French Cleat Vs. Slatwall: Which Is Better?

Both engineered designs enable us to fix different objects onto a wall easily. These woodworks can also be used in any environment, whether commercial or within your own home. However, which of these two designs is better?

The French cleat is the better option as it is cheap, DIY, and used in most environments. On the other hand, a Slatwall is mostly popular for its use in shops, and the installation of this design can become a bit more costly than its counterpart. However, it does provide more freedom of attachment.

But before we fully conclude the winner of this dispute, let us look at all the various aspects that lead to the French cleat design being the better choice. Because they both perform a similar task, the intricate details are the things that differentiate one from the other. So now, let us begin with the meaning of a French cleat.

The Definition Of A French Cleat

The French cleat design includes a 30-to-45-degree angle, although 45 is the recommended and extensively used angle. This slant cut into the mold enables an efficient way of securing various objects onto a wall, whether a painting, mirror, or cabinet.

French Cleat Vs. Slatwall: Which Is Better?

The French cleat often gets used in pairs, which means that one section gets mounted onto the wall, and the other piece connects to the object of choice. Both sections require the cut to be the same angle for the perfect fit. Also, upon mounting the object, you will not have to worry about the cleat being visible.

The cleat’s length can also differ depending on your decision. You can choose to make it the same length as the cabinet to ensure support along the width of the entire object, or you can make the ends of the cleat slightly shorter. Making it shorter than the object enables you to adjust it either slightly to the left or slightly to the right, allowing you to position it perfectly.

The beveled edge faces the piece on the wall while fastening the object facing downwards. The French cleat allows for the hanging of various objects without any glues or fasteners. First, however, ensure the bottom of the object gets secured to the wall. This precaution decreases the possibility of the object falling off the cleat.

Things To Consider When Building A French Cleat

Conveniently, a French cleat is extremely easy to build at home, so do not let its fancy name intimidate you. Therefore, before making a French cleat by yourself, there are certain aspects that you need to be aware of that we will discuss below.

Learning The Fundamentals Of A French Cleat

Because a French cleat is so easy to replicate, you can fill an entire wall with them. However, remember to place them parallel to each other, a few inches apart, to prevent cluttering. So, French cleats are cheap, accessible, and provide one of the best support systems for any objects you wish to hang.

SpecificWhen making a French cleat, certain skills include measuring correctly, creating a clean straight cut, and basic carpentry principles. 

Choosing The Correct Material

French cleats get made from plywood; however, the grade you choose is particularly important. We suggest using Grade A or B plywood as it is denser and smoother, preventing warping or splintering. Using Grade C or D plywood is unwise as this type of wood comes with knots and additional weak spots.

Also, the measurement of plywood that you choose depends on the purpose it will perform or, in other words, how much weight it is going to hold. For example, for light shelving or objects, you will use ½-inch plywood, and when wanting to mount a heavier object, we recommend using a ¾-inch.

Cut Both Cleats With The Same Angle

It is important to remember that both French cleats need to have the same edged angle cut into them. If not, they will not fit perfectly into each other; therefore, they do not provide the proper support you expected. Ensure that both pieces have a 45-degree angle cut.

The most efficient way to make this cut is to use a miter or table saw. However, if you do not own either of these, you can travel to your local lumberyard or carpentry warehouse and ask the workers to rip the plywood that you purchased into cleats for you.

Make Certain That It Stays Level

Unsurprisingly, it is crucial to keep the French cleat at an even level. However, this task can prove quite difficult when trying to position it freehand. Therefore, the best way to help you ensure an even cleat is to use a carpenter’s level tool and a pencil.

The Definition Of A Slatwall

French Cleat Vs. Slatwall: Which Is Better?

A Slatwall consists of a combination of horizontal grooves, also known as slats. The grooves then get used in attaching various objects such as shelving, bins, or hooks. They can also either be installed as wall panels or as self-standing shelving. This design allows you to attach and remove any objects freely.

Here are the advantages of using a Slatwall.

  • Durability – slatwalls are made from metal, ending with a product with a long life expectancy and immunity to damage. The strength also allows it to support heavy fixtures or merchandise.
  • Cost-Efficient – The basic designs of slatwalls are available at a reasonably low price. However, if you want one with custom finishes, it will fetch higher prices.
  • Versatile – slatwalls are available to anyone as people can use them to display any items, whether clothing, candy, beauty products, accessories, or any other.
  • Easy To Use – Unlike a cleat, a set of tools with not be necessary because after assembling your fixtures, all that is left to do is to attach whatever you wish.


Both designs perform their main purpose very well. At the same time, the areas in which they get used differ as French cleats are for more home usage while slatwalls are more for commercial usage. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use one in the other scenario.


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