Author Topic: Slat wall vs French Cleat  (Read 2515 times)

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Offline Cincinnati

  • Posts: 43
Slat wall vs French Cleat
« on: June 06, 2018, 10:34 PM »
I am considering several modular organization projects (shop, pantry, closets, office). Originally I was leaning toward using a French cleat design. Then I saw a wall cleat that integrated a 90 degree offset lip that mounted in a rabbit between the mounting strip and the wall -similar to a slat wall.

It seems to me a French cleat would force the mounted items ( boxes, cabinets, frames, etc) tighter against the wall, providing a firmer mount.

Is this a matter of preference like face-frame v frameless, or is there merit to the French cleat over the slat design?


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Offline crampedshop

  • Posts: 46
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 06:28 AM »
With a french cleat, one gets the whole thickness of the cleat as a bearing surface. The slat wall is machined or molded for the slat. That slat will not bear as much weight. How do I know? I work at a retail store. Too much weight will break the slat. Unless you plan on mounting aluminum miter channel, stick with french cleats.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3592
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 08:30 AM »
Go with french cleats.  As mentioned slatwall is far more fragile.  If you experience tear-out on a sheet of slatwall, you'll have to replace the sheet or look at an ugly tear-out.  French cleat is easily replaced, but I've never seen it fail. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 592
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 09:07 AM »
I have looked at slat wall for my wife's business, but was not overly impressed with it. What I saw was MDF I believe and I did not see that hold up to the kids who pull on everything nor taking a serious load. Since it is your home use the cleats and you will never have to worry about a failure + it will look a whole lot better.

Offline Cincinnati

  • Posts: 43
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2018, 12:30 PM »
Thanks all. I think I’ll use the French system. 

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4694
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 01:24 PM »
If you really need slat wall for a particular installation, aluminum slat wall will hold up however it's expensive. A 6" wide x 8' long piece runs $50-$80 depending upon the finish.

They also sell aluminum reinforcing strips for MDF slat wall that doubles the rated load.

Offline mwolczko

  • Posts: 4
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 11:56 PM »
I’ve used slat wall with aluminum inserts in my garage workshop. It’s great for hanging hand tools and lightly loaded shelves and baskets. But it’s nowhere near strong enough to take cabinets, other heavy loads and serious abuse. It’s more comparable to peg board, but looks better.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 134
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 10:11 PM »
Has anyone ever found anyone making slate wall from say plywood, not particle board?

Alternatively if someone did a siding like profile that cut the grooves in boards, be able to buy 1x8 stock that has 2 grooves down it so when you put it up you maintain the typical 4"/100mm profile.  Sell it just like various siding profiled boards you can buy.

Particle board has a place, but slate wall it a terrible application for it, yet it all looks to be particle board.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3592
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 09:34 AM »
Plywood of the same thickness as MDF or particleboard  is not going to have a huge difference in pull-out strength if the grooves are identically routed.  If pull-out strength and/or weight-bearing capacity are critical issues, french cleats are a better option. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline blaszcsj

  • Posts: 355
  • I like building stuff with my hands.
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 12:38 PM »
Fench cleats are also easier to make. 45deg rips vs routing groves... Install is about the same if you just make a spacer for using after you set your first cleat.
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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1370
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 01:02 PM »
Could you make your own French cleat - slat wall hybrid by gluing/screwing solid wood cleats onto thin (1/2" or 3/8") plywood at short intervals? Beats routing. Unless you are outfitting the entire garage it should't be that time consuming.
You achieve the strength of FC and flexibility of SW. The advantage of not attaching so many cleats directly to the wall is the ease of building, dismantling or moving the panel around.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 01:28 PM by Svar »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 134
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 10:12 PM »

Plywood of the same thickness as MDF or particleboard  is not going to have a huge difference in pull-out strength if the grooves are identically routed.  If pull-out strength and/or weight-bearing capacity are critical issues, french cleats are a better option.

I agree if your going for real strength, go French cleat.   The issue is that slate wall is a nice option for places like a garage, just line the whole thing with it. Be able to take advantage of a world of pre-made accessories. But you are now in an environment where moisture in air, but also just liquids from various sources becomes a problem.  In an exposed situation like a garage, it's not a good option.  Particle board has it's place, but this is not a great place.  Just look at retail environments where it gets trashed in a fairly short time. Plywood has limits too, but in this sort of application much better than particle board. 

This is why they also make slate wall out of ABS and other plastics, but now you have something that cost a fortune.

Offline nostoct

  • Posts: 5
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 04:59 AM »

I wanted the slat wall but couldn’t justify the price and was concerned with the weight of some of the items I planned to hang. I covered the wall in French cleats from 3/4 plywood. It has held up great.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 430
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 08:08 AM »
@nostoct This is a very neat wall, and grats on your first post  [big grin]
Mario

Offline nostoct

  • Posts: 5
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2018, 08:26 AM »
Thanks Mario!

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 495
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2018, 08:58 AM »
@nostoct That's a nice clean setup.  How does your MFT/3 attach to the french cleat?
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 430
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2018, 09:04 AM »
@nostoct That's a nice clean setup.  How does your MFT/3 attach to the french cleat?

I suspect two double sided French cleat hooks  [huh]

Something like that?


The below French cleat can be shaped to hold onto the MFT profile.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 09:15 AM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3592
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2018, 10:13 AM »
@nostoct That's a nice clean setup.  How does your MFT/3 attach to the french cleat?

I suspect two double sided French cleat hooks  [huh]

Something like that?
(Attachment Link)



The below French cleat can be shaped to hold onto the MFT profile.

That must be from the Department of Redundancy Department, @Mario Turcot...   [poke]   [big grin]   [poke]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 495
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2018, 10:18 AM »
Ooooh a double sided french cleat!  I had not thought of that!!

I was thinking there must be something attached to either the side or the underside of the MFT/3.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Offline nostoct

  • Posts: 5
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2018, 10:43 AM »
Two single sided French cleats and some tornado hooks. Conveniently the table is down right now so I could take a pic.



Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 495
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2018, 11:01 AM »
Thanks for the pictures!  Using the hooks makes perfect sense now.  I had planned to store my MFT/3 using some screw in hooks (something like these: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Vinyl-Coated-Screw-In-Bicycle-Hook-18048/202305571) that I already had, but I scrapped that idea because of a couple of issues/concerns that I had.

Your setup has inspired me and given me an idea for how I *think* I can store my MFT/3.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Offline nostoct

  • Posts: 5
Re: Slat wall vs French Cleat
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2018, 01:22 PM »
No problem. I had looked at similar hooks at first but didn’t want the permanent placement. That led me to the slat walls and eventually to the French cleats. I can readjust placement whenever I have something new to hang or rotate out yard tools seasonally. New hangars take a few minutes to make out of scraps.