Buying Guide To Stainless Steel Work Tables

Buying Guide To Stainless Steel Work Tables

Stainless steel tables are the industry standard for commercial kitchen prep tables. A stainless steel prep table is easy to clean and tough enough to handle direct contact with hot pots. No professional kitchen is complete without stainless steel tables, and many home kitchens can also benefit from their addition. 

When choosing stainless steel tables, you must understand a little about stainless steel grades, finishes, gauges, and table features. The information below provides an easy reference to help you purchase the best stainless steel table for your kitchen. 

Types of Stainless Steel Grades

The grade of a stainless steel table refers to the crystalline structure of the steel, which determines the table’s durability. The food industry uses two types of stainless steel grades: 304 and 430. 

304 Stainless Steel

304 stainless steel tables resist corrosion and rust and are well-suited for humid environments. A 304 kitchen stainless steel table is easy to sanitize and highly durable. 

430 Stainless Steel

430 stainless steel is less durable and rusts easier than 304 steel but is still well-suited for prep work. A low-cost alternative to type 304, a 430 stainless steel table is an excellent choice for basic prep work. 

Types of Stainless Steel Gauges 

Gauge refers to the thickness of a stainless steel table. A small gauge indicates a thicker table surface, which increases both the price and the toughness of the table. 

18 Gauge (0.05”)

Often called “budget tables,” 18 gauge stainless steel tables work best for light-duty prep, such as making sandwiches and salads. This gauge is not suitable for heavy use. 

16 Gauge (0.0625”)

16 gauge stainless steel tables balance affordability with a durable surface and are ideal for light to medium kitchen work.

14 Gauge (0.0781”)

Heavy and durable, a 14 gauge kitchen stainless steel table is perfect for butchering and can take heavy blows without damage. 

Types of Stainless Steel Finishes

Stainless steel table finishes include smooth, grained, and polished. The most common finish in the food industry is a fine single-direction grain, which withstands years of heavy use. The finished roughened surface has a matte appearance that reflects less light than polished steel. Stainless steel itself is grainless: applying a fine abrasive produces the grain on the finished table.

Features of Stainless Steel Work Tables

When choosing stainless steel tables, consider the following: 


Your table should be large enough to perform its assigned tasks but not so large it eats up valuable kitchen floor space. A small prep table may have a width between 24 inches to 96 inches and be anywhere from 12 inches to 30 inches deep.

Shelving or Open Base?

Shelving provides storage space for small items and helps keep things off the floor, but it makes cleaning under the table difficult if the shelf is close to the floor. Shelves may be constructed from galvanized steel or stainless steel

An open base table allows room for large food bins, but the containers are in direct contact with the ground. Cleaning under an open base table is easy. 


A built-in backsplash protects the wall behind the table from accumulating food and debris. Backsplash height can range from 1.5 inches for a light-duty table to over 10 inches for heavy tables. 

Table Edges

Stainless steel table edges are either square or rounded. Choose square edges if the table position is against other flat objects. Opt for rounded edges if the table will stand alone to prevent accidental injuries. 

Other Options for Stainless Steel Tables

Reasons to Choose A Kitchen Stainless Steel Table

  • Non-porous surface (does not absorb bacteria)
  • Stain, dent, and corrosion resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to sanitize
  • Heat resistant
  • Cost-efficient

Explore Stainless Steel Work Tables 

Durable, easy to clean and sanitize, and perfect for prep work, stainless steel tables deserve a place in your kitchen. Find the stainless steel tables you need at Chefs’ Toys, and contact us if you have any questions about stainless steel table gauges, grades, and features.