How to Choose the Best Media Shelf?
Table of Contents
Top Best Media Shelves Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a Good Media Shelf?
The media shelve towers are a range of structures that lets you keep your CDs, DVDs, books, etc. in view, close to your media set. Available in the form of spinning towers, floor stands, and cabinets, these shelves come in different styles, construction materials, and capacity. All these put potential users in a dilemma on what model to choose.
To ease your selection process, we have done the preliminary work for you. As a result of our meticulous research, we’ve developed some strong criteria we think are essential for any potential buyer who wants a lasting, aesthetic and functional shelf.
Top 9 Factors to Consider When Buying Media Shelves
1. The Materials to Store
Try to determine the function of your furniture. How are you going to use it? Would you need to deploy it alongside a TV stand with a flat-screen? Would you need a shelf for a complete multimedia set (DVD player, video game console, hard drive, sound amplifier, even home cinema, etc.)? In this case, you should opt for a media cabinet that has doors, shelves, drawers, large wooden or glass tops, etc.
2. The Room It’s Going to Occupy
A living room, a small studio, a large apartment, a teenage bedroom, or your master bedroom; the purchase of a piece of furniture must be considered according to its destination space and its users. Modular types, shelves on casters, upgradable shelves, corner shelves; you have quite a lot of options as well as possibilities.
3. Material: Wooden, PVC, Methacrylate or Metal Media Shelf?
The variety of media shelving materials is very wide. In some cases, you will find a single material or the composition of several. So as you will see below, you will need to take into account both the materials for both the interior and the exterior.
Wood is a material widely used to make shelves. It allows for personalized and elegant finishes, with bright, matt or satin dyes or varnishes, which can be easily coordinated with other pieces of furniture. The wood can also be painted or lacquered to get modern shelves and with refined designs. A white shelf together with some neutral colored furniture is the dream of lovers of minimalist decoration.
The most used wood for shelves is usually solid pine. They are very resistant and easy to customize. Other popularly used materials include harder woods such as oak, birch or cherry. Also used are the bamboo and other exotic woods like teak.
The great advantage of solid wood shelves is their strength and hardness. They are very appropriate in building libraries capable of supporting the weight of many volumes. Yes, in the digital age, there are still those who prefer the smell and weight of books. However, the drawback of the wooden shelves is the price. They are generally higher than those of any other material.
An option for those who like a decorative design or simply want to spend little money are the melamine shelves or those coated with PVC. These are made either with wood agglomerates or with medium density fibreboard (MDF). They are then covered with sheets or papers that can present all kinds of designs and colors, from plain to imitation wood or stone, for example. Its greatest advantages are its versatility, and its weight, which is much lighter.
However, its load resistance is much lower than wooden shelves, especially those of thin boards. Obviously, they are what we will think about when we look for a cheap shelf simply to decorate a hole that we do not know how to cover or to separate a space. Even lighter are sheltered shelves.
Metal is the king of materials for storage racks. There is no storage room, workshop or garage that does not have a metal shelf or several. And your living room where you have your entertainment center should not be left behind. They are the most practical to use in this type of case since they are very resistant to the load.
For the metal shelves that we usually have in the home, the most used material is galvanized steel. It resists places with certain humidity, such as a storage room.
For exteriors, aluminum materials are lighter.
Wrought iron is also used for shelves, especially decorative ones. This gives the room a vintage touch.
Let’s not forget the industrial shelves for warehouses and retail stores. These are usually made of steel. Sometimes, they may be combined with other metals or with wooden platforms. This way, they can fulfill their function of supporting the heaviest loads.
The methacrylate is a plastic material that is often used as an alternative to glass. Its main qualities are its transparency, rigidity, and strength. It is also lighter and obviously much harder to break. It doesn’t seem easy to confuse with glass. But be careful not to choose a methacrylate shelf when what you really want is a glass shelf.
4. Glass, Iron, and Wood or Metal Shelves? Let’s Combine!
The combination of materials for a media shelf or an auxiliary piece of furniture usually provides a decorative contribution, in addition to a plus of resistance. We can, thus, find glass shelves combined with metal (especially aluminum). These are more seen in showcases, exhibitors or as an auxiliary next to a low glass table.
The same or similar combinations can be done with methacrylate. Although this, as we saw, can be perfectly used without the need to combine it with any other material. Other frequent combinations that provide a rustic touch to the decoration are the iron and wood shelves. The wrought iron is preferred for such combinations and uses.
5. Shelving Measurements
For shelves used in the home, the height is calculated based on the number of shelves (two, three, four, five or more) they have. For a smart shelf with 4 steps, the height should be around 54 inches. To choose the most appropriate width, in addition to the space we have, we must take into account how loaded the shelves will be. For example, a chipboard shelf that has more than 30 inches should be combined so that it does not break. However, the appropriate width for narrow media shelves should be around 24 inches.
The thickness of the shelves is the other measure to take into account. This is an important parameter, especially when opting for a shelf particularly made of wood. The higher the thickness of the boards, the better the resistance and the load supported. This load is measured in kilos. Some of the shelves consist of square modules that have the same measurements on both sides.
However, it is possible to have some custom shelves. It may be somewhat more expensive. But it ensures that all available space will be covered.
6. The Design of the Shelves
Choose material, shapes or colors in harmony with the destination room. For example, wrought iron or weathered wood will be ideal for a classic living room.
Invisible fixings and geometric shapes are ideal for a modern office and pastel colors for a nursery. Opt for forms adapted to their future content. A curved shelf is not practical enough to accommodate books.
7. Floating or the Stand-alone Media Shelf
Does the room impose constraints on the choice of shelves? How much space is available? How often will I use the contents of the shelves? Depending on the space you have, you may prefer the floating or wall shelves or the standing shelves to be fixed to the wall. For a less-spacious office, use the wall space. The high shelves will hold objects that are less frequently used. In an attic, opt for a long shelf. Ebern Designs’ Media Storage Wall Shelf and Toronto Media Shelf are good examples of a hanging media shelf. Do not forget the practical corner shelves to save space in a small room.
8. Open vs Closed Shelves
If you need to hide your equipment when they’re out of use, choose a more secure closed media shelf or cabinet with doors (there’s the sliding or hinged option). You may choose drawers to store accessories, and possibly a cable storage system (or wire cover) to make the cables invisible. This last point can also be useful and reassuring if there are young children around.
However, for more accessibility and better aesthetics, open shelves are great options. These are also more economical.
9. The Resistance of the Shelves
Are they intended to accommodate heavy or fragile objects? And in what quantity? Estimate the weight of the contents to be stored, and select materials and fasteners accordingly. For books, wooden shelves are the most common models: to be placed on the floor, fixed to the wall, or supported by brackets. For the garage, thick steel shelves are more suitable. If they’re also going to house trinkets, you can consider the hanging wooden wall shelves or glass shelves. Know that a legged shelf will be more stable on a hard floor than on a carpet.
There are a few important criteria to consider to choose the right media shelf. First, choose the material you like best. But you have to take into account the place where they will be installed. For example, do not choose a soft or untreated wooden shelf if you want a lasting piece.
Then think about the function for which you are going to use it. Also, decide the level of aesthetics that you are going to create with your decorative shelves and with what other furniture they should be accompanied with.
In addition, care should be taken when buying wooden shelves. You may come across non-solid boards covered with a thin wood veneer, at the price of solid wood. That is why it is always advisable to buy from manufacturers offering a guarantee and, if possible, from recognized brands.