By Ray Winson | 07 January 2022

Commercial Prep Work Tables Buyer's Guide In 2021

Commercial Prep Work Tables Buyer's Guide In 2021


Used every day for preparing and serving food, the commercial preparing tables are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Without them, you won't have enough space to keep all your ingredients and dishes. And even if you, it will be cluttered and unhygienic.

However, not every worktable is created the same way or offers the same qualities. Some will be larger, better, and more studier, while the others may be stylish but low quality. At times, it can get tricky to find the best commercial preparing table for your kitchen.

Even if you are going for the most commonly used stainless steel prep table tops, you still have gauge, strength, size, and other factors to consider. So, let's dive in and learn about the different preparation table materials and aspects related to them. 

The commercial kitchen prep tables usually come in three different materials-stainless steel, wood, and poly tops.

Stainless Steel Prep Table

Steel is the best possible material for a preparation table. It's easy to maintain, good in strength, and has an excellent life. Although, you will need to consider the steel grade and gauge before selecting a steel table.

Steel Grade

While stainless steel comes in many grades, only two are fit for making commercial stainless steel work tables-the 304 and 430 grades.

304 Grade

304 Grade is austenitic steel that is ideal for deep drawing, making it best for fitting like kitchen sinks and prep tables. The steel type's composition consists of 18% Chromium and around 8% nickel, both known for thermal and liquid resistance.

It means the table won't get corroded with all the moisture and liquids of the kitchen. Plus, it won't experience much change in size due to temperature changes.
Moreover, the chromium content makes the stainless steel prep table very easy to clean. Once placed, the table can retain its shiny looks for years, even with a standard cleaning routine.

430 Grade

430 is yet another low carbon low silicon steel with excellent durability. The steel uses 17-18% chromium like the 304 but no nickel. It reduces the ductility of the material, making it best for table tops. It makes sure that minor strikes or shocks don't lead to dents or damages.

The composition also makes the stainless steel prep table resistant to thermal expansion and rusting. It's not as resistant as the 304 steel, but it works.

As for cleaning routines, the stainless steel work table can easily resist most stains. So, there are no special cleaning or chemical cleaner requirements.

Steel Gauge

Like the steel types, the commercial stainless steel work tables also come in different thicknesses or gauges. The most common gauges of steel tables that you will find are the 14, 16, and 18.

18 Gauge: It's the thickness of the three and is ideal for general usages. It can take the general strikes but is not ideal for heavy usage. You can prefer this grade for sorting stuff, making sandwiches, and salad preparation.

16 Gauge: The 16 gauge steel is 0.06 inches thick, nearly 0.01 inches more than 18 gauge. This grade is an intermediate between the 18 and 14 gauge and is ideal for professional commercial cooking. You can use it for most things, from chopping to sorting with ease.

14 Gauge: This gauge is the thickest of the three and has a thickness of around 0.08 inches. This gauge is very strong and can take heavy beating and loads. The type is best for when your preparation involves meat working and heavy poundings.

Wood Top Work Tables

Wood is a natural material that is safe for all sorts of food making and decoration purposes. It also packs enough strength to handle all sorts of heavy work and pounding. Plus, wooden tables are available in multiple distinct patterns and colors depending on their source.

The only drawback here is that the wooden table tops are prone to cuts and water. Even coated wood or engineered wood has its limits. Moreover, wood is slightly tricky to clean. Most wood will absorb oils and other liquids that can cause deep stains, which are almost impossible to clean.

So, it's not the ideal material for a commercial or high-traffic kitchen. It's best to use it for light food preparation only.

Poly Topped Table

For a sleek, smooth and clean look, the poly top tables are the best possible choice. They have a clean, shiny plastic look that is very appealing. What makes the material great is its excellent durability and easy cleaning.

The table top can easily take sharp knives without getting damaged. Plus, you can remove the top for cleaning whenever you need it. Moreover, it doesn't absorb water or liquid, like wood, which ensures the table top retains its looks.

You can also use the table top as a chopping board by simply removing it from its frame. The only problem is that it does not handle direct blows. It may get damaged with continued heavy poundings.

Table Size

One thing that remains common in all three materials is their customizable sizes. You can get them in any size from 24 to 120 inches wide and 24 to 36 inches deep. There is also the option of customized sizes.

So, just measure the available floor space, and go with the size that fits with it.

Accessories and Backsplash

Backlash is a must-have addition for any commercial preparation table. It's like an edge at the back size that prevents liquid splashes while preparing.
Other than that, it also checks if the commercial kitchen prep table has a storage compartment or multiple actions. Wielded handles, sink drawers, in-build cutting boards, or anything that can help is a considerable option.
Just make sure to consider your budget in each of these choices. It's never good to spend more than you can afford.

Commercial Use 

Many commercial kitchens have food processing tables because it's a practical and cost-efficient way to store and serve food on a regular basis. High quality stainless steel is great for storing and moving food because it has a very high density and very little give. A commercial kitchen should definitely consider purchasing one because it can save space and save money. If the kitchen is not a large one, it could be bought for a single or double seating capacity. It can also provide storage space and serve as a buffet for customers or employees.
This type of table has been used in commercial kitchens and in manufacturing settings for years. It is usually preferred by restaurants and hotels because of its durability and superior performance properties. It offers a simple solution for storing products and for transporting them to various locations. There are different grades and styles available and are often preferred because they are affordable and easy to assemble.

Home/ Residential Use 

This type is perfect for people who prefer to do their own cleaning and cooking on their own and doesn't want to pay extra for a commercial restaurant kitchen. Because there are different types and styles available, this may be a perfect purchase for the home owner or family chef who likes to keep things simple. They are also ideal for people who have less time to invest in their homes because it can be used for food processing and for prep tables. It is less expensive and less bulky than other types of materials.


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