If you're looking to buy shelving for your home, office or store it can be overwhelming to figure out what type of shelving is the best. With so many different shelving materials available, it is important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type before making a decision. This guide will help you find the shelving type and material most suitable for your needs.


Why is choosing the right shelving type important? 

Each type of shelving is best suited for a very specific application. Although it may seem as though most shelving types are the same, they widely differ in terms of materials, weight, sizing and durability. Determining the best and most cost-effective shelving solution is therefore essential for managing your businesses storage needs. While large warehouses will need a dependable and strong shelving system, the stockroom of your small business might require a lighter and smaller solution that is easy to keep clean. 


What kind of shelving material is best?

Metal makes for an excellent shelving material for commercial, light industrial, and even domestic environments as it is durable, affordable and easy to construct. It can be used in warehouses, offices, stock rooms and cold rooms as it can carry both heavy loads and stand cold temperatures. Metal shelves are also an increasingly popular option for retailers who wish to display their products to their customers in a modern setting. 

For larger warehouses, longspan shelving or heavy-duty shelving can often serve as a perfect solution, thanks to its sturdiness and stability. Longspan by definition means “spanning a great distance”, which in the shelving context refers to its ability to span great lengths. They are generally made of steel and are strong enough to carry heavy loads. 

Galvanised steel shelving is ideal for damp environments, or for storing greasy or oily products. It’s perfect for your DIY garage or workshop projects and suitable even for harsh outdoor environments. That is due to a zinc coating contained in the steel, which protects the metal and makes it resistant to rust. Galvanised steel shelving is perfect for storing lightweight parts, goods, or supplies.


Plastic is an excellent shelving material for the storage and display of light materials. It is a durable solution that is easily kept clean, allowing you to spend more time on what really matters for your business. Thanks to its little weight, it is easily moved around making it perfect for environments that are subject to change.


What is the strongest shelving material?

Broadly speaking, the main materials to be used when looking for a strong shelving solution are metal and wood. This includes materials such as steel, aluminium, chrome, plywood, timber and oak. 

Especially if you are operating a large warehouse, you need your shelving units to be durable and long-lasting as your shelving solution will often have to carry heavy loads. One of the strongest and most popular industrial shelving materials is steel shelving. It is both extremely robust and durable, easy to manoeuvre and adjustable. These are just some of the advantages of steel shelving. However, it is best for businesses that primarily deal with smaller products. 

If you are looking for a shelving solution that can hold heavier objects, heavy-duty longspan shelving is your answer. Its screwless design makes it easy and quick to assemble and means that there is no risk of loose screws. It is designed to be free-standing and perfect for holding bulky and awkwardly shaped objects.


Find your perfect shelving material with RackZone

At RackZone we offer a large variety of shelving types and materials. We aim to find you the perfect solution for your needs, no matter whether it’s for your large warehouse, your retail store or your DIY home project. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss our range of shelving, racking and storage options further at +353 (0)90 9673261 or email us at [email protected].