How Much Weight Can a French Cleat Hold? (Chart)

While choosing a French cleat, you’re confused whether it can hold your things or not. It must be confusing for you. We get it. Because without proper knowledge you can’t come up with any decision.

So, how much weight can a French cleat hold?

Well, surprisingly french cleats are strong. French cleat holds 20 pounds to 200 pounds. However, the weight can decrease and increase depending on different factors. Plus putting studs in drywall changes the weight-holding capacity of a cleat. At that time, a French cleat can support the tremendous weight.

Now, this may not be enough. That’s why we’ve provided you with all the needed information.

What Is A French Cleat Wall?

A French cleat wall is a method of wall organization that utilizes a pair of interlocking wooden strips to hang items securely.

It consists of a long, angled strip with a 30-45 degree bevel cut along one edge, which is mounted horizontally on the wall.

A corresponding strip with the opposite bevel cut is attached to the back of the item to be hung. The two strips interlock, creating a sturdy and versatile system for hanging objects.

How Strong Is A French Cleat: Factors Behind Its Strength

French Cleat Material French Cleat Thickness French Cleat Weight Capacity
Plywood 3/4 inch (19 mm) Up to 200 lbs
MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) 3/4 inch (19 mm) Up to 150 lbs
Solid Wood (Hardwood) 3/4 inch (19 mm) Up to 250 lbs
Metal (Steel or Aluminum) 1/8 inch (3 mm) Up to 300 lbs
Plastic (High-Density Polyethylene) 3/4 inch (19 mm) Up to 100 lbs

Now, if you didn’t know, french cleats came from the term “Frenching”. This refers to cutting something into thin strips. However, it’s actually a way to secure or hold things.

A French cleat is known to be pretty strong when it comes to holding items. But to know how well-built your cleat is, you need to know one principal fact. And that’s- force. 

You need to think about the vertical force on the shear. So, notice how much weight or force is pushing down on your cleat. 

The shear strength of the French cleat system depends on a bunch of components. Those factors are the material used to make it. And another factor is the size of the French cleat. 

Now, to help you out, we’ve explained the factors in easy words:

Factor 1: French Cleat Material

Some French cleats are made from metal. But most of the French cleats are made from plywood. Plywoods have more weight-holding capacity. Hence, they’re perfect for hanging bulky items.

Factor 2: French Cleat Dimension

A strong French cleat should be at least 3 ½ -inch in width and 24 inches long. If the wood inclines back to the wall then you can attach a small piece. This small piece should be ¾ inch of plywood at the bottom.

Next, if you are thinking about the height of a French cleat. Then a French can usually be 3” to 6” tall. Lastly, for thickness, plywood is much thicker than metal.

So, these were the factors on which the weight-holding capacity of the cleat depends. However, the strength of the French cleat also depends on the nail, and glue used for hanging it.

These will definitely help your cleat endure the heaviest of weights.

Now, if these factors are not good enough, the cleat won’t have much strength. Therefore, your cleat won’t be able to hold too much weight. In reverse, with strong material, good size, and hanging tool- the french cleat can hold more weight than you can imagine. 

Nonetheless, if you want an average weight capacity count. French cleats can hold a minimum of 20 pounds to a maximum of 100 pounds or more. 

What Are The Things A French Cleat Can Hold?

Well, a French cleat is a way of securing things. Things like a cabinet, mirror, artwork, or another object to the wall. Now, the French cleat is a molding of a 30–45 degree slope. This molding is used for hanging cabinets or other objects.

Also, french cleats can be utilized in pairs, or with a cleat mounted to the wall. Again, these cleats hold the kitchen cabinet easily.

Furthermore, many woodworking shops use French cleats. They use it to sort out and store their power and hand tools for easy access. Using these cleats, you can build an entire wall with multiple rows of the linear wall. 

So, whether you’re hanging tools, a painting, or shelves; french cleats are an excellent choice. 

How To Increase The Weight Capacity Of A French Cleat?

Now, to get proper french cleat strength you should use anchors to the wall. And the wall cleat should be anchored in at least two wall studs using the lag screws. The lag screws are especially sturdy and tough fasteners.

The lag screws are used to connect wood. It carries heavy loads. A single lag screw in a wood stud can increase the weight capacity. It can bear a weight of between 80 – 100 pounds.

Again, two screws can hold 160-200 pounds. So, the wall cleat should be wide enough to fit two lag screws. Also, it should span a minimum of two studs. 

Here, you can distribute the weight carried among as many studs as possible. So, the more studs you use, the greater the weight it supports.

Then, a French-cleat weight limit will be determined by how many studs are screwed to it. 

Here, consider how many screws are used to connect to those studs. The plywood grade and dimension will also determine the strength.

If you touch the top of an installed French cleat with your fingers, you’ll perceive something. You’ll notice that the front edge is higher than the back edge.

This higher edge helps the cleat to hold more weight.

What Are The Advantages Of A French Cleat Wall?

  • Flexibility: The system allows for easy rearrangement and customization of the items being hung. You can quickly move or add new items without the need for additional tools or hardware.
  • Strong and secure: The interlocking design of the French cleat provides a sturdy and reliable mounting solution. It can support heavy items and offers stability.
  • Versatility: With a French cleat wall, you can hang a wide variety of items, including shelves, cabinets, tools, artwork, and more. The system accommodates different sizes and weights.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The exposed wooden strips of the French cleat can add a decorative element to your wall, creating an attractive and organized display.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Wide Does A French Cleat Need To Be Cut?

So for the thickness, you should use plywood. You should choose at least ½ inch, although a ¾ inch plywood. It’ll serve you better. Also, it will give you a strong and secure hold. 

What Should Be The French Cleat Cut Angle?

Here, the angle cut on your French cleats should be 45 degrees. This forms a 90-degree connection. That means the full dimension of the piece of plywood which you’re using for the cleat. 

Is It Difficult To Make A French Cleat?

Well, the answer is no. You only need a measuring tape, a stud finder, a power drill, some lag screws, a level, and safety goggles.

Can A French Cleat Wall Be Used On Any Type Of Wall?

Yes, a French cleat wall can be used on various types of walls, including drywall, concrete, or wood.

Wrapping Up

Now, you know the required information about how much weight can a French cleat hold.

Here’s some advice for you while choosing plywood. You should choose at least ½ inch for the thickness of the plywood. Although a ¾ inch of plywood will serve you better.

Let us know if this article helped you. Good luck!  

Kevin Smith

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