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Industrial Kitchen Shelving Materials

Industrial Kitchen Shelving Materials

Industrial kitchen shelving materials include stainless steel, aluminum, polymer, wood, and glass. Stainless steel is one of the most popular industrial kitchen shelving materials, known for its durability, while aluminum is a more lightweight and cost-effective material. Polymer has high corrosion resistance, making it ideal for humid environments. At the same time, wood provides a natural and modern look to kitchen designs; while glass is fragile, it provides various design options and enhances ambiance.

Industrial Kitchen Materials:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Polymer
  • Wood
  • Glass

Making informed decisions about industrial kitchen shelving materials ensures a harmonious balance between durability, safety, aesthetics, and environmental responsibility in industrial kitchen settings.

Choosing the right industrial kitchen shelving materials impacts various factors, affecting the overall operation of commercial kitchens. It ensures durability and safety, improves hygiene, provides proper storage for kitchen needs, contributes to overall kitchen design, and enhances workflow.

Durability and maintenance are crucial considerations for shelving to withstand the demanding conditions of high-traffic kitchen environments, minimizing the need for frequent repairs and ensuring food safety standards are met through easy-to-clean surfaces. Cost-effectiveness and installation ease play a significant role in long-term viability, while compliance with safety regulations ensures a hygienic environment and mitigates risks.

Choosing aesthetically appealing and customizable options contributes to the kitchen’s ambiance and functionality, while eco-friendly options align with sustainability goals. Partnering with reliable suppliers ensures access to high-quality, compliant shelving solutions tailored to specific needs, fostering operational efficiency and safety.

Commercial Kitchen Shelving in a Pro Kitchen

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a durable and popular industrial kitchen shelving material. It is preferred in the construction of industrial kitchen shelving because of its strength, which endures heavy loads, wear, and tears in industrial kitchens. Corrosion resistance, easy-to-clean surface, and sturdy construction give stainless steel a longer lifespan than other materials. The considerations below reveal what to look for when choosing stainless steel industrial kitchen shelving.

Advance Tabco Stainless Steel Wall-Mounted Shelve
  • Durability: Gauge is a measurement of thickness that affects the durability of stainless steel shelving. A lower gauge number means thicker steel and higher durability. A gauge range of 12 (0.104″, 2.6 mm) to 14 (0,080″, 2 mm) is preferred for heavy-duty use, while a gauge range of 16 (0.064 “, 1.6 mm) to 18 (0.048 “, 1.2 mm) is enough for lightweight applications.
  • Weight Capacity: The weight capacity of a stainless steel shelving can range from 220.462 lbs (100 kg) to 1102.31 lbs (500 kg), depending on the design, size, and type of the steel. Steel is a mixture of iron, tungsten, carbon, nickel, manganese, and chromium. The ratio of the materials inside the mixture impacts the steel’s tensile strength. The tensile strength of a material is the amount of stress it can withstand under a load, which is high in steel, giving it a high weight capacity.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Steel’s corrosion resistance is affected by the ratio of materials inside, its coating, and the type of steel. Stainless steel, including nickel and chromium, strongly resists rust and corrosion. Two types of stainless steel are used mostly in industrial kitchen shelving: 304 stainless steel and 430 stainless steel. 304 stainless steel is an industrial standard kitchen shelving material with more resistance to corrosion and high durability. 430 stainless steel is a less costly option with lower resistance to corrosion than type 304. It is more suitable for dry storage and environments with less exposure to corrosion. Steel can be coated with antimicrobial epoxy, chrome-nickel, or galvanized for corrosion resistance and extra hygiene in industrial kitchen shelving.  
  • Shelving Style: Stainless steel is generally used for 5 commercial kitchen shelving below:
    • Wall Shelves
    • Racks
    • Dunnage Racks
    • Mobile Shelves
    • Wire Shelves
  • Vented or Solid: Vented stainless steel industrial kitchen shelves come in the shape of wire or pipes. They provide great air circulation and are ideal for dry storage and drying dishes. The air circulation keeps perishable goods fresh and safe for longer times. They are lightweight and easy to install, making them versatile for a variety of uses. The only downside is that vented shelves are more laborious to clean.

    Solid stainless steel industrial kitchen shelving consists of sturdy racks. They are easier to maintain and clean, and the frames prevent leakages. Since they have no gaps, unlike vented shelves, items of any size can be stored without risk of falling. They are not suitable for perishable goods since there is no air circulation.
  • Brands: Popular stainless steel industrial kitchen shelving brands are listed below:
    • Steelton
    • Eagle Group
    • Cambro
    • Metro Shelving
    • Advance Tabco
    • Channel
    • Atosa USA
    • BK Resources
    • Choice Equipment
    • John Boss
    • Omcan USA
    • Oscartek
    • Prairie View Industries
    • Tarrison


Aluminum is a moisture—and rust-resistant, lightweight, cost-effective, and sturdy industrial kitchen shelving material. Although aluminum industrial kitchen shelving is not as durable as steel, which has a softer construction, it is lightweight and rust-resistant, making it an ideal choice for dry and cold storage. The oxidized surface of aluminum shelving prevents rusting. Aluminum shares similar qualities with steel, such as ductility and thermal conductivity.

John Boos ALMBR-5W-X Aluminum Boat Rack

The thickness and structure of aluminum kitchen shelving make it sturdy. Thick aluminum provides stronger support and less deformation, while the lightweight structure makes it easy to install.

Aluminum is an odorless, more hygienic industrial kitchen shelving material than wood. Its smooth surface is easy to clean.

You can choose from three types of aluminum carcasses: ACP, solid silver, and powder-coated. ACP is composed entirely of aluminum, solid silver has a silver coating that gives shelves a bright look, and powder-coated carcasses prevent scratches. 

  • Shelving Style: Common style
    • Heavy Duty Shelves
    • T-Bar Shelves
    • Solid Shelves
  • Brands: Popular aluminum industrial kitchen shelving brands:
    • Choice Equipment
    • Eagle Group
    • John Boss
    • Lakeside
    • New Age
    • Prairie View Industries
    • Winholt
    • Akro-Mils
    • Equipto
    • Hallowell
    • Husky Rack & Wire
    • Lyon
    • New Age Industrial
    • Nexel
    • Penco
    • Shelving Inc.


Polymer (polypropylene) is a highly corrosion-resistant industrial kitchen shelving material. It consists of metal covered in a thick polymer exterior, making it highly durable. Polymer kitchen shelving is also easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It is the most expensive yet the most durable industrial kitchen shelving material.

Polymer kitchen shelving can withstand high humidity and abrasive chemicals, and the plastic covering makes it easy to clean. Its resistance to humidity and molds makes it ideal for use in humid kitchen environments such as coolers.

Polymer industrial kitchen shelving has a weight capacity of 600 to 3200 pounds (272.155 kg- 1451.495 kg). They are highly customizable and come in various sizes, models, enclosures, casters, dividers, and ledge options. The lightweight construction of polymer shelving makes it easy to install and rearrange and provides mobility.

  • Shelving Styles:
    • Vented Shelving Units
    • Solid Shelving Units
    • Adjustable Shelving
    • Antimicrobial Shelving
  • Brands: Popular polymer shelving brands are listed below:
    • Metro Shelving
    • Regency Shelving
    • Quantum Storage Systems
    • Eagle Group


Wood is a sturdy and long-lasting industrial kitchen shelving material that can be used in various areas. Wood industrial kitchen shelving gives the kitchen a high-end and natural look. The density of the wood determines its strength and durability. The higher the density, the higher the strength and weight capacity of the shelving.

Wood industrial kitchen shelving is not resistant to moisture and may crack or deform when exposed, except commercial grade options covered with waterproof finishes. Plywood, hickory, pecan, white oak, red oak, maple, and walnut are durable and high-quality wood options for kitchen shelving. They can be covered with various anti-microbial finishes and coatings like a clear coat, stain, and primer to protect the wood from scratches and stains and provide extra hygiene and ease of cleaning. Wood is a sustainable industrial kitchen shelving material that can be combined with any décor and transforms the kitchen with elegant designs.

  • Shelving Style:
    • Wall-Mounted Shelves
    • Free-Standing Units
    • Baker’s Racks
    • Dunnage Racks
    • Display Shelves
  • Brands: Below are renowned brands known for their high-quality wood shelving:
    • Advance Tabco
    • Metro Shelving
    • Regency Shelving


Glass is a fragile yet modern-looking industrial kitchen shelving material. With modern glass cutting technologies, you can create any shape of glass shelves to create specialty storage areas in your commercial kitchen. Glass shelves provide a wide-looking kitchen environment and modern design. 

Additionally, glass is an easy-to-clean material with a variety of options, including patterned, frosted, tinted, and painted. Colored glass lets you choose any color that matches your preferences and kitchen design.

  • Shelving Style: Common Styles of Glass Industrial Kitchen Shelving
    • Wall-Mounted Shelves
    • Floating Shelves
    • Modular Shelving Units
    • Corner Shelves
    • Microwave Shelves
    • Dish Rack Shelves
  • Brands: Popular Glass Shelving Brands are
    • Regency Shelving
    • Cambro
    • Metro Shelving

Considerations for Choosing Industrial Kitchen Shelving Material

It’s important to weigh six primary considerations to ensure optimal storage efficiency and safety when selecting material for commercial kitchen shelving. The choice of material significantly influences the shelving’s durability, maintenance needs, and operation safety. Additionally, cost-effectiveness, installation ease, and compliance with safety standards are vital factors. Emphasizing sustainable and eco-friendly materials, tailoring shelves to specific requirements, and selecting a trustworthy supplier are essential to securing durable, safe, and efficient kitchen storage solutions. Explore our guide on “24 Key Factors of Industrial Kitchen Shelving for Efficiency” for a more in-depth look into optimizing your kitchen’s storage capabilities.

Durability and Maintenance

Stainless steel and polymer are the most durable industrial kitchen shelving materials. Stainless steel, aluminum, polymer, and glass are all easy-to-clean materials. However, the shape and model of the kitchen shelving affect the ease of cleaning. For instance, solid shelves are easier to clean than vented shelves. Wood requires more maintenance compared to other materials. The finishes and coatings of the shelves provide extra hygiene and less maintenance.

Cost and Installation

Stainless steel is a durable and long-lasting industrial kitchen shelving material, putting it at the top of cost-effectiveness. Polymer is a costly yet the most durable material among others, requiring less maintenance, making it another cost-effective choice.

Aluminum kitchen shelving’s lightweight construction makes it easy to install and rearrange. All materials come in different styles and shapes of shelving, such as wall-mounted, cabinets, floating, and ceiling-mounted shelving, or standalone units with different installation processes.

Compliance and Safety

According to industry regulations and health specialists, industrial kitchen shelving material choice is critical for the hygiene and safety of food service businesses. Easy-to-clean and anti-microbial shelving surfaces, corrosion-resistant shelving materials, removable shelves for proper cleaning, and vented shelves for food items requiring air circulation are some compliance and safety solutions to create a hygienic and safe kitchen environment.

Knowing the weight capacity of the shelving and using proper material for different storage purposes ensures safety. Complying with the weight limitations of each material and avoiding overloading the shelves lowers the risks of accidents and prolongs the life of the kitchen shelves. Regular maintenance and cleaning should be ensured in food storage areas to comply with regulations and ensure food safety.

Aesthetic Appeal and Customization

Industrial kitchen shelving material significantly impacts the overall kitchen design. Stainless steel is a durable material that gives the kitchen an industrial look, while wood creates a more modern and cozy environment. Different materials cater to unique kitchen needs and can be used together to achieve a customized look. For example, depending on your requirements and preferences, you can opt for wood open shelves and stainless steel dry racks.

Considering Environmental Impact

The shelving materials can be recycled, ensuring eco-friendliness in commercial kitchens. For a reduced environmental footprint, you can opt for sustainable materials such as recycled wood, glass, or metal in industrial kitchen shelving. Sustainability is becoming a leading concern when choosing industrial kitchen shelving materials. Stainless steel has become a %80 sustainable material with a low carbon footprint manufacturing process and using scrap metal. Wood is an all-natural material, and using recycled wood keeps the carbon footprint very low.

Choosing the Right Supplier 

When choosing the right supplier for your commercial kitchen shelving material, you should consider the quality of materials, supplier reliability, customization options, and operation safety. Looking for experienced suppliers in the industry has various advantages, such as knowing the best solutions for different requirements and providing helpful insights for your company.

Product quality is another key point to look for when choosing a supplier. Look for high-quality and long-lasting shelving options for your kitchen that can endure heavy loads and meet your specific requirements. Customization meets the specific requirements of each operation, and a reputable supplier should offer customizable options to tailor to your kitchen’s needs. Lastly, do not forget to check your shelving brand’s safety compliance and certificates to minimize risks and ensure safety in your kitchen. You can get professional help from commercial kitchen equipment dealers and brand representatives about brands and their products.

Tiidy and Clean Rrestaurant Shelving


Industrial kitchen shelving materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, polymer, wood, and glass, offer unique advantages and cater to specific needs while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the space.

Stainless steel is renowned for its durability and ease of cleaning, making it ideal for high-demand environments. Aluminum shelves are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, suitable for dry storage and damp areas. Polymer options boast flexibility and are often used in environments requiring frequent cleaning. Wood shelves add warmth and traditional charm to any kitchen, perfect for dry storage and display areas. Glass shelving introduces a modern look and is best suited for light storage and display purposes.

Choosing the right kitchen shelving material enhances kitchen storage and creates a flawless work environment. Industrial kitchen shelving material has an impact on the durability of shelving, safety of the staff and kitchen, hygiene standards and compliance with regulations, aesthetic appeal, and overall efficiency of commercial kitchens. Ultimately, investing in the appropriate industrial kitchen shelving materials enhances operational efficiency, ensures compliance with industry standards, and fosters a positive experience for employees and customers.

Ş.Kaya, with a robust foundation in Western Languages and Literature, has been leveraging her expertise in language and communication since graduating with a bachelor's degree in this vibrant field. Her academic background has endowed her with a nuanced understanding of various cultures and languages, skills she has seamlessly transitioned into her professional career. Since 2021, Şebnem has been a key member of the content creation team at Chef's Deal, a company renowned for its comprehensive range of commercial kitchen equipment and services. In her role as an SEO content writer, Şebnem combines her passion for language and culinary arts to craft engaging, informative content. She focuses on the latest trends in commercial kitchen equipment, insights into the foodservice business, and practical tips for those involved in the industry. Her work aims to not only inform but also inspire her audience, reaching professionals seeking to enhance their operations or individuals passionate about culinary innovation. Şebnem's contributions are vital in helping Chef's Deal connect with its audience, providing valuable resources that support the growth and success of culinary professionals. Her ability to translate complex industry knowledge into accessible, compelling content has made her an invaluable asset to the team and a trusted voice for readers navigating the dynamic world of foodservice and commercial kitchen equipment.

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