clean with it! But what you gain in mobility, you sacrifice in stability and portability. Wheels cannot withstand the same load as legs without them. With additional shelving, the unit I have has a maximum weight capacity of 4,800 pounds with just the legs. Adding wheels to the unit itself reduces its weight capacity to 1,000 pounds, and each wheel can carry a maximum weight of 250 pounds.

Even though this lower weight limit is more than enough for your needs, putting the shelves on wheels makes the stability of the entire unit less stable. The caster locks aren't perfect and the casters don't allow the shelf feet to level, which is a problem for kitchens with uneven floors (we quickly discovered that the floor in our apartment is slightly sloping). . To lean). Cleaning the wheels themselves is also a headache, and I find stationary legs much easier to clean. If you plan to load the racks with heavy equipment, you may not be able to move the equipment as easily, even if it has wheels.

Invest in S hooks

Why Metro Shelves Are The Best Kitchen Shelves (4)

One of the guiding principles for maximizing space in small kitchens and keeping items accessible: Hang as much stuff as possible. I'm a big fan of pegboards for organizing cookware, as well as hanging cast iron and carbon steel pans on hooks instead of stacking them in the oven when not in use, which gives me plenty of exercise every time I retrieve one to do. focaccia pancakes or yeast.

(Video) Intermetro Kitchen + Garage

IKEA S hooks in stainless steel (pack of 5)

Why Metro Shelves Are The Best Kitchen Shelves (5)

There are two big problems with hangingcast iron cookware: are heavy and take up a lot of space. Traditional wooden pegboards are not built to support the weight of cast iron, and hanging cookware from a metal pegboard takes up a lot of space that could be used to store other utensils. Installing wall-mounted planter shelf posts requires power tools and a little DIY know-how. However, with the purchase of somes Hooksyou can use unused vertical space on the sides of a metal shelf.

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The perimeter of each shelf consists of two horizontal rails parallel to each other, with a zigzag piece of metal between them for added strength. This design makes it easy to add hooks to the sides of the shelves for extra storage, a perfect place to hang heavy pots and pans and other kitchen essentials. Currently, the S hooks on my shelves hold two cast iron skillets, twocarbon steel cookware, a shower cap that I use to cover pastaduring the test, a pair of wooden cheese boards, twopizza peels, and an apron. Not bad at all.

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What is the difference between Metro and InterMetro shelving? ›

InterMetro® Shelving wires run side to side. Metro® Commercial Shelving wires run front to back. plastic Sleeves have ridges that fit into the grooves. Choose the desired height of the bottom Shelf and snap a pair of Sleeves onto the Post at the desired height.

What are the advantages of shelves? ›

Shelving not only helps you to organise things precisely but also provides ample space to store things in their appropriate place, right from books to other heavy industrial products. There are many different types of shelves available, like wood, plastic and metal shelves.

What is the importance of kitchen racks? ›

It offers extra storage space

Wall-mounted kitchen storage racks provide a lot more space to store all your kitchen necessities. These racks can be labeled and organized so that everything is easily accessible. A kitchen rack stand will give you more space to store all your essentials and make it easier to cook in.

Are open shelves good in a kitchen? ›

Open shelving offers easy access to everyday kitchenware and gives the space a stylish feel. For those who entertain and cook a lot, it really is the ultimate convenience to have all of your kitchen items visible and easy-to-grab at all times.

How much weight can metro shelving hold? ›

Not only do stationary Metro shelving units have a per-shelf weight capacity up to 800 lb (363 kg), depending on shelf length, but the per-unit weight capacity is 2,000 lb (907 kg).

What type of shelving is best for a pantry? ›

Tips for Selection or Building Your Pantry Shelves
  • Plywood is the go-to material for shelves—edges can be finished with iron-on veneer banding or wood trim—but other materials can work, too (if you're careful; see below).
  • If you hate looking at stuff, install cabinets.

What is a good material for shelves? ›

  • Solid timber. ...
  • Edge laminated softwood board. ...
  • Chipboard. ...
  • MDF. ...
  • Blockboard. ...
  • Plywood. ...
  • Glass. ...
  • Shelf stiffener.

What is effective shelf management? ›

Shelf management includes product placement and merchandising on retail shelves, as well as keeping products fully stocked and effectively organized.

What are shelf features? ›

A shelf (PL: shelves) is a flat, horizontal plane used for items that are displayed or stored in a home, business, store, or elsewhere. It is raised off the floor and often anchored to a wall, supported on its shorter length sides by brackets, or otherwise anchored to cabinetry by brackets, dowels, screws, or nails.

What is the most important thing in the kitchen? ›

One of the most important things in your kitchen is your sink. You might not think it is but just picture cooking food without your sink. Your sink provides water for you to boil rice with or for you to wash your hands off when they get dirty.

What is the most important rule in the kitchen? ›

Thoroughly cook foods

One of the most important food hygiene rules is to ensure food is cooked properly. If undercooked, harmful bacteria could lead to food poisoning. These rules will help you avoid that: Cut into the food to check that it is cooked through.

What are the benefits of kitchen storage? ›

Proper storage not only keeps food in better condition and safe from the growth of bacteria, it also reduces waste and saves you time and money.

Why is open shelving so popular? ›

Open Shelving Makes Spaces Feel Bigger

“Open shelves provide vertical storage, which helps to maximize limited space.” says Julio Arco, an architect and interior designer. Plus, lack of cabinet fronts creates the illusion of more wall space, making the room feel airier.

What looks good on a kitchen shelf? ›

When considering what to put on open shelves in a kitchen, for example, mix up useful items such as serving bowls, mugs and recipe books with decorative items such as planters, artwork and a sculpted vase.

Where is the best place to put floating shelves in a kitchen? ›

In any narrow corner or wall area, via Better Homes and Gardens: This is where a floating shelf really shines — it's the perfect way to grab a few extra inches of storage space from a narrow corner or blank wall area.

What is the best thickness for shelving? ›

How thick should wood be for shelves? While 3/4-inch is a common thickness in the wood shelving industry, 1 1/4-inch to 3 inches is an option if you're wanting to showcase more of the wood's character.

Which shelf will support the heaviest load? ›

Hidden Shelf Brackets are able to support an extremely heavy load because the mount six bolts directly into the side of a wall stud. Two steel plates are welded together on both sides, creating a strong bond. With a thick 3/8″ bracket supporting the load, this bracket can support a couple hundred pounds by itself.

How deep should floating shelves be in a kitchen? ›

How deep should kitchen floating shelves be? First, decide what you plan to display on the shelves. Standard dinner plates are 10-12″, so your shelves should be at least that deep if you're storing plates. Everything else is typically smaller, so 10″ should be sufficient for bowls, drinkware and salad plates.

What is the best wood for shelves that won't sag? ›

Solid hardwood has the best no-sag rating; however, some species are stiffer than others. Birch, maple, and oak are the stiffest, followed by ash, cherry, and walnut. You can increase the stiffness of a shelf by sinking screws into it through the solid back of the case.

What is the strongest shelving material? ›

Plywood. Whether you are replacing old cabinet drawers or are starting a project from scratch, one of the most versatile and dependable closet shelving materials you can use is plywood. This type of wood is a terrific choice for closet shelves because it's very strong and resistant to sagging and warping.

What is the best type of shelving for a garage? ›

Yes, wire shelving is a good choice for garage units. Wire shelving provides much of the stability and strength of metal while maintaining a weight light enough to move relatively easily. Many wire shelving units also have wheel options, which reduces their weight capacity but provides more mobility options.

Which type of wire shelving is most economical? ›

STANDARD SYSTEM. Fixed Mount Ventilated Wire shelving can be attached to the wall at set heights. The system is ideal for all storage areas and is the most economical system on the market.

What is the best line for shelving? ›

Best Budget

When it comes to the best shelf liners, non-adhesive vinyl is what most professional organizers will pick, including the Order by Kate team. Vinyl is easy to clean and protects your surfaces from scratches and stains. Non-adhesive options can be reused and are typically more durable than adhesive options.

What wood is best for kitchen cabinet shelves? ›

Kitchen Cabinet Wood Choices

The 5 best and most popular woods for kitchen cabinets are pine, oak, hickory, cherry, and maple. Pine, oak, and hickory are cheaper and easier to get. Cherry and maple look luxurious and cost more than the others. All 5 work well in the kitchen's hot and humid environment.

Does shelving increase home value? ›

A lone shelf or two isn't going to trigger any kind of major adjustment in the value of your property. Built-ins like bookshelves can increase a property's value if they're made with high quality materials (such as hardwood, rather than medium-density fiberboard) and expert craftsmanship.

What is smart shelving? ›

What is Smart Shelves? Smart shelves use RFID technology (e.g., RFID tags, RFID readers and antennas) to automatically track inventory in retail stores. Smart Shelves use weight sensors that are installed within shelves or underneath them. The sensors are used to track the amount of inventory sitting on the shelves.

Is plastic or metal shelving better? ›

While metal shelving is usually stronger and provides a sturdier foundation, they're more vulnerable to rust and corrosion than plastic versions. Plus, plastic shelving units are much lighter, which can be convenient if you plan on moving them around, as long as you don't need them to be especially strong.


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