What do I need to know to choose a rack that will work in my home?
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.
How to figure out the size rack you need:
Find out the height of your ceiling. In the example above, this is 9 ft. high (see A).
Reach your arm into the air as if you were reaching for the bottom of a pot or pan. Find out what this height is (see B1). Typically, this would add 6-10 inches to your height, depending on the length of your arms. In our example, we'll assume a 5'6" person. They would want the bottom of their pan to be about 6' 2" up in the air (see B2).
Remember: you do not need to be able to reach the hanging hooks on your pot rack. You only need to reach the bottom of the pan to lift it off the hook.
If you subtract the "reaching height" from your ceiling height, there are 34 inches of space left over (see C above). This space needs to encompass the height of your rack and the length of your pans.
Calculating if the rack fits
Now you need to find out the height of the rack you like. On the item page of each Enclume Pot Rack, the height of the rack is listed. This is from the ceiling to the bottom of the pot hook.
If, in our example, this person wanted a Three Foot Oval (PR16b), they would have a rack that is 22" high (see D above). Their pots then need to hang at least 12 inches below here for them to reach, since their reaching height is 6'2" and the ceiling is 9' tall. (see E above). A small, 2-cup pot is about 10" long; a 12" skillet (with handle) is about 21" long. Your pots will range from 32" to 43" below the ceiling (F). You may have to stretch a bit to reach the little pots, but the rack should fit nicely without any adjustments.
Important note: In our example, the racks is hanging over a kitchen islands. Remember in this case you need to reach not only up, but in. You need six inches of clearance on all sides, so you'll need to add to the distance down you need your pots to hang for you to reach them (see H above). See the small pot in the middle of the rack? That will need to hang toward the outside for you to reach it easily.
How do I make adjustments if my rack is not a perfect fit?
In our example, everything works out well with one exception - the Three Foot Oval has 12" hanging holes, and most ceilings have 16" joists (including our example - see G). The rack fits nicely, but with Enclume racks needing 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 we 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.
Too high or too low?
A different problem would be having a ceiling that hangs with your pots out of reach (too high) or one where the pots are in your way (too low). Enclume racks are generally designed for a 9 foot ceiling. If your ceiling is lower than this, our low-ceiling racks are your best options (PR12 and PR13). They measure only 8.5" high.
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. Chain is sold in 1 foot segments but will be cut to meet your specifications. The other option is extension hooks, which come in 5", 7", 10" and 15" lengths. Please note that chain and extension hooks are considered accessories and need to be added to your rack purchase.
Where would I put a rack?
Hanging racks most commonly go over kitchen islands or peninsulas. Other common places are over a sink or counter. Racks do not have to actually hang over anything, although a higher ceiling may be needed in order to ensure adequate clearance of racks in the open.
Wall racks are terrific between cabinets or below a cabinet between two longer cabinets. Utensil bars are often mounted over stoves or on top of open space where utensils or pots can hang.