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Bowling Ball & Shoe Storage Ideas

Bowling ball & shoe storage for home bowling alley

This page provides design ideas for bowling ball and shoe storage solutions in your home bowling alley. In the photo gallery below, you can browse photos of built-in shelving, cubbie holes, rails, racks, lockers, etc that some of our customers have built in their private bowling alleys. While we do not offer these items ourselves, we provide these photos as a resource for discussions with your interior designer and trim carpenter.

For the customers who opt for guest bowling balls that are custom made, all of the balls have the same design, and as such, they can function as an interior design accent color for the room. In these cases, open storage makes sense. Even in cases were there are an assortment of colors, it's a good idea to make the balls and shoes easily visible and accessible to the bowlers. Bowling shoes have the size number on the back of each shoe, and bowling balls have a weight label. Open storage makes it easier for bowlers to quickly find the sizes they need.

Bowling Ball Storage Design

Trim carpenters build several different types of bowling ball storage designs, but there are a few that we see frequently. The most common category is "parallel rails". The rails can be square metal tubes, round chrome pipes, wooden boards, etc. The balls sit down between the rails, allowing side-to-side movement, but prohibiting front-to-back movement. The other type we see a lot is round holes cut into shelves. The diameter of the hole doesn't need to be that big - just enough to prevent the ball from rolling off the shelf. The advantage of this design is the spacing of the balls is perfectly uniform. The edge of the hole can be routed with a 45-degree chamfer. All bowling balls have the same diameter (regardless of weight): 8 - 9/16 inches.

Don't forget about ergonomics! Bowling balls can be heavy and awkward to handle, especially for the elderly and young children, and especially if the balls have some bowling lane oil on them. Balls should be stored at a comfortable height — somewhere around waist high works well. Forcing bowlers to reach high or to stoop all the way to the floor increases the risk of injuries and accidents. Also, make sure the bowler can stand right next to the shelving (with extra room for the bowler's toes to go underneath the shelving if possible). Make sure the bowling balls are not inset into the wall, away from the bowler. In other words, don't force the bowler to reach out horizontally over some impediment. This creates more torque on the shoulder and back.

Bowling Shoe Storage Design

Shoe storage usually consists of flat or slanted shelves, or individual cubby holes. A cubby hole size that works well is 12 inches wide on center, and 6 inches tall on center. A depth of 12 inches makes sense, as this corresponds to the length of a larger size for an adult male, as well as the depth of a standard upper cabinet. A depth of 12 inches also works well for the ball storage, although balls are a little smaller.

Bowling ball and shoe storage cubby holes.Floating shelf for bowling balls.Floating shelf for bowling shoes. Cubby holes for bowling balls and balls.Built-in storage for bowling balls and shoes.
"As a General Contractor and business owner, my reputation is at stake when it comes to the Sub Contractors that I choose & entrust to provide quality craftsmanship, products, & services for my clients. I contracted with Matt & his firm to install residential bowling lanes in a high-end home that I was building for a PGA Tour Golfer and personal friend. Not only were the lanes required to perform perfectly for the client & his family, but they had to exceed all expectations for specific design & function as this home was prominently featured in the "Street Of Dreams" Showcase of Homes. I can say that Matt definitely surpassed the highest of standards established for our project in terms of his level of professionalism, personal integrity, and the value of services that we received... and all while meeting the most time-restrictive deadline. I highly recommend Matt of Fusion Bowling as you'll find that he delivers an amazing quality-end product and possesses an incomparable knowledge of equipment technology, as well as the latest sought after design trends in residential bowling. Additionally, Matt has proven to be both reliable and (atypically) "available" to our clients in providing post-installation services & valuable resources."
Victoria Martoccia
President
Victoria Martoccia Custom Construction, Inc.
"I had never put a bowling alley in a house before, and so when I was looking for a company to provide that service, I met with Matt at Fusion Bowling. Matt and his team provided all the information that I would need and made sure that I knew every detail of what I needed to do to make sure the job went smooth, they made visits to the site and numerous phone calls to me to confirm all openings and placement of all sleeving needed for wiring and made the job a huge success and a very happy client. I highly recommend Fusion for anyone looking to have a bowling alley installed, for the simple fact that the attention to detail and the communication provided from Matt and his team made the job as simple as possible."
Greg Givans
President
Triton Builders, Inc.
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