Over the past few months, we have received countless enquiries from households that have purchased or inherited MDF Slatwall Wall Panels and are looking for the best Slatwall accessories.
This is what your typical MDF Slatwall looks like. The grooves are 100mm apart, there is usually a metal trim in the groove, and the wall panel is made from MDF.
MDF slatwalls are very cost-effective and are usually used by retail stores. The range of accessories designed for them is also cost-effective. The downside is that the range is designed for retail environments, not your household garage.
If you jump on eBay or search Slatwall Accessories, you will find options that look like this:
If you are going to be hanging small lightweight items like a dustpan, these hooks work fine. Search a little deeper and there are some shelves and some baskets.
Best Slatwall Accessories
StoreWALL’s range of accessories is made of steel and powder-coated. Most hooks also have rubber tips to protect your items. Furthermore, the range is extensive and includes:
Over 35 types of hooks from hanging your bike to hanging your garden blower.
Over 15 metal shelves in various lengths and depths so you can store your boots, paint cans, garden, and sporting equipment.
8 different types of baskets. Deep and shallow, angled opening or square.
4 different-sized brackets so you can create your floating shelving.
Over 15 different-sized bins in various colours and shapes to hold smaller lighter-weight items.
4 Tote Bags for clothing and sporting equipment.
StoreWALL’s extensive range ensures you have access to the best slatwall accessories in Australia and globally.
To enable StoreWALL’s accessories to work on your MDF Slatwall, we only need to remove the CamLok. By removing the CamLok, the “L” shaped lip at the top of the accessory will fit into your MDF wall and support your stored items.
The end result looks like this:
Whilst you don’t get the extra security offered by CamLok, you are able to access a much deeper range. Just be a little extra careful removing your stored items from the accessory.
If you are a retail store, MDF Slatwalls are ideal. If you are a residential home owner looking to better manage your garage storage issue, then there are several reasons why you don’t want MDF slatwalls.
MDF Slatwalls for Retail Stores
Buy them, use them. They are affordable and come in various colours (painted MDF board). The businesses around Australia who sell them also sell specialised accessories for retail stores which can be used with these slatwalls.
Why You Don’t Want MDF Slatwalls
Detailed below are several reasons why using MDF slatwalls designed for a retail store are a bad idea when you are looking to add slatwall to your home, garage or workshop.
MDF Slatwalls are affordable at about $60ex for a 1200mm x 1200mm piece. Straight away there is a certain appeal here that you can cover your garage wall with the panels and you are done. Buying them and installing them on your wall is one thing, getting good value out of them once installed is another.
MDF Slatwalls are Not Water Proof
They are not water proof nor moisture proof. If you have an old garage which may get exposure to moisture, MDF boards are not your friend. They may be painted and can be repainted but MDF will absorb the moisture over time. The shape of the board may change and it may also start to develop mould.
MDF Slatwall is MDF board that has been painted. If you are planning on hanging tools or bikes on your wall, the painted finish will wear quickly. The walls will dent easily (showing the inside board) and the paint will chip.
Typical slatwall groove spacing is 100mm. See below picture of what the groove looks like. The challenge with 100mm spacing is that most popular garage storage solution providers do not offer accessories that will work with this spacing. The 100mm spacing is designed for an accessory that has a top L shaped lip only and no lower locking mechanism.
The only StoreWALL accessories which will work are our Bins and our Metal Ledge Shelf. All other accessories carry CamLok which works on a 75mm groove spacing. Similar limitations apply if you are considering using Bunnings StorEase and other popular garage storage solutions. They all offer a very similar groove spacing.
We recently worked with a client in Queensland who had MDF slatwall in their garage and purchased some StoreWALL accessories. We removed the Camlok for them and the accessories worked great for lighter items. Not ideal for heavy items like bikes. See photo below.
Lack of Accessories
The final and most important reason why you don’t want MDF Slatwalls is the limited range of accessories and the lack of a locking mechanism. Whilst accessory pricing might be cheap ie $1.50 for a metal single hook, simple hooks are all you will end up with.
The reason for this is that Slatwalls are made for Retail Stores to display merchandise.
Looking through the accessory range of a popular slatwall supplier, they offer a good range of single hooks, hooks for balls, hooks for clothing and some baskets. These accessories are not designed for a garage.
Compare this to the StoreWALL range. We offer industrial-grade accessories to hang all of your gardening tools, brackets for shelving, hooks and shelves for your heavy power tools. We also offer custom hooks for your bikes, shelves for your boots and baskets and totes for everything in-between. These are all designed with StoreWALL’s unique CamLok locking mechanism.
CamLok ensures that once the accessory is on your wall and locked in, it will not move until you unlock it.
A week ago I had a customer order 15 accessories ranging from bike hooks to tool hooks. The customer was a hotel which seemed to have had slatwall installed in a section of the basement. When I enquired if they already had StoreWALL panels, they sent me a picture of what they had and a measurement of the groove spacing. Turns out it was MDF slatwall with 100mm spacing. I refunded the client’s money and advised that they should look at some of the MDF Slatwall suppliers for accessory options.
I have also had customers who are in the process of building a new home and have added slatwall to the design of their garage walls. Builders look at these requirements and simply buy MDF slatwall. The poor customer eventually realises that MDF slatwalls are not what you need for your garage.
Over the past month, we have seen a significant increase in the number of households looking at upgrading their garage with a garage wall panel installation. Many question the strength ratings of our various panel types and the weight each panel can hold. I thought it would be helpful to compare the Slatwall Performance of StoreWALL with two other alternative solutions readily available focusing on the recommended installation options each offers.
A key question that has come with the many enquiries, is the benefits of installing with InstallStrips over just screws straight through the panel.
InstallStrips are not unique to StoreWALL, but the majority of garage wall panel systems on the market today will have you install your panels with screws directly through the panel. They do this because it makes the wall solution cheaper to buy and easier to explain. However it is not necessarily quicker and certainly does not result in a stronger wall storage solution.
Below I have reviewed three garage storage solutions including StoreWALL and compared recommended installation options as well as the overall strength of the wall storage system. I hope it provides a good guide as to what is on offer in terms of slatwall performance.
StorEase offers a couple of Metal Track/Rail Options upon which you can hang an extensive range of hooks and other accessories.
The StorEase solution only offers one install method and that is using screws directly through the panel and onto your wall. The StorEase panel actually comes with pre-drilled screw holes to make it easier for you.
The 1.2m panel offers 6 pre-drilled holes to use on your wall. Installing on a plastered wall means you need to drill a hole through the stud and into the wall surface first. You then need to line up the predrilled hole in the StorEase rail with the hole in your wall.
Ensuring your panel is level, you then screw directly through both holes with your screws.
If your wall is made from brick or another masonry surface, the same process applies however you will need to fill the hole with a plug so that you can then screw into this plug.
The StorEase 1.2m panel provides you with 6 holes (3 sets of two) at 600mm intervals (ie 0, 600mm, 1200mm).
The rated weight for the StorEase panel is: 150kg (as stated by their website).
Gladiator Garageworks offers 2 styles of garage wall panels. One is a rail similar to the StorEase panel. The second is a PVC based wall panel measuring 1230mm x 320mm.
The Garageworks GearWall PVC panel comes in a White colour and is also installed with screws directly through the panel.
I have included a photo below from their installation guide. It is pretty comprehensive. To ensure the strength of the installation, screws need to be placed in each groove (of which there are 4 per panel) along the length of the panel and on each wall stud (or every 40cm – 45cm). Therefore, a typical panel will have approx 16 screws.
The most effective and cleanest way to install using screws through your panel is to pre-drill the holes in your panel. This ensures you don’t damage your panels when finally screwing into them. Pre-drilling however means you need to measure up correctly.
The max weight they reference per square foot is 50 lbs. Based on the dimensions of the a 1.2m panel (1230mm x 320mm = 4.24 sq ft), the max weight per panel is 200 lbs or 90 kg.
StoreWALL Installation Options
Installing garage wall panels with screws is quite common. In fact, StoreWALL also gives you this option should you choose it. The process works much the same way as the Gladiator GearWall in that screws are placed in the slots across the length of the panel.
In StoreWALL’s case, the Basic and Standard Duty panels have 3 slots (Heavy Duty has a 4th slot).
Step 1: Make a level line at the top or bottom of desired location. (Use a laser, level or string for accuracy).
Step 2: Secure the first panel by driving the screws through the slots of the panel’s front face, directly into the centre of the wall studs or blocking.
StoreWALL also offers the option of colour matching screws. No pre-drilling or countersinking is necessary. The screw head will flush up with the slot surface.
We recommend approximately 20 screws per 1.2m panel.
StoreWALL specifications state that the maximum weight that you can hang on a StoreWALL wall panel when installed directly with screws is 34 kg for a 2.4m length (at 10cm from surface wall). Performance is higher at the surface.
This is about half of that stated by GarageWorks. It’s also a lot less than StorEase. I would suggest the testing undertaken by either organisation might be different.
99% of StoreWALL customers however, install using InstallStrips. It is the best method and delivers the best slatwall performance for your wall both in terms of strength but also the final finish.
InstallStrips Deliver Best Slatwall Performance
There are two key reasons to install with InstallStrips – Strength and Finish.
Strength Using InstallStrips will significantly increase the weight your 1.2m or 2.4m panel can hold.
The maximum weight that the 2.4m Standard Duty Panel will hold is 113 kg at 10cm from panel surface.
The maximum weight that the 2.4m Heavy Duty Panel will hold is 136 kg at 10cm from panel surface.
The reason for the added weight capacity is the InstallStrip itself. It is made from Rolled steel. It also has an 18 gauge zinc plating for rust resistance. I have had 2 InstallStrips exposed to the elements for 4 years and they still have not rusted.
The InstallStrip has 4 hooks which latch themselves onto the back of your panel. See photo. Made of steel, these hooks provide the support for carrying the specified weight. The number of screws per InstallStrip is 12. Each of the 3 sections which make up an InstallStrip has a screw hole which allows you to adjust the height and position of your InstallStrip to assist with lining up your panels.
Heavy Duty InstallStrip has 3 additional hooks (1 per section) 15 in total. They are also slightly wider.
Finish InstallStrips enable you to secure your garage wall panels without screwing holes into your panels. There is no risk of making a mistake with your drilling. Your wall panels will have a nice clean finish allowing you to also take them away with you at a time in the future.
Furthermore, it also makes for a much quicker installation. You are not having to screw blindly into your wall with the panel in front of you. The InstallStrips are lean and easy to work with. Once your InstallStrips are screwed onto your brick wall or studs, there is no more screwing. Cut your panels and start hanging them.
Slatwalls have been around for years. StoreWALL itself has been around for over 10 years in the US and over 5yrs in Australia. All Slatwall systems evolve, both in terms of the panels they offer as well as their accessories. Some have evolved so much that newer accessories are no longer compatible with older wall panels. The material they are made from has changed along with the shape and style of the accessories. Maintaining an old slatwall system can be challenging.
Old Slatwall Systems
The other day I received a call from a client who had purchased a StorEase system from Bunnings several years ago (must have been 3-5 years ago). The panels were made from a plastic material which today are no longer offered by StorEase nor from Bunnings. His problem however was not the panel itself but the accessories he had purchased.
His StorEase accessories where made from plastic and used to hang brooms in his garage. The accessories had performed well for many years but one of them had recently cracked and couldn’t be used. When trying to remove one of the remaining hooks in order to examine it, he found that it fell apart when he took it off the panel. It actually disintegrated. This unfortunately left him with no working hooks for his brooms. His old slatwall system was no longer usable.
StorEase from Bunnings
He visited Bunnings to find new accessories and whilst Bunnings still sell StorEase, the accessories available and the panel to suit them have all changed. The entire StorEase system has moved on. Panels are now leaner aluminium rails and accessories are metallic. None of what was available was compatible with his old slatwall system.
The predicament for this client is to either find accessories which fit his existing panels or to replace the panels and start all over again.
L Shaped Lip
StoreWALL’s panels are very standard in their sizing. By this I mean the panels are designed for accessories with an L shaped lip. See the image below which shows how the accessories are fitted to the panel and how they are secured.
Each panel is about 300mm in height and has 4 slots. The number of grooves on each panel is 5 when you count the top of the panel. See image below.
Each accessory secures itself to a panel at two points – the top and the bottom. The L at the top of each accessory is used to secure to the top of each slot and the CamLok is used for the bottom groove of each slot.
Below are the slot specifications for each Standard Duty panel. StoreWALL’s L-shape slots accept slat wall compatible accessories.
spacing: 76.2mm on center
groove height: 10mm
lip height: 10mm
CamLok position: sits 90mm from top of accessory
Whilst the dimensions of the panels, their slots and grooves are important, so are the dimensions of each accessory, specifically the backing plate with the L Shaped lip and locking mechanism.
The dimensions are as follows:
Size of the back plate: 103mm
Size of the lip: 12mm
If you are in a similar predicament to this client and are looking for new accessories for your older slatwall systems, I would suggest you compare your panels and accessories to the dimensions listed above. If they look about right, I encourage you to send us an email with some pictures so that we can conform the sizes and shapes with you.
StoreWALL provides the most extensive range of garage wall panels in Australia. All StoreWALL garage wall panels are made from a hardened thermoplastic and come in a range of sizes, grades and colours. We compare garage wall panels to help you pick the right wall panel for your garage.
Compare Garage Wall Panels
Below is a simple comparison table providing a detailed overview of each of the garage wall panel grades offered through StoreWALL. Each core features is listed down the far left column with details for each grade on the right.
Most measures in the table are in US Imperial (ie inches and feet). To help you convert this to Metric (what we use in Australia), I have the following tips.
A 12” panel height is 300mm. A 15″ panel height is 380mm.
The equivalent of 8 square feet is .74 square meters. Similarly 10 square feet is .92 square meters.
StoreWALL Australia gives you access to everything from StoreWALL in the US. To help you better understand what is on offer in Australia, and compare garage wall panels I have provided a more in-depth review of each grade of wall panel. StoreWALL offers three grades: Heavy Duty, Standard Duty and Basic Duty.
Standard Duty Wall Panels
StoreWALL’s Standard Duty is the leading product in Australia and the ideal product for your home. The Standard Duty Wall Panels are designed for your home, retail store or workshop. They are designed with a patented profile to accept the exclusive InstallStrip (sold separately) for easy installation and a beautiful fastener free appearance. Standard Duty panels are moulded, solid core, so the colour and finish goes throughout the panel.
The Standard Duty profile shown above is used to lock in the panel to the InstallStrip. This ensures a secure panel as well as the strength to store and hang heavy items to your garage wall.
StoreWALL Standard Duty Panels are sold in 1.2m lengths as separate panels or in a carton of 6. In Australia we currently stock the Weathered Grey colour in the 1.2m range. However if you are interested in other colours, these can be custom ordered for you.
The more popular panel in the Standard Duty range is the 2.4m length. These are sold in cartons of 4 panels. Panels are available in your choice of 3 designer colours (Weathered Grey, Brite White and Dover White). Additional colours are available as a custom order.
Each panel is 300mm in height and 16mm in thickness. These dimensions apply to both the 1.2m and the 2.4m option.
Installation is via the StoreWALL InstallStrip (fastener free look) or using screws directly to the panel.
Basic Duty Panels
Launched in early 2019, this is the most recent addition to the range. The Basic Duty Panels are designed primarily for home and come in a narrower range of colours.
Basic Duty panels are only available in 1.2m lengths as single panels or in a carton of 4. The other key dimensions are a thickness of 16mm and a height of 300mm.
The Basic Duty colour range includes White and Grey. Both of these colours are stocked and available for order.
Installation of the Basic Duty Panel is via direct screws to the panel using the grooved section. We recommend approx 20 screws per panel. Screws can be colour matched to disguise them.
Heavy Duty Wall Panels
The Heavy Duty Wall Panel range is the original StoreWALL panel designed for your home, retail store or workshop. They are also designed with a patented profile to accept the exclusive InstallStrip (sold separately) for easy installation and a beautiful fastener free appearance. Note that the Heavy Duty InstallStrip is not interchangeable with the Standard Duty InstallStrip (profiles are not the same). HeavyDuty panels are also moulded, solid core, so the colour and finish goes throughout the panel.
StoreWALL HeavyDuty Panels are sold in both 1.2m and 2.4m lengths in cartons of 6 and 4 panels respectively. Panels are available in your choice of 7 designer colours and wood grains. Each panel is 380mm in height and 16mm in thickness.
Heavy Duty Wall Panels are currently only available as a custom order in Australia. Please give us a call if you are interested in this panel range.
StoreWALL Australia can help you decide which panel grade is best for your storage project. We can help you add to your existing StoreWALL installation and start a new one. Give us a call if you have any questions.
StoreWALL has recently launched its latest Wall Panel range – StoreWALL Basic Duty. StoreWALL Basic Duty will launch as our entry level slatwall garage storage solution designed to be more affordable and accessible for home and garage owners.
Slatwall Garage Storage
StoreWALL Basic Duty Wall Panel will be reaching Australia in mid to late June 2019 and will join our already popular StoreWALL Standard Duty range. The Basic Duty Slatwall Garage Storage Panel comes in two colours, Grey and White and both will be available in Australia.
The new range continues to be provide a hard plastic wall panel finish ideal of your garage or home. It is easy to clean, hard wearing and weather proof. Installation is made even easier than before. InstallStrips are NOT AN OPTION with the Basic Duty Panel, it can only be installed via screws from the face of the panel directly into the wall.
Many Australians are looking for new ways to tidy up their garage and have admired the simplicity of StoreWALL. Unfortunately for some, the Standard Duty Slatwall Garage Storage Panel has been outside of their budget. The Basic Duty Panel gives Australians a new option which is affordable, easy to use and install.
Tidy up your Garage
StoreWALL’s Basic Duty Wall Panel is compatible with all StoreWALL accessories including all Hooks, Brackets, Shelves, Baskets and Bags. CamLok is just as effective with the Basic Panel.
We are launching the Basic Duty Panel in a 1.2m size with both Grey and White colours. They will be sold in packs of 4 (1 carton) and as individual panels. A 2.4m option is available in the US and we may consider this down the track as we get feedback from home owners.
Pricing for the new range is almost half of the Standard Duty Panel at $170 for 4 panels. Each panel is 1219mm (length) x 304.8mm (height) x 16.7mm (thickness). Four panels per carton covers 1.48 sq meters.
In terms of Installation, we recommend you use approx 20 screws per panel. Get more details from our online store.