Shelves are shelves, right? Actually, no. There’s more to shelving than perhaps first meets the eye. There are big differences between shelves that are designed for home use and shelves that are designed for commercial use. Commercial shelving racks are very different from a household storage rack or a home shelf. Even within both types, there are huge differences. Let’s take a look first at household shelving.

household shelving

Household shelving types

  1. Fixed brackets

These are one of the more popular types of home shelf. They allow flexibility in that you can choose how many shelves to install and the configuration you use. This type of shelf is available in metal or wood. You might also see this type of shelving being called suspension shelving.

  1. Built-in

This is a type of home shelf that might be found inside an alcove on a wall for example. It is part of the fixtures in a room and once installed, is a big job to remove, unlike a bracketed shelf. They are a great way to maximize space and use awkward parts of a home.

  1. Floating shelves

These are a great design and have a great look. Floating shelves appear to ‘float’ against the wall and don’t have any visible brackets or supports. They are manufactured from engineered wood and all of the fixtures and fittings are inside the shelf itself. You might see these called ‘torsion box’ shelves.

  1. Corner shelving

If a home has unused and awkward corners, corner shelving is a great solution for storing or displaying items. There are lots of corner shelving options from stand-alone, floor-based corner units, to bracketed ones that attach to the walls.

  1. Free-standing shelves

This type of shelf is great for displaying items around the home as well as for storage. A free-standing shelving unit is a household storage rack that is portable so it can be moved around if you fancy changing your furniture around a bit. They also come in lots of different design, colors, and materials.

Household shelving characteristics

Because of their design and use, shelves that are used around the home are built to withstand at most the weight of a few books. Household shelves not only serve the purpose of holding household items (books, ornaments, photographs, etc.) but they are also designed to be a feature and are therefore aesthetically pleasing. For this reason, there is a big range in price for household shelving.

commercial shelving

Commercial shelving types

  1. Top-hung shelving

These are used less in the home and are more common in places like classrooms or in commercial use in places like storerooms to store or display items. They have metal sections that you mount onto a wall then shelves can be hung onto them. The walls have to be strong for this type of shelving.

  1. Wall shelving

Commercial wall shelving is probably the most traditional type of shelving for displaying large amounts of stock like books. There are lots of material options with wall shelving like wood, steel or glass.

  1. Pegboard shelving

Pegboard shelving is very versatile as they offer lots of different combinations of shelving and display options. there are getting a resurgence of late and is actually becoming quite popular for home use too!

  1. Freestanding shelving

Freestanding shelves are really common and they are used to display products of all different types. They’re often made of strong materials such as wood or stainless steel.

  1. Warehouse shelving

This is a category with many sub-categories. There are lots of different types of warehouse shelving including rivet shelving and wire shelving.

Commercial shelving characteristics

For commercial shelves, the main need is for space that is strong. Metal commercial shelving and steel commercial shelving are some of the most popular choices. Aesthetics are not necessarily considered. Commercial shelves need to be robust and need to be able to withstand not only the weight of products but also the constant adding and removal of products.  

Which shelving is best for me?

It’s important to consider purpose. If you’re choosing shelving for your home a household storage rack or shelves that have been designed for this purpose will probably look better. However, there is no reason why you cannot use commercial shelving racks in your home. They are often great for use in a garage, yard, or storage hut. Metal commercial shelving is great if you have a lot of tools in your garage for example and steel commercial shelving is corrosion resistant so it will last a long time.

If you’re wanting shelving for a business, it makes sense to choose commercial shelving racks like metal commercial shelving like steel commercial shelving unless, of course, your business needs to have an aesthetically pleasing client base like a waiting room or meeting room.

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