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How To Hang Pot Rack From Ceiling [Inc. Without Studs]

Kitchen organization can make or break a cooking and in-home experience. With an eye on this, you wonder how to hang pot racks from the ceiling.

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Well, in this post, we have scoured the internet to provide an instructional list to answer your question fully. We include directions for those locations with and without studs.

There are three main ways to hang a pot rack from the ceiling. The first and most common way is to identify your ceiling joist (stud) locations and attach the rack through the drywall into these structural pieces of framing lumber.

However, if there are no joists or structural framing where you want to hang your pot rack, you can use drywall anchors. Also, it's possible to use a mix of these techniques and employ cross joist bracing.

Keep reading the rest of this post for details on the above methods for hanging pot racks. We include step-by-step directions so you can accomplish this task yourself at home. To conclude, we answer several questions related to the topic of this post and provide a valuable additional reading list.

Kitchen wall rack for hanging pots, pans, aprons, and other utensils for storage and decor, How To Hang Pot Rack From Ceiling [Inc. Without Studs]

How To Hang A Pot Rack From The Ceiling

As mentioned above, hanging pot racks from structural framing is most common. These elements are known as 'ceiling joists' when running across the ceiling.

Attaching to framing is the first choice because pots, pans, and racks are often hefty. Using this method drastically reduces the chance of attachment failure.

That being said, there is a wide range of drywall anchors available on the market that are generally sold with a total weight rating.

If you carefully install these anchors and follow their weight limits, your pot rack should stay secure. Finally, cross joist bracing involves adding sturdy material to your ceiling to hang your pot rack off of.

Take note; this project generally requires ladders, which is, according to OSHA, one of the most dangerous occupational hazards. Thus, be careful when the ladder works, and do not be afraid to ask for help!

A set of pots and pans hanging with light above from pot rack in a dark kitchen

How To Hang A Pot Rack From Ceiling Joists

To hang pot racks from the ceiling joists, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the appropriate joist locations.
  2. Predrill a hanger hole.
  3. Screw the hanger into the pre-drilled hole.
  4. Hang your pot rack from the hangers.

We cover these in detail using the following subsections.

1. Identify Appropriate Joist Locations

First, you need to identify where you will hang your pot rack. This involves accessing the pot rack limitations and your ceiling pattern.

For example, if you have a large rectangular pot rack, there are only so many places the hangar chains can reach with ceiling joists that also place the pot rack in a convenient location for your kitchen.

Kitchen Rack full of hanging frying pans

Once you have established an area where you want the rack.

Use a ladder, a pencil, tape measure, and a stud finder to mark out your ceiling joist locations that correspond to where you want to hang the pot rack.

Be sure to find the center of the studs to provide the most sturdy fastening.

Take note; usually, ceiling joists are 16" on center. While this information will help you find joists, it is wise to double-check the location with a stud finder.

2. Predrill Hanger Hole

Now, pre-drill the hole for your hanger. Usually, the pot rack will come with a hanger. You may also have to buy hangars, such as eye-bolts of hooks, from your local hardware store.

Either way, ensure that the hangers are designed to hold the total weight of the pot rack.

Click here for eye-bolts from Amazon.

To properly pre-drill the hole, choose a bit that is the size of the hanger shaft.

Therefore, if you hold the bit in front of the threaded part of the hanger, the threads of the hanger will still be visible, but the shaft will be covered.

This size of pre-drilling helps keep the joist from splitting and makes screwing in the hanger easier.

3. Screw Hanger Into Predilled Hole

Now, screw your hangers into the pre-drilled holes. Consider using a crescent wrench to assist if the hanger becomes hard to screw in.

As you near the drywall with the hanger attachment point, keep an eye on the direction you want the hanger to face. This will impact how the rack eventually hangs.

4. Hang Pot Rack From Hanger

Now, hang the pot rack from your attached hangers. As long as the hangers bite deeply into the center of the ceiling joists, you are good to go!

How To Hang A Pot Rack From Drywall Anchors

Lunch preparation is underway in this small commercial kitchen with wooden cutting board and pot rack

To hang your pot rack from drywall anchors, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase your drywall anchors.
  2. Pre-drill the anchor locations.
  3. Install the anchors.
  4. Attach your rack to the drywall anchors.
  5. Monitor pot rack and drywall attachments.

We cover these steps in the following subsections.

1. Purchase Drywall Anchors

When shopping for anchors, take note that different anchors are rated for different weights and drywall thicknesses. Also, there are many kinds of anchors.

For this task, use expanding or butterfly-style anchors.

Click here for drywall anchors from Amazon.

Butterfly-style anchors spring open after they are inserted into the ceiling. By this method, they spread the weight of whatever is attached to them over a relatively large area.

No matter what anchor you use, take the time to do the math about how many pounds drywall can hold and how strong your anchor is.

2. Predrill Anchor Locations

After you have marked out your anchor locations, pre-drill those marks, use a drill bit that is as small as possible while still large enough to let the entire drywall hanger pass through.

3. Install Anchors

Now, poke the anchor through the hole. You will be able to fill it when it opens up and as it grabs on the upper side of your drywall. Be careful; if you push the anchor in too far, it will disappear into your ceiling.

4. Attach Rack To Drywall Anchors

Once you have all of your anchors installed, attach your rack to those anchors.

Be sure to not rest the entire rack on a single anchor for situations where you are hoping to spread the weight of the rack out over multiple anchors.

Further, it is essential to equalize the anchors by ensuring that all attachment chains or mechanisms are the same distance from the rack.

5. Monitor Pot Rack And Drywall Attachment Points

Be sure to watch your ceiling for cracks and other signs of failure. If you did everything right, you should have nothing to worry about.

However, the natural swinging and bumping that pot racks undergo can eventually add wear and tear to your ceiling and cause anchors to fail down the road.

Hang Pot Rack From Cross Joist Bracing

This section covers a final method for hanging a pot rack.

This method is a mix of using joists and no joists. The biggest downside of using bracing is the sometimes unsightly cross-brace being visible on your ceiling.

Cross joist bracing is a simple technique that allows you to situate solid dimensional lumber in the spot where you want to attach your pot rack hanger.

View these heavy-duty screws on Amazon.

To accomplish this, identify where you have joists in your ceiling. Then, measure and cut 2 x 4s that span from joist to joist over where you want your pot rack hanger to go.

Use 5" or longer screws to fix the brace onto the ceiling and into the ceiling joists. Once you have done this, you will have a perfect spot to set your joist hanger.

Additional Questions

Set of kitchen metallic pans hanging on a pot rack in the kitchen

In the following subsections, we answer some good other questions.

How Much Weight Will Drywall Hold?

Most drywall will hold about 1.2 to 2.1 pounds per square foot. However, expect old drywall to have much less weight and thinner 1/2-inch drywall to be less robust.

Can You Hang Heavier Things On Drywall?

As described in this post, hanging heavy things on drywall is possible. It is essential to use specialized drywall anchors and hangars to facilitate this process.

If you are worried about overloading a single point, consider spreading the weight across many anchors and a wider section of drywall.

To Wrap Up

Kitchen wall rack for hanging pots, pans, aprons, and other utensils for storage and decor

In this post, we answered how to hang a pot rack from the ceiling.
We include three separate ways.
One of these ways is specifically for locations where you cannot access your ceiling joists or studs. To conclude, we answer several related questions and provide an additional reading list. Good luck!