replacing my stupid wire closet shelf & bar

So this morning I’m getting something out of my closet and my clothes go crashing to the ground. I’ve ALWAYS hated wire closet shelving. This is just another reason why. Furthermore I think they’re ugly, and only used because they’re cheap for home builders to use, while giving the impression that their stylish.

One of the biggest reasons I hate them though is that you’re forced to segment your hanging clothes into sections. Back in the olden days when you just had a single bar going from one end of the closet to the other, you could slide ALL of your clothes from one end to the other. This is handy for getting to the clothes hanging on the outside edges.

So, now that I have a reason to, I’m going to put in the old fashioned closet bar, either wooden pole or pipe. Then I’m going to put an old fashioned wooden shelf above that!

At least that’s what I WANT to do. What I’d like to find out from you guys is anything related to this project. For example:

What’s the maximum length I can have a closet rod spanning my closet without needing a center support of some type?

Do any of you know of online plans that I could get some ideas from? My google fu is weak, and I mostly only find references to those God-awful wire “organizing” systems.

My initial plan is to securely attach a wooden ‘plate’ (plywood rectangle perhaps?) on either side of the closet wall with a hole* in the center of it for the pole to fit into. Then place something close to a 1x12 across the top of those plates as a shelf.

*Yes I realize that I couldn’t easily get my pole in the hole if both sides are merely a hole; therefore one side would have to be a ‘U’ shape to drop the pole into.

So… anyone care to offer their suggestions? related stories? Reference websites?

Now we’re getting somewhere…

Replace the word ‘plate’ with the word ‘cleat’ for starters… :slight_smile:

Remember that the pole will flex with weight so make sure the sockets you insert the pole into are deep enough to still hold the pole when it flexes down from weight. You may wish to make the wood thicker than 1 inch. You still can only go so far without a support. I’d say 5 to 6 feet span for a middle rod support unless you use something like iron water pipe of a couple inches diameter, which will get a longer span.

I’m at work right now, so I’m not sure how wide my closet is. I’m thinking at least 6 feet. I left a voice mail with the spousal unit to get the measurements. I’m in agreement that if it goes over six feet, I might have to put a support bracket in the center. Not my ideal plan, but one support bracket in the center is better than a closet rod divided into six or seven sub sections.

I’ve done the same thing, 3 closets in my old house and a competely redesigned closet storage system in the walk-in in the new house. I’d agree that 5-6 feet is probably the max without a center support. I’ve found the support no big deal to get used to.

I found that a center support that is actually a board as deep as the hanging clothes which goes from floor to ceiling will allow the space under the hanging clothes to be turned into shelves for shoes or sweaters or such. Just a thought.

Hey that’s a pretty good idea. I was originally thinking of something more like this:

With a center divider board, it would make it easier to build shoe cubby holes and whatnot.

You’re using the wrong wire shelving. I’ve seen rod lengths of of 6’ if not longer in the ClosetMaid system.

I replaced all the wire racks in our master bedroom closet with those shelf/cubby storage systems they sell at Home Depot and Lowes. It wasn’t all that expensive (but it did cost some money) and it was really worth it. They’re completely modular so you can design any way you like. It was like this but they have other shapes and sizes too.

there are wall mounted shelf brackets which have a hanging bar support below its front edge. the shelf mounts above and the bar goes through so these can be placed near the ends or anywhere midway. think of a triangular wall mount shelf bracket with a U hanging below and to the front of one vertex.

I would completely agree with you on this. However I didn’t choose to use the wrong shelving, it’s what was in my closet when I purchased my house last year. I’ve see wire shelving with clothes rods. My closet just didn’t have that type (oddley enough, my wife’s walk in closet DOES have it). That being said, I’ve never been too thrilled with the way any wire closet organizers look anyway. My wife and I both want our closets re-done… this might be the catalyst that gets that project underway.

I replaced the original closet systems for my three bedroom closets with a home made, custom system consisting of off the shelf components from Lowes or Home Depot. Basically, stock drawers intended for their kitchen systems, melamine panels (including the pre-drilled ones for shelves), and just hacked them together custom for each closet. Each closet was a different size, and it was much more flexible to just do it myself. Cubbies and shelves and drawers and space for hanging clothing. Fantastic, and pretty much just as easy to fabricate myself as an off the shelf system.

I built a double pole design into a closet so I could have 2 levels of clothes. I used standard dowel rods and hardware for the purpose. What I didn’t have was the studs in the right place so I ran a 1x3 vertically up both sides of the wall and secured it to the wall board. Most of the weight is transmitted to the 1x3.

Another option would be to replace the existing wire shelf with a piece of “total-slide” wire shelf. (That’s Closet Maid’s brand name) This stuff lets you slide hangers end to end without hitting any supports. You may be able to swap the stuff without changing any of the existing brackets.

Or, if you really want to go all-out, Elfa makes great stuff, but at crazy-high prices. You can get pretty much the same quality though, from Rubbermaid. This is the kind of system where you screw a bar to the back wall of the closet near the ceiling, then rods hang down from this. Brackets for shelves or hanging rods clip in and it’s really nice stuff. We did our closets with this, and it had no troubles holding heavy theatrical costumes as well as regular clothes.

Herein lies the rub. The reason I’m doing this now is because my stupid closet came crashing down this morning. :frowning: The ahem “person” who installed it, didn’t put the center bracket on a stud, and it ripped a hole in the dry wall.

Ugh. We had sixteen of those wire closet systems screwing up otherwise good storage space. Slowly replacing them over time, but there are a lot remaining.

A quick tip for another irksome aspect – the wire grating leaves patterns on folded items stored on top of the shelf and lets smaller things fall through. Get a small box of self-adhesive vinyl floor tile. It’s awfully easy and quick to cut to size where edges hang over, and the self-stick backing makes installation a two-second affair. In the end, you have a smooth surface on top making the damned wire racks as close to a shelf as you can get without replacing them. Inexpensive mod, since you won’t really be looking at the surface you can go with generic white or beige flooring, about .20 a tile.