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Why You Don’t Want MDF Slatwalls

Why You Don't Want MDF Slatwalls

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.

Price works

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.

Painted Finish

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.

Why You Don't Want MDF Slatwalls
StoreWALL Groove Spacing

Groove Spacing

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.

Why You Don't Want MDF Slatwalls
MDF Slatwalls

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.

storewall on mdf slatwalls

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.

Why You Don't Want MDF Slatwalls
Slatwall Hooks

The reason for this is that Slatwalls are made for Retail Stores to display merchandise.

Why You Don't Want MDF Slatwalls
StoreWALL Tool Hook Range

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.

Client Case

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.

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Compare Garage Wall Panels

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.
  • 32′ (square feet) = 2.97 square meters and 40′ = 3.71 square meters.
Compare Garage Wall Panels

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.

Compare Garage Wall Panels

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.

Compare Garage Wall Panels

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.

Compare Garage Wall Panels

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.