Buying Guide - Commercial Stainless Steel Benches
Welcome to the buying guide to commercial stainless steel benches by RestaurantEquipment.com.au. In this guide we will cover the essential things you need to know when choosing stainless steel benches for your kitchen:
- Dimensions and Standard Depths
- Standard Sizes vs Custom Made
- Economy vs Premium
- Different types of bottom brackets
- Corner Pieces
- Castor wheels and other accessories
- Installation - Flat Packed
Dimensions and Standard Depths
It may seem obvious to check dimensions before ordering commercial stainless steel benches however it pays to know about the standard available sizes so that you can accurately plan your kitchen layout.
Commercial stainless steel benches are generally available in standard depths of
- 60cm (600mm)
- 70cm (700mm)
Stainless benches are available in a large range of widths/lengths including:
- 30 cm
Almost all commercial benches are 90cm in height and include adjustable feet.
Splashbacks are the vertical upsweeps at the back of the tables which prevent food from falling behind and also make cleaning a lot easier. the height of the splashbacks may vary from brand to brand however it is generally around 10 cm in height. When you order several different benches and sink tables from a single brand with splashbacks, all the individual pieces will line- up uniformly.
Standard Sizes vs Custom Made
We often receive requests from customers for custom-made benches to fit very specific size requirements however we have found that these specific sizes are usually only 5 to 15 cm different to what's available off the shelf in an existing size. The advantage of getting custom-made benches, is that they will be made exactly to the millimetre of what is specified however the downside of custom-made is that it's very expensive.
In our experience we have found that the vast majority of customers with custom size requirements for stainless steel benches have ultimately landed up purchasing off-the-shelf size benches. These benches were in stock at the time and were able to fit in the customer’s kitchens after they slightly moved some of their other equipment.
Economy vs Premium
Most brands have two separate ranges of commercial stainless steel benches including economy and premium lines. The difference between the two ranges of benches is in their usage of stainless steel. In Australia we have standards for food safety and hygiene and when it comes to stainless steel benches and other surfaces which come into contact with food, the requirement is for 304 grade stainless steel. There are many different grades of stainless steel which we cover in separate articles however the main thing you need to know when buying a commercial stainless steel bench for the purpose of food is that it must be 304 stainless steel.
Please note to be especially careful when searching for commercial stainless steel benches on Marketplaces such as eBay where sellers advertised benches made of 201, 230 and 430 grade stainless steel.
The main difference between economy and premium stainless steel benches that we sell is that the economy lines incorporate 304 grade stainless steel on the bench top surfaces (and splashbacks) only and not the legs and lower shelves. These are generally constructed using galvanized steel or other materials as they do not come into contact with food.
Premium lines of commercial stainless steel benches will generally be constructed of 304 grade stainless steel on the benchtop as well as the legs and lower shelves. Because 304 stainless steel is more expensive than galvanized steel and other materials, this pushes up the cost on the premium ranges compared to the economy lines, however some Commercial Kitchens will require full 304 stainless steel top and bottom so be aware of your Kitchens requirements
Different types of bottom brackets
With some brands of stainless steel benches such as Modular Systems, their premium lines of benches are offered with different bottom shelves/brackets. This means that instead of getting a very basic flat shelf for the lower shelf of the bench, you can opt to exchange (at no additional charge) for a pipe shelf (which is used for drying pots and pans) or a strong U- bracket which removes the need for a shelf so that you can place an under bench dishwasher or ice maker or other type of product underneath the table.
What about the corners I hear you saying? There are specialised corner pieces available for your kitchen. Corner benches are either square or ‘L’ shaped and are designed to fit into the corner and line-up exactly with other kitchen benches. the corner bench units come in 600 mm or 700 mm depth
Castor wheels and other accessories
There are a number of different types of accessories available for your stainless steel kitchen benches depending on your requirements and also which brand of stainless steel benches you purchase.
Caster wheels – generally available as an add-on kit for your bench in packs of 4 or 6
Leg kits – available in different Heights to raise or lower your kitchen benches
bolt down feet – in case you want or need to bolt down your kitchen benches such as on a ship
Drawers - some brands of stainless steel benches such as Modular Systems offer slide out drawers which can be bolted to the underside of your commercial stainless benches
Another very handy accessory for Prep benches (which can also be utilised on under bench fridges and freezers) are overshelves. These are available in one or two level versions and can simply be attached with screws for even with silicone glues to existing tables to provide additional storage space within easy reach.
Installation - Flat Packed
Commercial stainless steel benches will be delivered flat ACT so you will need to assemble them however this is very straightforward and easy. Generally there will be the table top and the legs as well as the lower bracket or shelf and all the pieces will slot into one another just like IKEA furniture but less complicated! as mentioned previously the legs generally come standard with adjustable feet so that there is a few centimetres of adjustability to suit your existing setup. the lower shelf and legs are fastened to each other with supplied grub screws and allen keys