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Choosing and Installing a Kitchen Pot Rack

August 05, 2019 3 min read

Where Should I Hang A Pot Rack?

If you're hanging pots, pans, and stove top cooking utensils, choose a location that's near your range. If you plan to hang items like colanders, bowls, strainers, whisks, and graters, the pot rack could be useful over a prep area. In both cases, it should be mounted away from busy thoroughfares so no one bumps a head.

Pot racks most commonly hang above kitchen islands or peninsulas. Some are useful over a sink or counter or placed between cabinets. Should you have a space in the open to hang a pot rack ensure that ceilings are high enough to allow adequate clearance between the lowest object and the forehead of any guest!

Choosing and Installing a Kitchen Pot Rack

How Do I Choose a Pot Rack That Will Work In My Home?

The best height for the hanging pot rack is approximately 42" above the counter space below. It should be low enough so you can easily move a pan on or off by merely extending an arm but high enough so the rack and pans aren't an obstruction. You need to know the following measurements:

A) The height of your ceiling; and
B) The height of the person using the rack and what a comfortable reach is for them.

With this information we can figure an approximate height at which the bottom of the pot rack should hang.

Let Us Do The Math For You!

We will assume that you are a 5'4" (64") person. A comfortable reach is typically 6 - 10 inches, so we will add 6" to your height, 64"+ 6" = 70". This is your reaching height.

Next we figure how much room is normally used for pots & pans. A small, 2-cup pot is about 8" long; a 12" skillet (with handle) is about 21" long so a general rule would be that your pots need to hang at least 8 inches below the bottom of the pot rack for them to be in reach.

So, we add the 8" for pots and pans to your reaching height of 70" and this gives us an 78" height for the bottom of your pot rack.

Assuming your ceiling height is 10' or (120"), we subtract the 78" and this would give you a 42" area in which to fit your pot rack.

Calculating The Fit Of The Rack

Now you need to find a pot rack you like. For our example lets say that you want the oval iron pot rack that is 18" high. Subtract the 18" for the height of the pot rack from the 42" area you have available and this would give you 24" left over. So you would need to hang the top of the rack @ 24" below the ceiling.

Important Note! If the pot rack is hanging over a kitchen island you'll need to reach not only up, but in. Allow six inches of clearance on all sides and add that to the distance required for you to reach pots comfortably.


Your pot rack needs to be mounted into solid wood. If your joist runs parallel with the rack, you can mount it by drilling two holes in the same joist. If your joists are perpendicular, however, then you need to find another way to hang it. The easiest way to solve this problem is to use a ceiling plate. A ceiling plate has two eye bolts. They are attached to a plate that has holes drilled in it at the distance apart that your joists are. The ceiling plate is mounted into the ceiling, and the rack hangs from the plate.

How Do I Make Adjustments If The Rack Is Not A Perfect Fit?

Pot racks are generally designed for a 9 foot ceiling. If your ceiling is lower than this, a low-ceiling rack is your best option. They measure 4" and up in height. If your ceiling is higher than this, the rack will need to be lowered. There are two options for this. One is with chain. The advantage with chain is it is flexible; if you are off in your measurement, you can simply take it up a link to make the chain shorter. The other option is extension hooks, which come in different lengths.

Please note that on some pot racks, chain and extension hooks are considered accessories and need to be added to your purchase.

View our selection of Wrought Iron Kitchen Pot Racks .