Work Top Tables and the Importance of Durability When Purchasing One

By Jim Young

All Work and no Play  

Work top tables come in many different sizes, forms, and materials. The most popular and efficient tops for commercial work tables are stainless steel and butcher block. At Elite Restaurant Equipment they offer a wide variety of choices so you can find the work table that best suits your business or residence. The more durable and sturdy models are constructed from heavy duty stainless steel or butcher block. Whether you are using a commercial work table for your business or residence, you will find this item to be the most used in the kitchen. The lighter duty models are lower in cost. They are generally constructed from galvanized metal. Work tables are available in many different types. Butcher tables, equipment stands, standard work tables, work tables with a backsplash, work tables with a backsplash and wire under shelves, and work tables with under shelves. It is important to know exactly what kind of work table your are looking for before purchasing one. This article will shed some light on the different kinds of work tables, this advantages and disadvantages of each one, and ideal usage of each one.  

Butcher Block Tables    

Butcher block table tops are great for a clean environment and excellent to use for a cutting station. These tables are the best for cutting meats, cheeses, cold cuts, fruits, and vegetables. The wood surface makes it the best for cutting and it is cleaned very easily. One of the top vendors in this niche market is John Boos. John Boos & Co. based in Effingham, Illinois, is one of the oldest manufacturers of premium quality kitchen equipment and butcher blocks in the United States, and has been in business continuously since 1887. The first invention the company created was a sycamore tree placed on three legs to absorb the shock of the smith’s hammer against the anvil. When the local butcher saw and admired the innovation, he realized that he could use one in his meat market. John adapted the idea and made him one. This was the start of John Boos & Company making butcher blocks for commercial meat markets over 120 years ago. All John Boos products are made from thick maple wood.

(maple wood is the most common wood used for musical instruments.) 

 

Butcher block table tops come in a variety of different sizes. The first thing one most look at is the thickness of the maple wood. The thickness of these units can be 11’2’’, 13/4’’, 21/4’’, and 23/4’’. Depending on the item desired to cut that may determine the thickness of the wood you need. These units are available in several different widths as well. They can be 36’’ to 120’’. Before purchasing a butcher block table it is important to determine whether you need the base to be stainless steel or galvanized. Stainless steel is more durable and is designed to withstand elements such as rust. After the base material has been determined it is important to decide on whether you need a shelf on the bottom of the table. This shelf can be used to help store seasonings, other equipment, or cutting utensils. These shelves are available in both galvanized and stainless steel also.

Equipment Stands

            Equipment stands are a necessity for every commercial business. Equipment stands are extremely durable and are built to last in even the most hectic restaurant environments. Equipment stand bases are all made with 16 gauge the highest quality stainless steel.

(Fun fact to be characterized as Stainless Steel, the alloy must contain at least 10 % chromium.) 

 Universal is one of the most respected and trusted brand of equipment stands in the industry. These tables all contain an under shelf for added convenience. This shelf can either be galvanized or stainless steel. The galvanized material is not as quality or durable. All Universal equipment stands are made with a backsplash standard. This backsplash can help prevent items from hitting the floor thus helping maintain sanitary conditions and eliminate undesired pests at the same time.  Equipment stands are best used when supporting commercial grade restaurant equipment. This could include char broilers, griddles, coffee makers, and mixers. Equipment stands come in a standard 36’’ height. The widths and depths of these units vary immensely. The large size the table is the higher weight capacity it has. The depths of these units can either be 24’’ or 30’’. The widths of equipment stand range between 12’’-96’’. It is important to obtain accurate measurements before purchasing one.

Standard Work Tables

            Work tables are a good fit in both a commercial and residential setting. Work top tables are the core of any kitchen. Work tables can be purchased with or without a backsplash. The backsplash can help prevent items from hitting the floor thus helping maintain sanitary conditions and eliminate undesired pests at the same time. These like all other work top tables come with a standard height dimension of 36’’. The depth of these tables can vary anywhere between 14’’-36’’. The width of these tables can vary between 24’’-120’’. Work tables can be purchased with an under shelf or with a cross bar. Each one of these can be purchased in either stainless steel or galvanized material. The shelf adds convenience for the user of the unit. The cross bar is welded on to provide additional sturdiness and support. Standard work tables are best used for preparing any food inside the home or at a business. Stainless steel is a better material to withstand the wear and tear of even the craziest of kitchens.

Wired Shelves Work Tables

          A wired shelf work table can be a great way to help organize your kitchen. Prep space is a very important aspect to consider before purchasing a heavy-duty work table. The Universal stainless steel wired shelf work table is an economical way to ensure the staff of your commercial restaurant operation has prep space that is durable and reliable. The under shelf is a great tool for storage. These models contain durable stainless steel tops, making it great for installing against a wall and helps keep food products on the table. This unit is a great addition to any commercial kitchen. In the recent past many people have been purchasing this unit for residential use, as it proves to have longevity and sleek stainless steel design. These tables can be purchased with or without a back splash. This backsplash can help prevent items from hitting the floor thus helping maintain sanitary conditions and eliminate undesired pests at the same time. The unique wired pattern helps brighten any solid looking kitchen. These tables are all stainless steel to maximize durability and sturdiness. Like all other work top tables it is a standard 36’’ in height. The depth can either be 24’’ or 30’’. The widths of these units can range between 24’’-72’’.

Casters

            Casters are a great addition for any type of work table. Casters are easy to install and you have the ability to easily move around your shelving units. Casters are great for cleanliness as well. You can easily move your shelving units from the wall or corner to reach the rubbish that is hidden bellow the item. Casters can help the mobility of these units and also some are available with locks so the units cannot be moved. Casters come in a variety of sizes. They are available in a variety of wheel diameters 3’’, 4’’, and 5’’.  Some of the most popular manufacturers of casters are Winco, Thunder Group, and Universal. Casters can be individually ordered in a few cases, but mostly are sold in packs of four.  

Finding the Ideal Work Table

            There are several factors that one must consider before purchasing the appropriate work table. If your desire to cut and work on products such as cheeses, meats, and cold cuts a butcher block table is a perfect fit. Equipment stands are the best when used to hold commercial or residential grade equipment. These items include such things as char broilers, mixers, griddles, and coffee makers. Work top tables are a great addition to any home or business. It is essential to note that these tables can be purchased with either a galvanized or stainless steel under shelf. The galvanized under shelf is less durable but costs less than the stainless steel. All of these units come with a backsplash. Finally work top tables with under shelves can be a great way to organize your kitchen equipment. These units can be purchased with or without a backsplash. The two wired shelves on this unit helps hold additional equipment than its one solid shelf competitors.

About the author: Jim Young is a restaurant owner with over 20 years of experience. He has two restaurants in New York and one in Connecticut. These restaurants include a steak house, diner, and Asian fusion. Jim within his businesses and his home has over 40 different work top tables.  In his spare time Jim likes to write articles for food magazines and collects miniature soldiers.