A stainless steel table is an absolute necessity for any restaurant or commercial kitchen. They’re extremely functional, providing both workspace and storage space all in one. Sleek, easy-to-clean stainless steel keeps your food prep area hygienic and matches beautifully with the other equipment in your kitchen.
However, with so many kinds of stainless steel tables available, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll go over the different types of steel tables, the benefits of each, and more. You’ll learn everything you need to be an informed shopper and buy the best stainless steel table for your kitchen.
Types of Stainless Steel Work Tables
A stainless steel table may seem like a straightforward kitchen essential, but in reality, dozens of styles, materials, and sizes are available. From getting the right gauge to choosing the right number of shelves, there are plenty of aspects to consider.
How to Select Which Steel Table Is Best for Your Kitchen
If you’re investing in a new stainless steel work table, it’s important to choose the right one to get the most value for your money. Some tables offer higher durability, but they’re typically more expensive. Other tables are made with slightly lower-quality materials but are available for a lower price.
The first thing to decide is the size of the stainless steel table you’d like. Think about where you’ll be setting up the work table. Would a rectangle or square shape fit better? What’s the maximum width you can have without cutting into the walkway? Work tables can be as narrow as 14 inches and as wide as 108 inches.
Different Gauges for Steel Tables
Stainless steel tables are available in different gauges, too. A gauge is a number associated with the steel’s weight and thickness. It can be used to determine durability: generally, the lower the gauge, the more durable it is. The standard gauges of a stainless steel work table are 14, 16, and 18.
Better gauges can be more expensive, so the highest gauge stainless steel table is not necessarily the best option for every customer. Consider the type of work you’ll use the table for. If you’re only doing light prep work, lower gauge steel should suffice. If you need the table for butcher work, tenderizing, or other heavy-use tasks, it’s probably worth investing in a high gauge.
Different Types of Steel Tables
In addition to gauges, there are different types of stainless steel. There are two main types of steel used for work tables: 304 steel and 430 steel.
So, what is the difference between 430 and 304 stainless steel tables? Just like with steel gauge, a lower number indicates higher quality. Grade 304 steel is austenitic steel. It is extremely durable and great for heavy-duty kitchen applications. On the other hand, grade 430 steel is ferritic steel, so it is lower quality and less stain- and rust-resistant. It’s still plenty strong for most kitchen uses but not as practical for humid environments or intense use cases.
However, grade 304 steel is more expensive, so consider whether the quality difference is worth the cost. If you’re unsure which type of steel will be better for your needs, look around and see what you’re currently using in your restaurant or kitchen. You can tell the difference with a magnet: 430 stainless steel is magnetic, but grade 304 is not.
Under Space Usage for Steel Tables: Shelving, Open Base, and More
Another factor that differentiates one steel table from another is storage. Some tables include extra shelving underneath, providing additional storage within the unit. The shelves are also made with stainless steel, so they’re just as durable as the rest of the unit.
A stainless steel work table with wire shelves is a great option if your kitchen is low on storage space. These tables include up to two shelves, making the most of the table’s footprint. A table with one shelf provides more vertical space if you need to store larger items, such as cooking equipment or big containers.
Backsplash for Steel Table Options
Another option for stainless steel tables is a backsplash. A backsplash is a ledge along the back of the unit, usually a few inches high, that helps prevent spills. If the table is placed against a wall, the backsplash can help protect your wall from splatters and stains. If you’re not worried about spills, you can select a unit without a backsplash and potentially save some money.
Shop Stainless Steel Tables at Elite Restaurant Equipment
As a restaurant owner, you have a lot on your plate. Don’t let shopping for equipment be another stressor—let Elite Restaurant Equipment make it easy for you. Our team of experts can guide you every step of the way to make sure you get the best possible equipment for your business.
We’ve been in business for over 30 years, and in that time, we’ve helped supply just about every type of restaurant and commercial kitchen. We can answer your questions, provide personalized advice, and more. Contact us today or visit us in person at our New Jersey location.