Pantry Shelving question

cherryblossom99October 25, 2011

During our full kitchen remodel (happening right this second), they're building a pantry in a dead corner area just outside the kitchen, a few steps away. We have the choice of wire shelves, solid wood, and particle board. I know my feelings on particle board, but we were thinking solid wood. The installer suggested sanded plywood b/c he said it can be less warp-y than solid wood. Anyone have any suggestions which material we should go with? Wire would kind of annoy me, things could become uneven etc, but any pantry will be such a wonderful thing as I didn't have a built-in one. thanks!

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Wire will save a bunch of money, I would expect, but small items don't sit right and will lean or fall over. Unless you put plexiglass over the wire shelves. I would think 1/2 or 3/4" particle board for shelves would be good enough, but if real wood is in your budget, I'd say go for that.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 5:03PM
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We have wire shelving and I agree with you, don't put in wire shelving! Little things fall through and things do not sit straight. It can be a real pain. My husband put a thin sheet of plexiglass over top of the wire and it makes it level, and you can see through it (handy 'cause I'm short and need to see the bottoms of things to find the thingy I'm looking for lol). I have used melamine shelving before (particle board with a coating on it) and it worked fine. Enjoy your kitchen!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 5:06PM
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We used laminated plywood in all of our closets. MBR and pantry are stained. Everything else is painted. 6 years, no warping. Our trim carpenter built out the pantry according to my specs.. and working around the HVAC return (far wall, bottom right)

Here is a link that might be useful: my pantry - last 2 pictures

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 5:09PM
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I wouldn't pay the extra cost for solid wood for inside a pantry. Odds are you will just be covering either the plywood/MDF or the bare wood with contact paper or the like to protect it anyway, so may as well save a few bucks on this one. It will just be covered up.
If you don't use a protective layer,what would you do? If you paint the wood, it will just get dinged from cans and such, so...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 6:16PM
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Thank you so much, everyone! Maybe I should see this stuff in person. I was looking in the wrong section before, he'd cut it himself. I will cover it with Contact plastic (it's made by the Contact paper people, but it's solid plastic drawer liners, no holes and is thick.) I just want good shelves that won't flake or have issues down the line. I'm positive I don't want particle board or wire.

Spent a good amount of extra money to get no particle board kitchen cabinets too. I will see what there is at the store, thank you. :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:37PM
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Another vote for laminated plywood. Stain it instead of painting it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 11:19PM
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Ok, I will look into it, do you have to stain it, if you're adding drawer liner plastic sheets over it? Do the edges look ok? thanks.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 12:06AM
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While at the store, I saw the Rubbermaid wire shelving that's called "tight mesh". It's about 2x the amount of wires so less things fall through. Of course for tiny items I'd use a container. But I bought a piece and tested it with my cookbooks and I think it'd work. Advantages: it's cheaper, don't have to paint/ worry about warping/ don't have to dust as much / don't have to buy shelf liner which I know I would.

Any votes for tight mesh shelving? I am still thinking of all my options, but this looks good. The 'wall end brackets' look good as there aren't giant brackets underneath your shelves, just small brackets at each side of the wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubbermaid wall end brackets

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 12:03PM
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I am really surprised by the anti wire shelving sentiments. We have wire shelving, anything small gets stored in larger containers or baskets. In my opinion, wire seems to keep things cleaner, the dust and dirt fall through to the floor. Regardless, a pantry is one of life's pleasures. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 12:20PM
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I've never ever owned a pantry so this will be excellent no matter what we choose. We're just on our 10,000th choice during this remodel and it's becoming overwhelming.

I'm pretty sure we'll go with the tight meshed wire, I think it'll be nice and solid and right, any tiny packets of oatmeal or taco seasoning etc goes in a little bin. ;)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 8:39PM
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We had wire in our old pantry and I hated it! Not only do small things fall through or lean, but if you spill something it falls down and down and down ... until it reaches the floor...getting on everything in it's path!

Yes, you can cover w/plexiglass to prevent that, but, personally, I think wood, laminated particle board, MDF, and similar look so much nicer! Here's our pantry. We used shelving from Lowes (MDF, I think, but I'm not sure right now). There's also a pantry thread in the Gallery that might be helpful, it's linked below.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: Pantry photos/ pics of pantries

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:47AM
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We splurged and went with a furniture grade plywood. Love it. The guys using hanging standards because of the long spans and deep shelves. They routed out the shape of the standards so that the shelves go right up to the wall. Its heaven. I secretly hang out in there. There is a ton of food, the water cooler, and the bathroom is right next door. :)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 1:06PM
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I make pantry shelves using 3/8 plywood with a hardwood edge to prevent sag.

the last one used ash strips 1 inch high by 1/2 inch thick with a small rabbet for the plywood to sit on.

The strips are on the bottom of the shelf edges.

This hides the raw plywood edges.

Stain and brushing lacquer (Deft Clear wood in gloss) seal the shelves and provide an easy to clean surface (how often does anything wet spill in a pantry anyway?).

Wire shelves are just a PITA to stand things up on, and putting them in another container just makes it harder to find things.

The lights go on when the door is opened making it easy to find things.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Buehl - thanks for the photos! I love it! And I love how you used shelf risers to take advantage of the space, brillant. I use them too.

Our remodel is over and the newly built and drywall'ed pantry is done! We realized that even tight mesh wire shelves would proove annoying and I really didn't want anything to annoy me in the new remodel. We went with white coated MDF. It turned out just fine!

The pantry shelves measure 35" wide by 16" deep. I don't know how I lived without one. I previously used stand alone pieces of furniture that were not meant for the abuse a pantry can get. With the bi-fold door and all the trim, it looks like it's been there forever. Previously it was just a dead nook behind our kitchen.

We may need a lighting solution for that area, we have an outlet at the bottom, just trying to figure out where to place the lights without blocking them!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 9:47PM
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My parents have had plywood in there pantry for 20 years with no problem. I can not answer about my own house because I don't have one till we get into our new build. The one thing I can say about their pantry is that deep shelves and extra tall shelve below is great for storing soup pots, large turkey roasters and tall counter appliances. I will be doing plywood in my new house.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 11:28PM
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We used white melamine for our laundry room shelves and find it to be strong and easy to clean. It is the best of both worlds. No need to stain, paint or line it.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 11:33PM
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I just lined the baking shelf b/c molasses and other liquids like oil can drip, other than that I'm not lining it. Very strong and doesn't warp like real wood, the installer said.

Just looking for maybe a lighting solution to light up the pantry, but food would block the lights, so I am not sure what to do.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 12:53PM
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Yesterday our GC asked my husband if he wanted extra support for the pantry shelves. My husband said yes and this is what the workers did. Is this normal? I haven't seen this done before.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Oops! I accidentally added this to this thread. I'll create a new thread.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:49PM
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