Should You Store Lumber Vertically or Horizontally? Which Way Is Best?

There are many reasons to store wood, but do you know how to keep it properly? Whether you’re an avid wood smith or a regular handyman, having the proper storage skills is very important.

You should store your lumber depending on whether it is seasoned or not. If seasoned, you can keep it either way. But, if it is still fresh and unseasoned, you need to stack them horizontally.

This article will teach you how to store lumbers to lengthen their usage and not ruin their quality.

How to Store Lumber for Future Use?

If you’re new to woodworking, you might not realize that storing lumber can cause it to bow and warp. It can lead to severe structural issues and even cause it to rot. Here are some tips that you need to remember:

Unseasoned Wood Should Be Outdoors

If you’re air-drying lumber, keep it away from other seasoned and dried wood. It will prevent moisture from entering the storage area and potentially contributing to the humidity levels. Also, keeping this wood outdoors can help fasten its drying time.

Kiln-Dried Wood Must Be Inside

Keep all types of wood that are at their desired moisture content indoors. You can do it by storing them in a garage, shed, or storage unit. Doing so will prevent the moisture content from rising.

Avoid Overstacking

Make sure that the lumber you’re storing has room to breathe. Doing so will preclude the wood from becoming suffocated and cause it to bend in different ways.

Although storing wood vertically is a norm, it’s only necessary if already seasoned. Keep it horizontal until its moisture content reaches its ideal level. Keeping it vertical is advised for dried wood if you can support it at both the top and bottom.

Also, keep the wood off the ground to minimize the risk of water damage.

Use a Wall Mount

A wall-mounted storage rack helps keep your wood up and out of the floor, but it’s essential to make sure that the supports are strong enough to support the weight of the wood. Also, avoid storing too much lumber to ensure that the wood is in its best condition.

Since most of us have limited space, vertically storing lumber is the best way to keep it dry and prevent it from getting damaged. This method should not affect the wood’s condition.

Also, raising the lumber off the ground will prevent it from getting damaged. You can use a lumber cart to store smaller pieces.

Storing Lumber Vertically

Keep your lumber in cool and dry places. It ensures that it’s not damaged and that you can reuse it. Extensive heat or humidity can impair the wood pieces’ structural integrity.

Doing so can also cause them to lose their dimensional stability. Keep them cool and dry by placing them somewhere that’s not too hot or too humid.

Most people prefer to keep their lumber vertical as it takes up less space in various places, such as basements and barns. It ensures that you can move them quickly and efficiently.

With vertical storage solutions, you can store more lumber in traditional areas such as attics and basements. However, this method can expose the material to water damage and bowing.

If you place your lumber pieces against a wall, they can get damaged by water or moisture. It can arise due to varied factors, such as a leaking pipe or excessive moisture in the air.

The weight and gravity of the lumber piece resting on its base can affect its structural stability. Over time, this can cause it to bow and render it useless for any project.

The key to successful storage is to distribute the weight-bearing load evenly. You can also place the lumber on a rack or other equipment to prevent it from getting damaged.

How to Find the Best Vertical Storage Racks?

If you’re having difficulty finding enough space to store all of your lumber, a vertical rack might be just what you need. You should regard some factors when buying a storage rack for your lumber. Aside from being functional, these items can also help keep your wood in its best condition.

Before buying a rack, make sure that it has a weight-bearing capacity. It will allow you to store all of your lumber in one place.

Having a good weight capacity will give you security. When buying a storage rack, you should consider the lumber’s weight. Doing so will help prevent accidents.

Also, make sure that the vertical rack has an elevated base. It will allow your wood to rest comfortably on its surface. You can find various types of steel or wooden floors for sale.

The rack should have at least an inch of clearance from each other to prevent moisture from entering the wood. If you have a slight amount of lumber, you can also use vertical racks with wheels to move around.

Some storage solutions also provide safety mechanisms to prevent your wood pieces from tipping over.

Since these items are heavy, crashing a piece of wood can cause various injuries. To avoid this, use a rack with a chain to prevent the lumber from getting damaged.

One of the essential features of a vertical rack is its ability to split the space into vertical compartments. These compartments can help keep the weight of the wood from getting too heavy on one side.

How to Store Wood Components?

Although it’s not that hard to store wood furniture, there are some things that you should remember when it comes to keeping them protected.

If possible, use a climate control unit. It will allow you to keep the wood in its original condition while keeping the humidity and temperature under control. It’s also essential to prevent the wood from cracking and getting moldy.

Getting rid of the dirt and debris that can get stuck on your wood furniture and components by using wooden pallets or cinder blocks is also an excellent way to prevent damage.

Doing so will allow air to circulate and prevent them from getting wet. Keep the wood covered with a cotton sheet to prevent it from getting damp and swelling. It will also keep the dust from entering the wood.

Before storing your wood furniture, make sure to apply a bit of wax or polish to prevent it from cracking. Doing so will help prevent it from getting damaged due to environmental changes.

If you’re planning on keeping your wood furniture in storage, avoid storing it on top of other objects. It will prevent the wood components from getting damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Wood Warping?

After processing, lumber begins to change its moisture content. It is because it has lost its ability to absorb moisture. You need to act upon it to prevent the wood from soaking in water.

The warm weather around wood will eventually release moisture into the air, which will then cause the wood to contract or crack.

However, if the environment is humid or wet, the wood will absorb the moisture and swell. It’s necessary to maintain a balanced environment.

The moisture content of wood can change drastically, which can cause it to become warped. It is essential to control the moisture content of your store lumber.

What Is the Best Way to Store Timber?

Lumber should be stored vertically and on a flat surface when seasoned already. It ensures that it can absorb air and avoid warping. If you’re planning on keeping wood vertically, make sure that the storage system is raised off the base so that air can circulate beneath it.

Doing so will prevent moisture from building up and potentially destroying the wood.


You can store lumber horizontally or vertically if they are already seasoned. However, horizontal stacking is best for freshly cut threads to prevent damage.

Although it’s not always easy to store wood components and lumber, it’s still essential to follow a few simple rules to ensure they are in good condition.