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The ABC's of Store Shelving Wall Hardware

The ABCs of Retail Store Wall Hardware

Wall Hardware – Store shelving requires the right hardware to ensure the systems remain securely in place.  Among the common hardware you’ll need to go with your shelving include the “Standard.”  Made of long strips of U-shaped steel with vertical slots on the entire length of the strip, the Standard’s slots are designed to hold retail display accessories such as hangrails, shelf brackets, face-outs, waterfalls and more.  Brackets and accessories can be easily and inexpensively attached via the slots along the standard strip.

Standards come in 1/2-inch and 1-inch slotted models. When choosing Standards, consider the type of products you plan to display.  There are different types of Standards for medium weight and super heavyweight merchandise.  

The Super Heavyweight (1″ Slotted Standard) are steel strips with 1-inch long slots spaced 2-inches from center to center.  Accessories can be positioned every 2 inches along the strip.  The Super Heavyweight Standard is the strongest non-industrial standard available.  It’s made of 1/8-inch thick steel making it ideal for displaying merchandise considered super heavyweight such as cookware, paints, books and more.  Brackets for Super Heavyweight Standards come 10” - 16”.
Concealed Standards are ideal for stores that prefer the look of hidden hardware.  Concealed standards are designed so that the slots are recessed and mounted behind the wall. Shoppers do not see slots just a thin black line.  Concealed standards come available in single or double slotted versions.

Accessories for Standards

Some of the basic hardware accessories for Standards include:

Shelf Brackets – Hardware used to support shelving.  For retail shelving it is important to use the proper shelf brackets designed to hold the weight of store merchandise.  Choose from heavy duty or medium duty brackets and in lengths to adequately support the size of shelf.  For shelves that are 4 feet long or more add a bracket positioned at center for further shelf support. 

Shelf Rests – Designed to keep glass shelves more securely in place.  Rubber cushions on the shelf rest hardware keeps glass shelves from sliding.

Glass Shelf Supports – A thin metal bar attaches horizontally to shelf support to provide extra reinforcement to prevent brackets from separating and glass from bending.

Face-outs – Store hardware that allows merchandise to be hung so that the front of the item is displayed to customers.  (Also known as a “straight-out”)

Hangrails – (also known as “crossbars”) are rectangular or rounded tubes that are used to hang or display store merchandise.  The most common finishes for hangrails are chrome and brushed satin. Hangrails also come in a variety of lengths as well as shapes; including straight, curved and u-shaped.    End cap connectors are often used to provide clean closed finishes.  

Use end caps to provide a clean finish to hangrails.  Hangrails can be very versatile. You can add other hardware accessories, such as peg hooks and face-outs to rectangular hangrails to create different merchandise display options.

Hangrail Brackets – Hardware used to support hangrails.  Be sure to use the appropriate type of hangrail bracket to fit either rectangular rails or round rails and consider the weight of your merchandise (medium weight, heavy weight). Hangrail brackets attach to standards; some brackets even feature snap-on installation.  

Waterfalls – A special type of face-out or straight-out hardware that is slanted about 30 degrees downward and often have either hooks or balled notches to hold individual merchandise in place.  Waterfalls are often used to display store merchandise such as handbags, clothing or the same item in different colors.

Wall Mount Hardware – Retail stores who want to mount shelving or accessories like dressing room hooks, faceouts, waterfalls and hangrails on walls can do so using special wall mount hardware.  Special mounting plates are affixed to walls in an attractive diamond shape. Flanges hold round and rectangular hangrails in place.

Outrigger Systems  – Create merchandise displays on any wall using slotted standard hardware.  Retail Outriggers are popular because they maximize the a store’s available space. These Retail Outrigger Systems use outrigger posts that provide its main support rather than on the wall.  Retail Outriggers can be outfitted with any combination of shelving and accessories to create the ideal display for clothing and more.

Installation Tips for Standards and Accessories

Following are some good rules of thumb to follow for installing standards and accessories in your retail store:

• In addition to considering the amount of wall space you have for mounting your Standard, factor in also the lowest point in which you will display our accessories.  Retailers commonly place Standard accessories as low as 12 to 15-inches from the floor.  For example, a six-foot Standard that is mounted  12-inches  from the floor provides for 7 feet of space to hang shelves or two levels of hangrails.

• Space Standards every two or four feet apart which matches typical shelve sizes. 

• A longer Standard doesn’t mean a stronger standard so there’s no real advantage of mounting a Standard all the way down to the floor.  In fact, it’s the fasteners that are used to anchor the standard to the wall that are the key to its strength.  When installing Standards it’s preferable to fasten it to a stud.  If not, then use toggle bolts or togglers.  DO NOT use conical plastic anchors.

Helpful Hint:  Do you need  to add accessories but are not sure which type of standard you have?  A simple test using a 25 cent coin can help to determine the size slot you need.  If a quarter easily fits into the slot, then it is a 1″ Slotted Standard. If it doesn’t fit, it’s a 1/2″ Standard.


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