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Even more so than their methods of construction, one of the biggest differences in shelving types if the material they’re made out of. And while most shelving can meet whatever your storage needs are, there are certain things that different shelving materials are better at than others. If you want to figure out what specific shelving type would best meet the needs of your business, read this brief guide:

Wire Shelving

Wire shelving provides a sturdy, open, and aesthetically pleasing shelving solution for a wide number of storage needs of various sizes and weights. Thanks to their open construction and design, wire shelving is frequently seen in retail settings and product displays, as they can hold a large number of items without the more harsh ‘industrial’ look of other shelving types (unless that’s what you’re going for). It isn’t just retail, though – wire shelving is sturdy enough to store outgoing packages, automotive equipment, or almost anything else you might have.

Uses: Retail product display, long-term retail item storage, inbound/outbound package storage, home kitchen storage


Plastic Shelving


Plastic shelving, while just as sturdy as wire shelving in most cases, offers several different uses and advantages over other shelving types. Plastic shelving can be found in many different configurations, such as single-tier table-like designs, two-shelf systems lower to the ground, and more. A common usage for plastic shelving is in food storage – plastic is easy to clean, germ- and bacteria-resistant, and can withstand low temperatures to add extra shelving to any walk-in or industrial freezer setting. In a similar vein, plastic shelving is frequently used to store hazardous materials or chemicals such as paint thinner or automotive fluids.

Uses: Food storage, kitchen equipment, easy-access tool storage, HAZMAT/chemical storage, automotive products


Steel Shelving


Steel shelving is close to wire shelving in that they’re both made out of metal and can support large weights, but there are a few big differences that allow for different uses. As opposed to the more open design of wire shelving, steel shelving is available in a closed design closer to that of a bookcase, allowing for better separation of items. This is ideal for products that need to be kept apart and clean from one another, such as different building materials, different chemical products, or even different worker’s supplies such as hardhats and goggles. Steel shelving can also be given locking doors to keep equipment secure when not in use.

Uses: Secured storage behind a locked door, individual workers’ supplies, chemicals, materials


Whatever your business needs, has the storage solution you’re looking for. Browse our selection of industrial storage products and find what’s best for you, no matter what you need storage for.

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