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Handyman, Is Wood or Metal Better for Closet Rods?


closet rodsA closet rod falling down is a classic handyman job. The closet rod gets loaded up with far more weight than it is designed for and the homeowner wonders why it fell down. So the question of which is better, metal or wood, doesn’t have as much to do with the material as it does with how it is installed.

The key here is to distribute as much of the weight as possible over the length of the rod and wall it is attached to. I’m always amazed when I see a clothes rod secured on each end with no support in the middle. Do you think that would stop people from hanging too much weight on them? Nope. Wood rods will bow in the middle to the point of breaking.

At the very minimum, the rod should be braced on each end and in the middle. Depending on the length of the rod, it may be a good idea to add more bracing in between each end and the middle support for a total of five support points. That might sound extreme, but over a long wall it isn’t.

Wood rods use a shelf support and a hook for the rod. Metal rods are integral to the shelf and are supported with various wall anchors. When supporting these, you will get more support and stability when you install into the studs, regardless of whether the rod is made of wood or metal.



Many homeowners are calling their local handyman to install closets systems, often the vinyl-over-metal systems made by Closet Maid and others. These systems have the same requirements to be supported every few feet. The manufacturers make braces and all kinds of hardware to make this easy, but installers – whether professionals or DIYers – sometimes overlook this step for appearance and to maximize the space. This is a short sighted decision, as the dead weight of clothes not only bows the shelves, but can pull them out of the wall.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:13 AM by Joaquin Erazo Jr.
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