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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > How-To Articles > Building a Hanging Pot Rack

Building a Hanging Pot Rack

Are you tired of having pots and pans falling out of your kitchen cabinets every time you open them? If so, a hanging pot rack could be the answer to your crowded kitchen. With a few easy steps and a free weekend, you can be on your way to organized kitchen bliss. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

Tools & Materials


  • Ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Drill/driver
  • Drill bits
  • Hearing protection


  • 2x4 lumber
  • 2x lumber (The same dimension as your ceiling joists.)
  • 2x4 1/4" screw hooks
  • 0x2 7/8" screw eyes
  • 3/16" zinc plated proof coil chain
  • 3/4" dowel rods
  • 2 1/2" wood screws
  • Caulking

Size the Rack

Racks vary in size based on the dimensions of the rails and the number of dowel rods. Use the following steps to determine the size and number of parts for your rack. For clarity, we will use 38" long by 28" wide for our rack dimensions and 10" as the diameter of the largest piece of cookware we intend to hang from our rack.

Rail Dimensions

Cutting measurements for the examples given.

  • 1.The rails for the long sides of the rack should be equal to the overall rack length.
    Example: Our rack is 38" long.
    Cut two 2x4's 38" long.
  • 2.The rails for the short sides of the rack should be 3" less than the overall width of the rack.
    Example: Our rack is 28" wide.
    Short rails are 28" - 3" = 25".
    Cut two 2x4's 25" long.
  • 3.The dowel rods should be 1 1/2" longer than the short rails.
    Example: Our rails are 25" wide.
    Dowel rods are 25" + 1 1/2" = 26 1/2".
    Cut each dowel rod 26 1/2" long.

Dowel Rods and Dowel Holes

  • 1.Measure the diameter, in inches, of the largest item you intend to hang on the rack. Use that measurement as the on-centre (OC) spacing for the dowel rods. Example: Our largest piece is 10" in diameter. OC dowel rod spacing is 10".
  • 2.Mark the centre of each long rail and measure to the left and right of the centre mark using the OC spacing. Continue measuring and marking until your measurements extend past the ends of the long rails. Example: Our long rails are 38" long and our OC spacing is 10". Divide the length of the long rail by 2. Measure the result (19") to find the centre of each long rail. From the left end of each rail, measure 19" minus 10" = 9". Measuring another OC spacing to the left extends the mark past the left end of the rail so you have one dowel rod left of the centre dowel rod. Mark the right side of the rail as a mirror to the left.
  • 3.Cut the dowel rods to the predetermined length. For our rack there are three dowel rods 26 1/2" long.
  • 4.Use a 3/4" spade or forstner bit to bore 7/8" deep dowel holes, centred on the marks you made for the dowels. (The drilled face is the inside face of each rail.)

Building the Rack

Pot Rack assembly.

  • 1.Butt one end of each short rail to the inside face of one long rail. Flush one short rail with each end of the long rail. Use two 2 1/2" wood screws to secure the long rail to each short rail.
  • 2.Stand the assembly on edge with the long rail down and insert dowels into the dowel holes.
  • 3.Place the second long rail over the assembly. Insert the dowels into the dowel holes and align the short rails with the ends of the long rail. Use two 2 1/2" wood screws to secure the second long rail to each short rail.
  • 4.Paint or stain the assembly. Add an accent of decorative moulding to the side rails of your rack.

Installing the Hardware

  • 1.Measure in 3" from the end of each long rail and mark the centre of the top edge of the rail. Bore a pilot hole at each mark 1/2" shallower than the threaded portion of the screw eye.
  • 2.Halfway fill the pilot hole with silicone caulk and install a screw eye into each hole. Wipe away any excess caulk that squeezes out of the hole.
  • 3.Have two helpers on ladders hold the rack upside down against the ceiling, directly above where it will hang. Make marks on the ceiling corresponding to the screw eyes in the rack. The marks on the ceiling represent the locations for the screw hooks.
  • 4.Bore pilot holes into the ceiling 1/2" shallower than the threaded portion of the screw hook. If the screw hook holes don't fall on ceiling joists, install headers between the joists to hold the screw hooks:
Good idea: If you don't have access to your ceiling joists, consider hiring a professional to install the rack.
  • Go into the attic and locate each hole in the ceiling.
  • Measure the distance between the joists and cut headers to fit between them.
  • Insert a header over each hole and secure it to the joists with 20d nails at each end.
  • Go back and bore pilot holes in the headers 1/2" shallower than the threaded portion of the screw hook.
  • Fill the pilot holes halfway with silicone caulk and install a screw hook into each hole. Remove any caulk that squeezes out of the hole. Allow the caulk to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions.
SAFETY: Don't space screw eyes and hooks more than 48" OC. If your overall rack length is greater than 48", add one set of screw eyes and hooks for each 48".

Hanging the Rack

Hang the rack near the stovetop or over a kitchen island for easy access to your pots and pans. Don't hang the rack over a cooktop. The pots and pans will gather grease and can be a hazard if you lean over the cooktop to reach for a pan. Be sure to hang the rack based on your height. The rack should be low enough so you can easily reach a pan, but high enough so the pots and pans are not in the way. To hang your rack:

  • 1.Cut four pieces of chain twice as long as the distance from the top of the rack to the ceiling.
  • 2.Slip a piece of chain through each screw eye and lay it over the top of the rack.
  • 3.Have two helpers hold the rack in position while you place the end links of each piece of chain over the corresponding screw hooks.
  • 4.Use S hooks to hang pots and pans from the dowels. Bend the top of the S hooks closed to keep them from coming unhooked from the dowel.

After your rack is up, accessorize it by wrapping artificial ivy around the chain or placing a basket of artificial plants or flowers on top of the rack.

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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