You may need to store the lumber you just bought for that new storage shed until you can get around to the project. Or maybe you’d prefer to save the expensive teakwood left over from the bookcase you made, rather than throw it away. No matter the reasons, you’ll need an area to keep that wood—an area that’s protected from the elements and easy to access.
This is where a good lumber storage rack can be the difference between wood that stays flat and dry and wood that gets wet on the garage floor, warps, and becomes unusable. Most lumber storage racks attach to garage or workshop walls, but they can also go on ceilings or stand on their own. The following picks are among the best lumber storage rack options for weight support and convenience.
- BEST OVERALL: Bora Wood Organizer and Lumber Storage Metal Rack
- BEST BUDGET: Homydom Wood Organizer and Lumber Storage Metal Rack
- BEST INDOOR/OUTDOOR: CX Original 4-Tier Storage Shelving Unit
- BEST OVERHEAD STORAGE: FLEXIMOUNTS 2-Piece Overhead Garage Storage Rack Set
- BEST UPRIGHT RACK: Tangkula 72″ Storage Shelves, Heavy Duty Steel Frame
- BEST FOR PLYWOOD: Wallmaster Garage Storage Tool Organizer Rack
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: DeWalt Shelving 41950 Storage
- BEST SMALL-CAPACITY: FLEXIMOUNTS 2-Pack 1x4ft Garage Storage Rack
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lumber Storage Rack
Along with other construction materials, lumber is becoming more and more expensive, so it only makes sense to store it securely. The market offers a variety of wood-storage solutions, and picking the best lumber storage rack depends on the type of wood being stored, among other factors. Storage rack types range from open racks to enclosed garage cabinets, and the best lumber racks for one DIYer may not be suitable for another.
Every garage or workshop is different, which is why the best lumber racks vary in how they store wood and where they sit or hang. When selecting a type of rack, keep in mind the amount of free space available, the most common kinds of projects, and the environment inside the workshop or garage.
- Freestanding lumber rack: Well suited to workshops with ample floor space, freestanding lumber racks can be stationary or portable (with wheels). They can hold a variety of wood types, such as salvaged lumber or plywood sheets. They’re also among the best—and sometimes the only—option for renters who are not able to attach racks to walls or a ceiling.
- Wall-mounted lumber rack: One of the handiest ways to store lumber while keeping it off the floor is to keep it on a wall-mounted lumber rack. Racks that attach to the wall may come as a single unit or as multiple units that can be installed at different spacing to hold various sizes of lumber. Most wall-mounted racks do not extend farther than about 18 inches from the wall.
- Ceiling-mounted lumber rack: When there’s minimal wall or floor space available for storing wood, look to the ceiling. Ceiling-mounted racks are suitable for holding dimensional lumber, molding, and scraps. The key here is to ensure the racks are securely attached to the ceiling joists to store wood safely.
In general, most lumber storage racks are made from metal of some type—steel or aluminum—to give them strength and holding power. Some also feature wooden or laminate-type shelves and rubber endcaps to protect users from scratches.
Steel racks often come with a powder-coated exterior, which serves to protect the rack from rusting and corrosion. Others may feature molded polyethylene bumpers to protect valuable wood from coming into contact with metal. Most lumber racks are made with an open-air design, such as an overhead rack with a steel grill that allows the wood to breathe.
Available storage space varies widely from one lumber rack to the next; some are designed to hold narrow trim boards, while others will hold large sheets of plywood. Among the top factors when shopping for a lumber rack is how much storage space the rack offers. It’s generally a better idea to err on the side of installing a rack with more storage space to avoid having to buy another down the road if storage needs increase.
How much space the rack itself will occupy is also worth considering. When selecting wall-mounted racks, pay attention to how far they extend from the wall, in case they’re going on the wall of a small garage and it will be necessary to pull a car into the garage stall, for example.
Lumber, especially if it’s in the form of large wooden boards, can get heavy fast. While most lumber storage units are metal storage racks, they all come with weight limitations. Some will hold as little as 60 to 80 pounds, while others are designed to hold up to 1,000 pounds or more.
In addition to the rack’s weight capacity, if a wall- or ceiling-mounted rack is installed, the user must take into account how much weight the wall studs or ceiling joists can support. In some cases, installing the racks might require blocking between studs or joists. This information usually appears in the rack’s installation specifications, but if there are questions about the weight capacity of joists, consult a contractor or engineer before installing a mounted rack.
Ease of Installation
Freestanding lumber racks often require assembly, which varies in difficulty from model to model. Some are simple to assemble and come with all the fasteners needed, while others may require the use of hand or power tools.
Mounting a lumber rack is a little more complicated because it requires knowing how to locate the wall studs or ceiling joists (if it’s a finished garage or workshop), then securely attaching the rack to the framing members. Most mounted racks will come with their own fasteners engineered to support them safely.
If blocking becomes necessary, it adds another element of challenge to the installation. Fortunately, if the user does not intend to store wood that’s heavy, blocking may not be necessary.
Our Top Picks
Lumber racks vary widely in size, type, and weight capacity. The following racks earned a spot in this lineup because they offer secure wood storage for a variety of uses. Some safely hold hundreds of pounds of lumber, while others are designed to hold lighter-weight trim boards. Check out the picks in this lineup before making a trip to the lumberyard to stock up on wood.
Each of the six shelves of this metal storage rack from Bora can support up to 110 pounds of weight. Together, that’s more than 600 pounds of lumber the rack can hold. It consists of two 41-inch-tall vertical iron braces, each featuring six bar shelves made from 12-inch powder-coated steel tubes for strength.
The racks are designed to install 4 to 6 feet apart and must attach to garage or workshop wall studs for support. Each shelf offers 7½ inches of lumber storage space. To store longer boards (10 feet or more), install additional racks end to end.
- Type: Wall-mounted rack
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds (110 pounds per shelf)
- Dimensions: 41 inches high, up to 72 inches wide, 12.5 inches deep
- Holds heavy lumber
- 6 individual shelves
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- Requires ability to align fasteners on walls
Getting a high-quality lumber storage rack doesn’t require spending a lot. If there isn’t enough wall room for a tall storage rack, check out the Homydom Lumber Storage Rack, which comes in two sets for split installation on walls with less vertical space. The vertical bars in each rack set can mount up to a maximum of 6 feet apart. Install the sets on different walls, or install them end-to-end to store extra-long boards.
Each shelf of the Homydom storage rack will hold up to 110 pounds, and the shelves are 16 inches wide with a 7-inch vertical space between shelves. The shorter overall height of these racks (17 inches from top to bottom) makes them suitable for installing on a wall over a workbench. Best of all, these lumber racks are an affordable solution for storing wood.
- Type: Wall-mounted rack
- Weight capacity: 110 pounds per shelf
- Dimensions: 17 inches high, 16 inches deep, adjustable width
- Alloy-steel components
- Space-saving design
- Versatile installation choices
- Installation requires attaching to studs
Projects don’t always take place in a workshop, and those who are building an on-site playhouse, storage shed, or doghouse will be able to store the lumber they need next to the project, rather than walking back and forth from the garage every time they need a different piece of wood. The CX Original storage unit is freestanding and made to withstand the outdoor elements, although wood is not—so move lumber indoors before rain or snow, or cover it with a tarp before stopping work for the night.
The CX Original storage unit is 20 inches deep, 48 inches wide, and 55 inches high, and it’s rated to hold up to 200 pounds. The stand is well suited to holding standard studs as well as trim and molding boards. With this unit’s four shelves, the different types of wood can be organized by size or type.
- Type: Freestanding
- Weight capacity: Up to 200 pounds
- Dimensions: 55 inches high, 48 inches wide, 20 inches deep
- Easy to assemble
- Can be used to hold wood outdoors or in a shop
When wall space is at a premium, consider stowing extra lumber in an overhead rack such as this lumber storage rack from Fleximounts that bolts securely to a garage’s ceiling joists for support. The rack measures 96 inches long and 48 inches wide, and the drop-shelf height from the ceiling adjusts from 22 to 40 inches to allow for installation above the level of a garage door.
The Fleximounts rack material is cold-rolled, 14-gauge steel and should hold a maximum of 600 pounds of evenly distributed weight. The rack will store lumber up and out of the way while keeping it dry and ready for use. Purchase includes two racks.
- Type: Ceiling mount
- Weight capacity: Up to 600 pounds
- Dimensions: 96 inches long, 48 inches wide, 40 inches tall (adjustable) (each rack)
- Makes use of overhead space
- Leaves room for vehicle to park beneath
- Frees up space in shop or garage
- Overhead installation may be challenging
If floor space permits, check out the Tangkula Storage Rack, which occupies an 18-inch by 3-foot footprint and tops out at 72 inches high. The upright storage rack comes with five shelves made from alloy steel and engineered wood to prevent rusting, and each shelf is rated to hold up to 585 pounds of evenly distributed weight. As with most lumber racks, always spread out the weight rather than putting it all in one spot.
Position multiple Tangkula racks end to end to store longer boards and adjust individual shelves up or down to accommodate taller or shorter stacks of wood. Store wider wooden boards (up to 18 inches wide) on the lower bar shelves between the vertical braces.
- Type: Freestanding
- Weight capacity: 585 pounds per shelf (evenly distributed weight)
- Dimensions: 72 inches tall, 36 inches wide, 18 inches deep
- Tall storage solution
- Alloy-steel frame for strength
- Interlocks with additional units
Large sheet-type materials, such as plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), or drywall, can be challenging to store off the ground due to their unwieldy size. The Wallmaster Garage Storage Organizer can change all that.
This wall-mounted storage rack set comes with three 16-inch-long iron plates that can be installed next to one another or spaced apart. Each plate holds two sets of rack arms that extend 8.7 inches outward. Each rack arm features nonslip coating, and the ends of the arms tip upward to hold sheet material firmly in place. In all, the set will hold up to 265 pounds—or about four sheets of ¾-inch plywood that weigh about 60 pounds each, keeping the material off the floor so it doesn’t get wet.
- Type: Wall mounted
- Weight capacity: Up to 265 pounds
- Dimensions: 9 inches deep, 4 inches high, 48 inches wide (installed continuously)
- Set of 3 will hold plywood panels
- Keeps material off the ground
- Nonslip rack arms prevent material from slipping off
- Not designed to hold more than a few panels
Those looking for an extra-tough storage rack that will hold a lot need look no further than DeWalt’s shelving storage, which will support up to 4,500 pounds of well-distributed weight. From a name with a national reputation for high-quality power tools and building supplies, the shelf’s racks can support up to 1,500 pounds each. It is made from powder-coated steel and features extra cross straps that add to its overall robustness.
The cross straps do interfere slightly with storing long pieces of wood, but the uppermost shelf is free from any encumbrances. The lower two shelves each feature a wide base area suitable for placing longer boards. Each shelf is supported by five straps that prevent the rack from twisting under heavy loads. The DeWalt rack stands 4 feet tall, 18 inches deep, and 50 inches wide.
- Type: Freestanding
- Weight capacity: Up to 4,500 pounds (1,500 pounds per shelf)
- Dimensions: 48 inches tall, 50 inches wide, 18 inches deep
- Rugged and well made
- Holds more weight than most
- Cross straps for added stability
- Cross strap limits long-board storage
Woodworkers and crafters might not need to store heavy framing boards or plywood. Fleximounts offers a handy storage solution for artisans who will keep trim boards, picture frame boards, dowels, and more stored safely and in a tidy, organized manner.
Each Fleximounts shelf is 48 inches wide and just 12 inches deep and comes with a back bracket that’s just 4 inches from top to bottom. The rack’s shelving features 1-inch grids to allow for ample air circulation. Surprisingly, each shelf will support up to 150 pounds of evenly distributed weight, so while it’s compact, piling on the boards should be fine.
- Type: Wall mounted (2-pack)
- Weight capacity: Up to 150 pounds per shelf
- Dimensions: 4 inches tall, 48 inches wide, 12 inches deep
- Open grid racks for circulation
- Steel construction
- Requires level installation in studs
While the racks on this lineup are all well suited for various wood storage needs, the Bora lumber storage rack takes top honors for its six-shelf design and ability to hold up to 600 pounds. Our budget pick, the Homydom Wood Organizer, comes with four individual shelf supports that can be configured to hold extra-long boards, making it a versatile storage solution at an affordable price.
How We Chose the Best Lumber Storage Racks
We extensively researched dozens of lumber storage solutions before settling on the ones in this lineup. In choosing the best ones, we looked at various features, including weight capacity, the type of lumber the racks could hold, and the overall stability of the racks.
Since different users have very different wood-storage needs, we didn’t limit the field to only racks specified for lumber. Instead, we opened up the competition to various racks as long as they were suitable for storing wood. We also looked at brand reputation; a rack like the DeWalt pick for heavy-duty use was considered because that brand is renowned for high quality.
However, we didn’t immediately dismiss lumber storage racks from lesser-known companies if they featured good-quality construction and design. We also awarded points for straightforward assembly, and while we didn’t subtract points when the rack had to be installed on wall studs or ceiling joists, we did note that it was a more complex installation.
Organization is the key to keeping DIY projects on track and going smoothly. For those who work with wood, that means having a place to store the boards where they’re easy to access yet protected from the elements. Questions are likely from those who want to set up a workshop or crafting room and are looking for storage solutions.
Q: Why do I need a lumber storage rack?
A lumber storage rack helps organize the boards and keeps them off the floor or ground.
Q: What is the best temperature to store wood at?
Fluctuating temperatures don’t affect lumber greatly, but moisture does. Store wood in a dry area if possible to keep it from swelling and warping.
Q: Can I store lumber in the garage?
Yes. It’s better than storing it outdoors, but garage floors can be damp, so store it up off the ground.
Q: What is the best way to store wood on a lumber rack?
Stack same-size boards on top of one another to keep them flat and straight.