The versatility of stainless steel tables with shelves allows them to incorporate into a number of spaces in your home. In the kitchen, the tables are ideal for adding workspace without sacrificing storage space. For a workroom, tables with shelves give you space to work on projects and the flexibility to have two surfaces for storage when the table's not in use. The modern look of stainless steel also makes it suitable for use in an entryway, foyer, living room or dining area to display collectibles or china. Wherever the destination for your table with a shelf may be, the durability and easy-to-clean surface of the piece ensures that you'll have it for years to come and continue to enjoy the beauty and functionality that it adds to your home.
Because tables are meant to stand up to the years, your buying decision should be well-informed to ensure that the piece you select fits your needs and allows the usefulness of the piece to endure throughout the life of the table. Today's manufacturers offer numerous style options and special features that result in subtle differences between the models that are available on the market today. To make sure you buy the perfect table for your home, you must carefully consider all of the available features on the market and decide which are the most beneficial for your needs.
Our Buyers' Guide to Stainless Steel Tables with Shelves helps you explore the stylistic differences and special features of the diverse array of tables available on the market today. Use it as a starting place to determine what to look for when you begin to shop and compare tables.Size
One of the largest reasons that people become dissatisfied with their tables is because they fail to purchase a table that is the appropriate size. Because of this, it's vital that you carefully consider what dimensions you'll need to meet your needs, not just now, but as your needs change over the years.
To get you started thinking about the perfect dimensions for your table, begin by examining the space where you will place it.
If you do not have a table there currently, use masking tape to mark off the area and then measure the dimensions to get a rough idea of the size that you are envisioning.
In areas where you do have a table, consider how satisfied you are with its use. Do you need more workspace than what you currently have? If you already have shelving on your table, are the shelves completely filled or do you still have storage space available?Allowing Enough Space
When considering the right width and length for your table, keep in mind that you need roughly 30 to 36 inches of clearance on any side of the piece that you will be walking around. In some instances, you may need more than that. For example, if you are adding a worktable to the center of your kitchen, at least 30 inches of space is needed on every side for people to be able to simply navigate around it. You may decide that you want additional room, however, such as 40 inches, to allow someone to work at the stove or sink while you work at the table.Interpreting Dimensions
As you examine the product descriptions for tables with shelves, you'll see a standard way of listing the dimensions. By understanding the system, it will be easy for you to quickly compare models and overrule items that do not meet your size requirements.
The length (the measurement across the front) is always listed first in dimensions and sometimes marked with an "L." Next, you'll see the width (the measurement across the sides), which is sometimes designated with a "W." The final measurement is the height (the distance from the floor to the top of the piece) and may have an "H" listed beside it. Typically, measurements are given in inches, though some European manufacturers may use the metric system. The Importance of Height
The height of your table deserves some attention, as many buyers fail to consider its importance. For decorative tables, the height is largely a matter of personal preference, though typically, taller tables will allow you to display taller items on the bottom shelf.
For tables where you will be doing food preparation and other work, the right height is more of a necessity. For people around average height, which is typically 5 foot 4 inches to 5 foot 9 inches, a worktable that is 36 inches tall is ideal. Those who are shorter often benefit from 34 to 35 inch tables, while those who are taller should look for pieces that are over 36 inches. If heights vary dramatically in your family, consider who will be using the workspace the most and shop accordingly.Mixer and Equipment Stands
Some table manufacturers produce shorter tables that are called equipment or mixer stands. These pieces are used to store kitchen equipment for quick access and are not intended to function as work surfaces. Most equipment and mixer stands are between 24 and 26 inches tall.Types of Shelves
When you know that you need the benefits of a shelf for your table, the second most important feature after the size of the table is the type of shelf that the piece offers. Three main types of shelves exist in today's tables:
Types of Tabletops
- Open shelves are the most common type of shelf for tables and are simply an additional surface located below the tabletop. The space is open and allows you to easily reach down and retrieve items. For decorative pieces, open shelves are usually ideal; however, for kitchen settings, there is a risk that smaller items may slip off the sides of the shelf.
- Adjustable shelves look identical to open shelves once in place but actually are removable from the table unit. In most pieces, there are several heights at which you can place the lower shelf to accommodate different sizes of equipment or collectibles. You can even opt to remove the shelf completely if your needs or tastes change later on. Unfortunately, adjustable shelves are not as common as open shelf models; to get all of the features and the size that you require, you may have to settle for open shelves.
- Enclosures have metal sides rather than open spaces and are intended to keep items from falling onto the floor. For decorative purposes, enclosure shelves often look too industrial, making them more common for use in kitchens. Like adjustable shelves, enclosures are not as widely used in table designs.
After deciding what type of shelves best suit your needs, turn your attention to the tabletop. Three primary types of tops are available for your consideration.
- Steel top tables offer a durable, easy-to-clean surface. Since steel is not porous, germs cannot penetrate it, making steel tops the most sanitary. In fact, in commercial kitchens, stainless steel tops are usually mandatory under health codes because they offer such superior sanitary quality. For a decorative table, a stainless steel top may be less visually appealing; and in kitchens, you will typically need to use a cutting board atop the tabletop for food preparation.
- Wood top tables are considered by many to be more aesthetically pleasing than steel tops. You can also chop directly onto a wood top table and scratches can easily be removed by sanding.
- Butcher block tables feature thicker wood blocks, which are usually more durable and resistant to scratching, and like wood top tables, can be sanded as needed. Like wood top tables, butcher block tables allow you to use the tabletop as your work surface without the need for cutting boards.
Depending on your needs, you may benefit from a variety of additional features that can enhance the utility of your stainless steel table.Backsplashes
A backsplash is a lip or vertical steel panel along the back of a table. The panel fits against the wall and protects it from splashes from food, water and other items being used at the table. Backsplashes are unnecessary for purely decorative tables, but add utility for pieces in kitchens and workrooms; however, backsplashes are typically only used when the table sits against the wall rather than in the center of a room.Pot Racks
In kitchens with limited space, adding a pot rack to your stainless steel table lets you keep utensils and cookware that are difficult to stack and store within easy reach. Drawers
Typically found in wood top and butcher block models, drawers allow you to easily store smaller items that can become lost on shelves or make open styles look too cluttered. Casters
Casters are heavy wheels that are added to the legs of stainless steel tables to allow you to move the piece from one room to another. If you plan to store your table in another location than where you will use it, casters are a useful feature. The addition of casters also makes equipment and mixer stands easy to pull over to your workspace to keep your equipment and tools within easy reach. When selecting caster styles, always make sure the wheels have a locking mechanism to prevent shifting and rolling while you work.