Stained wood shelves or coated wire racks??? I prefer the look of the shelves, but wire racks are so low maintenance. You won't see them from the kitchen, only when the pantry door is open.
I had to make that decision recently. I liked the idea of wire shelves, but didn't like the look. Also, if something spilled on a top shelf, the mess could wind up falling through the wires several shelves down.
Stained wooden shelves - where to get them in a size and configuration - and cost - that worked?
We wound up getting "Billy" bookshelves from Ikea. Not exactly my first choice, but "he" comes in a variety of sizes, is tall, and the laminate can easily be wiped down. Won't hold up to a major spill of a messy liquid, though. Oh well.
(I'd been looking on craigslist, since our "pantry" is actually a store room/utility room. Often good prices, but I couldn't see storing the results of a Costco run - bags of flour and all - in a lighted heirloom hutch!)
Another consideration that's often overlooked is the lighting & visibility advantage of wire shelves - wire shelves allow light to get more places than wood shelves.
We had wire shelves in our old kitchen. I love the solid shelving we now have. Nothing falls through the cracks and you don't have to worry about the placement of certain items. We used to have to make sure the feet (say of a crockpot) were balanced on top of a wire.
Also, the wire shelves were much harder to clean.
We went with white melamine (???) adjustable shelving. Nothing is moved back into the kitchen yet so I can't report as to its effectiveness but I like the look and will like the ability to move things around easily (seems wherever we have the wire shelves, things get caught up in the wires).
People I know who have had the wire shelves don't like them. The openings are a pain for one thing. I guess you could put sheets of plexiglass over them. And they do get dirty and collect dust, being difficult to clean.
I've never liked wire shelves - things fall through them and other things wind up not sitting properly on them. I think it's easier to clean a solid shelf than the wire ones. In my house, no wire, please.
I didn't care for the wire either. They do make a tighter spaced wire that was a little better but I found it still to be a pain to have things seated just right to keep from tipping over. I'd prefer solid shelving.
DH is making our solid pantry shelves today. I can see wire for the bedroom closet for fabric items that air circulation would be desired, but in the kitchen? No wire for all the reasons mentioned above.
I agree with no wire, for all the reasons mentioned. We have an extra fridge in the basement that is the one we're living out of right now. I went for very inexpensive for that fridge, it has wire shelves and they make me insane. Small things are constantly falling over.
We bought some heavy duty shelves from Costco that we use for back up pantry type inventory in the basement and those also have wire shelves. I got lucky and some plastic sheets from Elfa which are designed to go over their wire shelving to keep things from falling through or tipping over happened to fit my Costco shelves. But yes, solid shelves for the pantry you'll be in and out of every day.
Thanks everyone. My contractor is making them so I told him shelves. Thanks!
Even for clothing, the wires leave impressions in the fabric.