Wood Racking and Shelving vs Metal Racking – What You Should Know

large warehouse with tiered storage

Wood Racking and Shelving vs Metal Racking – What You Should Know

Types of Rack Material

A popular thing to ask is if a person should get wood-based racking or metal-based racking. Why? The thought is that wood-based racking is cheaper. However, that may not be the truth when you look at the long term effects of a decision. Consider whether or not this is a stop-gap. A stop-gap meant to hold the line for something else later down the line.

Honestly, where you see this question come up the most is with the vertical farming/indoor growing sector. An interesting quandary because of the high use of wood-based products would seem counterintuitive. The use of a wood-based shelving system or racking system on a product that relies upon the water is odd as the slightest spill that goes unnoticed could cause problems over time. Also, the use of LED lights to grow their crops could be interesting since a slip up could start a fire and a few week’s worths of work can be gone very quickly. Yet, this brings up a good point and that is of mold on the product or the shelf itself. Wood is organic which means it attracts certain types of molds and even can attract insects. The mold or insects can get on your products and that is a massive problem depending on what you are holding on your rack space or shelf space. Metal-based racking systems tend not to have the same problem.

What about treated wood vs galvanized steel?

If the wood you use is treated then it has some resistance to water. In fact, pressure-treated wood should last 40 years according to most packaging. However, UMass found that “the average pressure-treated deck only lasts 9 years.”1 They went on to say that this was due to the fact that the wood still soaks in water and loses moisture over time. The fact that it does this means that it is moving and that movement means cracks, bends, and such until the wood has done so much damage to itself that it is no good anymore. Galvanized steel, which is the most likely used metal, in this case, lasts 35 to 50 years. It also tends to leave the steel strong because the zinc that is coated around the metal will react with water first. The byproduct of that is a longer-lasting and non-rotting product. You actually save money because you are getting the strength of steel and its resistance to water as long as you are getting a galvanized steel.

If you are looking for metal racking for your business then have a look at our products. If you want a used metal racking product then call us using the phone number in the footer. You can ask us what we have in stock. We just might have the perfect thing for your business.


Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood: Building and Construction Technology: UMass Amherst. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2020, from https://bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/articles/wood-myths-facts-and-fictions-about-wood/

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