Granite Table Tops
Granite is one of those materials that should not be covered up. It is an igneous stone, which means it was formed in volcanoes. This makes it nearly indestructible, but that indestructibility comes with great beauty. Granite comes in nearly every hue between pure white and pure black. The one thing that needs to be done to granite is sealed it every couple of years. Owners of truly busy restaurants may need to seal their granite restaurant table tops even more frequently, for granite is porous. But when the stone is sealed, it is very easy to keep clean and stain-free.
Quartz Table Tops
When people speak of quartz they could be speaking of a table top that is really made out of a slab of quartz, which is a beautiful, somewhat sparkly stone that comes in a rainbow of colors. But what they're most likely speaking of is engineered quartz. This is a restaurant tabletop made of resin, pigment and powdered quartz that is poured into a mold and cured. These commercial tabletops have the advantage over natural stone because they don’t need to be sealed and every quartz table top in the restaurant can be just about identical to every other. This is impossible with natural stone.
Wood Table Tops
Nothing beats the warmth, feel fragrance, beautiful colors and grain of the wood. Like stone, commercial tabletops made of wood need to have a protective finish if they are not going to be covered up, and many diners might enjoy the look and feel of a naked wood table now and then. The most popular woods for table tops include oak, reddish-brown cherry, rich, dark walnut, and pine. The wood can be solid or engineered, which means it has a veneer of quality wood over pressure-glued plywood.
Reclaimed wood is another option for commercial table tops. This wood has been salvaged from old buildings, including barns and warehouses. It is sought after because it is still beautiful but more stable than newly sawn wood. That's simply the result of enduring sun, wind, rain, and snow, sometimes for centuries.
Melamine Mosaic Table Tops
Melamine is a type of plastic resin that’s often placed over plywood or another material. Melamine mosaic is made of colorful patterns and designs that resemble everything from Arabic ceramic tile to butcher block wood to marble to Op art. Melamine also has the advantage of being heat resistant and resistant to scratches and gouges from flatware. Waterproof, shatter-proof and scratch-resistant, a melamine mosaic tabletop is a solution for outdoor dining.
Aluminum Table Tops
This shiny silver metal is lightweight yet strong enough to be used as a top for a table in a busy restaurant. It famously resists corrosion by creating its own oxide coating, and painting or anodizing the metal makes it even more corrosion-proof. This also makes aluminum a good choice for outdoor dining.
Resin Table Tops
Tables with resin tops are great to use outdoors. The resin is often woven into wicker, and it is resistant to damage by the sun’s ultraviolet rays as well as being water-resistant. A restauranteur never has to worry about furniture picking up mold or mildew if it is made out of resin. This is a great benefit if the restauranteur doesn’t want to have dining furniture brought in during inclement weather then brought back out when the weather clears up. The resin is also long-lived and easy to maintain.
Padded Table Tops
This is the commercial tabletop for owners who like their establishments a bit quiet. There’s no clattering as plates, glassware or flatware are placed on a padded table top. Though the patrons might not notice, they’ll appreciate the tranquility afforded by a padded table top, even if it’s draped with table linen. Vinyl is a popular material for padding, and some types of padding can be folded up and stored.
Werzalit Table Tops
Werzalit is a material manufactured by a company of the same name. It is a blend of resin, wood, and melamine and is excellent for outdoor use. It’s impervious to damage by severe weather, the sun’s UV light, stains or burns. A commercial table top made of Werzalit won’t shatter if it’s dropped. It is scratch and graffiti-resistant and does not have to be sealed as it is nonporous.
Iron Table Tops
When it comes to a robust, damage-resistant material, some restauranteurs won’t take any chances and go for iron. Iron may be heavy but it is famously hard and strong. Of course, the restaurant table top doesn’t have to be a single slab of pig iron but can be beautiful, nearly delicate wrought iron. Regular maintenance and spraying with a rust inhibitor go a long way at keeping rust at bay.
Teak Table Tops
Teak is an exotic wood known for its beauty, durability, and ability to bear up under the weather. This is because teakwood is exceptionally dense and contains silica, the same material sand is made out of. It is not unusual to find teak used as the decking for ships. Over time, teakwood weathers from a lovely red-brown to a silvery gray. It is water-resistant and does not splinter easily. Synthetic teak can be used for outdoor furniture.