Four common metals and finishes include galvanized steel, powder coated steel,
stainless steel and aluminum…“
While pegboard is not a recent innovation, steel pegboard is less common than the hardboard version seen in homes for decades. Traditional wood pegboard is made of hardboard whereas most modern steel panels are made of 20 gauge steel. Other metal options include stainless steel and aluminum.
Steel Pegboard Benefits and UsesHardboard is prone to wear at the edges, take on moisture and, sometimes, crack or break, but steel is practically indestructible. That’s not to say wood shouldn’t be considered, but steel is a great option. Look at the wood vs. steel pegboard discussion below.
Steel pegboard is a great addition to any garage organization project. Pegboard, in general, has been a “go to” solution for tool storage and garage wall organization for as long as I can remember.
Here are a few benefits of using steel:
- Easy to install
- Multiple finishes, e.g., color, texture, paint vs. galvanized, etc.
- Multiple sizes
- Very Strong – many times stronger than wood pegboard
- Magnetic (magnets will work with steel panels but not aluminum)
- Versatile with many hooks, bins and accessories
The number of ways pegboard can be used is limited only by your imagination. Here are a few of the more popular options:
- Hanging crafts supplies and tools
- Hanging small hand tools
- Hanging power tools on hooks or in bins or baskets
- Storing lawn and garden tools (rakes, shovels, blowers, weed whackers, etc.)
- Hanging parts bins for nuts, bolts, nails, screws, etc.
- Displaying your stuffed animal collection
- Displaying your Nerf gun collection
NOTE: I have kids, so 6 and 7 just HAD to be on the list.
Types of Steel Pegboard (OK, Metal)
You might say “steel is steel,” but there really are options, especially if you use the broader term “metal” since there is a difference. Four common metals and finishes include galvanized steel, powder coated steel, stainless steel and aluminum (obviously not steel, but metal nonetheless).
If you have money to burn, stainless steel is great stuff and will definitely impress Mr. and Mrs. Jones (your neighbors). If you don’t live in a coastal area prone to eventually rusting all kinds of steel and you don’t have a need to keep up with “them,” galvanized and powder coated steel are great.
Steel pegboard comes is different sized panels, from long, narrow strips to rectangular and square panels. You can find just about any size you need and add to it when necessary.
Steel Pegboard Sizes and Accessories
Pegboard panels come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Many brands carry pegboard strips as well as larger panels. One of the most common panel sizes is 16 inches wide by 32 inches tall. Often sold in 2-packs, this combination makes a nice garage tool storage area over your workbench or anywhere else in your garage.
Many brands also produce smaller panels, like an 8 inch tall by 32 inch wide starter panel, or long narrow pegboard strips for hanging just a few tools, brooms, mops, yard tools, etc. Regardless of the size, you can always combine a number of panels to create a tool storage area that fits your needs.
There is a nearly endless variety of hooks, baskets, bins, etc., for mounting all your tools, toys and just about anything else you want to hang on the wall. An 8 x 32 panel, for example, will hold a few tools and 32 x 16 panels, when placed in tandem, will create a nice 32 x 32 tool storage area over your garage workbench.
Popular Steel Pegboard Brands
Wall Control Pegboard Organizer – This popular brand makes their pegboard panels with slots as well as traditional holes. Using pegboard slots makes for a more stable connection than traditional 1/4″ holes. However, the Wall Control panels also have traditional 1/4″ holes, so you can still use pegboard hooks and accessories you already own.
One common complaint of using pegboard is that hooks tend to fall out of the holes when you lift something off the hook. The Wall Control system greatly reduces this problem with slots instead of holes. They call it “double offset hook engagement.”
Wall Control steel panels have a 3/4″ mounting flange built right in. Meaning, you don’t have to put 3/4″ strips of wood on the wall first and attach the pegboard to the strips of wood. The Wall Control panels mount directly to the wall using pre-drilled holes set on 16 inch centers to match standard wall framing.
Finishes include galvanized and powder coated steel. Both are resistant to rust and long lasting.
AlligatorBoard – Made in the USA by Syr-Tech, AlligatorBoard sells pegboard panels, strips, shelves and hooks. Finishes include power coated steel in a variety of colors, galvanized steel, stainless steel an even diamond plate.
The holes in AlligatorBoard steel pegboard is designed to accept standard 1/4″ pegboard hooks and accessories, but the holes are more like dimples, giving them a bit more strength.
Installation is easy with no framing necessary. AlligatorBoard panels are built with 5/8″ flanges that make the panels stand off from the wall. You simply mount the panels directly to the wall.
Bullet Board – Another option from Lindsay Manufacturing, Bullet Board is made of galvanized steel with a powder coated finish. Panel sizes are 16 inches x 32 inches and can be mounted vertically or horizontally.
Bullet Board panels are typically sold in 2-packs and come with mounting screws and plastic “self-aligning tabs” for relatively easy installation. Although the metal panels have a rolled edge to increase strength, you will still need to install a framework on the wall so the panels will stand off and allow for easy installation of hooks and accessories.
DiamondLife Pegboard – This high-end steel pegboard product is available in stainless steel, powder coated steel, diamond plate and brushed aluminum (an alternative to steel). DiamondLife is made in the USA, was arguably the first to the market with metal pegboard and is definitely an industry leader.
DiamondLife aluminum and steel pegboard panels are load rated with built-in flanges making installation easier. You just mount directly to the wall without having to install a framework first.
This brand also carries an extensive ranges of sizes, including 2 feet by 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 feet as well as 4 feet by 4, 6, 8 or 10 feet. For larger shop and wall spaces, the larger sizes are very handy.
Triton Products – Another high-end solution, Triton Products is focuses on serving the commercial and industrial markets with its steel pegboard and storage product line. However, it is also available to consumers and home users.
Triton Products’ steel pegboard product is called LocBoard and is unique in that is uses square holes instead of round. LocBoard panels are designed to work with Triton’s LocHook hanging accessories, including a variety of hooks and holders, LocBoard shelves and LocBins.
When using LocBins, special BinClips are first installed on the pegboard and the LocBins are hung on the clips. Triton offers BinClips for their square-holed LocBoard as well as for traditional round-holed pegboard.
Steel Pegboard Pros and Cons
- Steel is much stronger than wood
- Longer lasting than wood
- Resistant to water damage
- Magnetic (magnets will attach to it)
- Easy to clean with a damp rag
- More expensive than wood pegboard
Harder to cut than wood pegboard if you need a custom size (cutting is not recommended)
While the above discussion and list of products is not exhaustive, you will at least have a better shot at choosing the best steel pegboard solution for your garage. There are other manufacturers and certainly other ways to use steel, as with rolling tool cards and swinging wall panels, but most people will have everything they need with a system of panels, hooks, bins and the like.
If you choose one of the above-described steel pegboard products, send us a picture and some words of wisdom or encouragement. We will post your picture(s) and your story so others can see what you have done and learn from your experience.