Wire Shelving vs Louvered Panels: How Do I Organize My Storage Bins?

Mar 23, 2017

Whether starting from scratch or reconfiguring an existing space, the decision of how to best organize plastic storage bins is one that needs to be made.  One of the first decisions to be made is “do I put my storage bins on shelving or hang them from louvered panels?”  Because wire shelving is the most popular style of shelving across many industries, we’ll focus on louvered panels versus wire shelving.
Here are the pros and cons of each storage solution:

Louvered Panels

A louvered panel is a flat sheet of steel with a system of slits which form rows of tabs for hanging storage bins.  Louvered panels can be mounted directly to a wall or used in freestanding floor racks.

Pros: Louvered panels install very quickly and bins can be rearranged with little effort.  Wall-mounted louvered panels have a number of unique benefits: The smaller-sized panels allow for a more compact utilization of space where an entire shelving unit might not be warranted.  Mounting louvered panels to the wall also allows for easy sweeping and mopping underneath since there are no feet or legs touching the floor.  Wall-mount panels also provide a very low profile and help conserve room in narrow spaces.  Free-standing louvered racks are also a great option because they allow for the quick reconfiguration of bins without the need to fasten anything to the wall.  Double-sided floor racks provide a convenient point-of-use station for supplies.  Many new accessories such as peg hooks, shelves, and mobile units are available to give even more utility to this heavy-duty storage option.

Cons: Louvered panels are made specifically for use with storage bins that have a lip for hanging.  Although the most popular storage bins on the market, AkroBins, have this feature, this does somewhat limit your options.  Louvered panels also come in a more limited range of sizes than wire shelving.

Wire Shelving

Wire shelving units consist of a series of individual shelves supported by a series of vertical posts.  Wire shelving units are typically freestanding units with leveling feet to provide a solid and secure storage location.

Pros: Wire shelving is available in a wide range of sizes and can hold just about any size or style of plastic storage bin on the market.  Wire shelves have an open-deck design which lets both light and dust pass through, providing high visibility and a clean storage space.  There are a wide variety of accessories available for wire shelving including casters, shelf dividers, labeling solutions and more.  There are also utility carts and wall-mount systems that can be made from standard wire shelving components.  Quick-adjust clips allow for custom spacing between shelves.  Wire shelving is easy to assemble and in many cases, requires no tools.  Wire shelving is easy to order through 4-shelf starter units or storage bin-plus-shelving kits.

Cons: While assembly is easy, there is typically more assembly required for wire shelving than louvered panels.  Although the open-deck design prevents dust accumulation on the shelves, it can be a little tricky to sweep or mop underneath and around the legs of wire shelving units.  Unlike louvered panels which keep storage bins hanging in a fixed position, wire shelving may need some extra diligence to keep bins neatly aligned.  Even with the wide range of sizes available, wire shelving typically takes up more space than a louvered panel with similar capacity.

The Verdict: Use Both!

It can be difficult to choose between louvered panels and wire shelving to organize storage bins. However, many applications call for the use of both of these two great storage solutions.  In many cases, available space is at a premium and so wall-mount louvered panels are the best choice.  However, that same room may have large or bulky items that must also be stored and a wire shelving unit is the better option. Utilizing both wire shelving and louvered panels allows flexibility to work around the challenges each unique space presents –windows, electrical panels, doorways and other obstacles.  Using a combination of both wire shelving units and louvered panels is a great way to create a custom storage solution that will keep you organized for years to come.

For More Information on Wire Shelving

To determine the best solution to organize your storage bins, view the complete line of Akro-Mils Louvered Panels. Need help? Contact us or your local Akro-Mils distributor.

Do you prefer wire shelving or louvered panels to organize your storage bins?  Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Posted: Mar 23, 2017 by Kevin Oswald | with 0 Comments

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