Is Wire Rack Shelving a Budget-Friendly Solution?

Warehouse Wire Shelving Systems

If you’re in the market for an affordable storage solution for your home or business, wire shelving has several benefits compared to other designs, regardless of whether you need a shelving unit for storing belongings in your garage or products in a retail store. Lightweight, open, and adjustable, wire shelving is one of the most versatile storage options available.

Benefits of Wire Shelving

Wire shelving offers several advantages compared with traditional open and closed shelving systems. These include:

Improved airflow

Wire shelving, consisting of a steel wire mesh, allows air to flow freely between the shelves and stored goods, keeping them fresh and clean and preventing the accumulation of dust and other allergens. The improved airflow also reduces condensation on shelving units.

If you store books, magazines, files, and other paper products, wire shelving is non-corrosive and allows for proper airflow, so they don’t deteriorate. Wooden shelving can be acidic, damaging paper products.

Increased visibility

By allowing light to uniformly penetrate the shelving unit, wire shelving increases visibility. This enables workers and customers to locate the products they need and limits the number of hiding places for pests, such as insects or rodents, to prevent damage to inventory. This is also useful for closet organizing, keeping your clothes and other accessories in a place where you can see them easily.


Adjustability allows you to change the height of the shelves according to your storage needs, and wire shelving is highly adjustable. The upright columns, or posts, have locking grooves spaced apart in increments. The shelves are locked in place using a tapered split sleeve, which clicks into each locking groove. Assembly is also simple and can be accomplished without the use of special tools.

Fire safe

Whether in a warehouse, office, or home garage, anyone who stores belongings or inventory needs to consider fire hazards and how to manage them. The open, mesh design of wire shelving allows sprinklers and other fire suppression systems to reach every shelf and stored item, extinguishing fires before they grow and spread.

Metal shelving, particularly chrome-plated steel, is waterproof and resistant to extreme heat.

Compatible with casters

In retail businesses and warehouses, storage needs regularly fluctuate, requiring you to adapt accordingly. This often means the need to move shelving units from one part of the business to another. For increased portability, you can buy casters specifically designed for wire shelving units, allowing you to relocate the unit to where it’s needed most.

In addition, by using lockable casters, you can secure the shelving unit in place once you’ve found a suitable location for it. To protect the stems, doorways, and walls, you can add donut bumpers — circular rubber or plastic discs — above the casters.

Wire Rack Shelving

Shelving accessories

Wire shelving can be accessorized as needed, depending on your intended application. If you need to add a shelf cover to prevent some items, including food, from falling through the mesh, you can cut a foam board to size. Alternatively, you can add baskets and bins to hooks.

For increased stability, you can install foot plates. Common in racking systems, foot plates allow you to attach the shelving or racking system directly to the floor using bolts.

You can also add ledges and dividers to ensure that items don’t fall off your wire shelves.

Corrosion resistance

When selecting a shelving unit, you need to be aware of the effects of corrosion on metal work surfaces. Exposed carbon or alloy steel can rust, and the risk is higher if you intend to use your wire shelving in a cold or humid environment, such as an indoor refrigeration unit. At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we offer wire shelving in three finishes — chrome, green epoxy, and black powder coating.

They all protect each wire shelf and the uprights against rust and chemical contamination, ensuring a lifetime of use. However, epoxy and powder-coated finishes can wear away, so it’s a good idea to inspect your shelves for damage periodically.

Ease of maintenance

Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness is critical for health and safety in several industries, from foodservice to medical equipment. Wire shelving is relatively easy to clean due to its open design.

In many cases, soap, water, and a lint-free cloth will suffice. If you need a more thorough cleaning solution, wire shelving allows washing and sanitizing chemicals to diffuse through the system, reaching every surface.

If you choose shelving with a chrome-plated finish, this prevents dirt and bacteria from easily adhering to the shelf surfaces.

Practice Safe Storage

As with any shelving or racking system, never exceed the rated load capacity of the storage unit. If you’re unsure of the weight limit, consult the manufacturer or supplier.

You should also ensure you’re loading the shelves correctly. Load heavy items on the shelves closest to the floor, working your way up. This keeps the shelving unit stable. Foot plates allow you to secure the shelving unit to the floor using bolts for added support. Don’t store hazardous chemicals or sharp tools in a way that is dangerous to access.

If you install wire shelving in an environment where forklift trucks operate, it’s also critical that you instruct your employees in safe driving practices and enforce reasonable speed limits.

There should also be sufficient clearance between shelving units to allow drivers to maneuver, so pay attention to the width and depth. Forklift collisions cause damage to racking systems, and shelving units are even lighter and more susceptible to impact damage.

Where to Buy Wire Shelving

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we sell a variety of shelving units suitable for your home and business. Wire shelving is a budget-friendly storage solution that offers exceptional durability and versatility for storing and organizing small inventory items.

To find out more about the wire shelving options we carry, browse our catalog, or to get a quote for shelving in your facility, contact us at (800) 589-7225.