Garage Furniture

From workbenches to storage cabinets

When it comes to furnishing a home, the garage is probably the last room on your list – if it even makes the list!

Certainly, there aren't a lot of options for furnishing a garage. If you're actually going to use the garage to park your car, then odds are there's not much room for anything else. However, if you're going to use your garage as a workshop, you will definitely need a nice workbench. And if your garage is simply the place where you keep all of the things that don't fit in any other room, you'll definitely want to invest in a good garage storage system.

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If you use your garage to build or fix things, then a workbench or tool bench is a must-have furniture item. A good workbench will allow you to complete work quickly and efficiently by providing a large enough work surface for the task, plus plenty of storage options to keep the tools and accessories you need close at hand.

In order to select the right workbench, think first about the type of work you will be doing on it and the equipment it requires. Provide yourself enough length and depth (width) that you can lay out your required tools and still have room to manipulate materials. And don't forget about height. Many people overlook this third dimension, but if you're going to work for more than a few minutes at a time, you'll need a workbench that is the right height in order to prevent back strain. As a general rule, the work surface should be in line with your hip pocket.

There are plenty of options when it comes to workbenches, from a plain wooden worktable to a deluxe model with storage and accessories. A mobile workbench offers versatility, and a childrens workbench is perfect for that Mr. (or Ms.) Fix-It in training. Whatever you choose, don't forget additional workbench furniture such as a chair or stool. This can help relieve pressure on your feet and back when you're working for longer periods.

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Garage Cabinets

A garage cabinet or two can help keep your garage organized and safe.

Tool cabinets protect small hand tools and power tools from getting lost or damaged, and safety cabinets keep hazardous materials from spilling, leaking or combusting.

As with shelving, metal cabinets are the most popular garage storage cabinets. Metal storage cabinets tend to be more rugged and can better withstand the heavy use that is made of a garage storage cabinet. Flammable storage cabinets in particular should be made of metal because it is flame retardant, and most safety authorities suggest metal for a chemical storage cabinet, too.

A tool cabinet can be made of virtually any material – wood, plastic, composite, etc. – but a metal cabinet may again be the best choice for its durability. Metal can better withstand the weight of tools and the temperature changes in a garage, not to mention the everyday bumps and scrapes that are bound to happen in a hands-on work environment.

Garage Storage

Perhaps the most common garage furniture is garage shelving. Shelving is pretty much essential to garage organization. Whether it's a ledge hung over the workbench, a couple of free-standing units or a full-on garage organizer, every garage needs a shelf or two for storing tools, equipment and accessories within easy reach.

Although almost any shelving unit can be used in a garage as easily as in a bedroom or a home office, metal shelving or steel shelving tends to be the best choice in a garage for two reasons: stability and durability. Metal can hold more weight than plastic or particleboard, and it won't scratch or chip like wood. Given the nature of most materials stored in a garage (heavy tools, dirty containers, etc.), stability and durability tend to be a bigger priority than looks. However, you don't have to sacrifice aesthetics completely; many heavy-duty shelves come in a variety of colors or interesting designs to add style as well as functionality.

Bike Storage Racks

Aside from cars, garages are also used to house other vehicles – most commonly, bicycles. Depending on where you live, bikes may only be usable during certain parts of the year, and even when they are in season, they are far more easily stolen than most motor vehicles. Therefore, bike storage is a key component of many garages.

Bike rack storage is probably the most common form of bicycle storage. Bike storage racks are available in many styles and sizes. They range from ceiling-mounted bike hangers to free-standing bicycle stands and accommodate anywhere from two to six bikes. With such a variety available, you're sure to find a bike rack to suit your needs and your garage design.