Laminate tabletops for restaurant and hospitality use

By | Restaurant, tables | 4 Comments

When it comes to choosing tables for your restaurant or cafe, the type of table top you select is one of the most important decisions you will make in addition to deciding table size and layout.

Laminates are a great choice – durable and hard wearing, easy to clean and maintain, available in a range of colours and sizes, and cost effective in most cases. Here are some options available for your restaurant, café, or any other commercial application you have in mind.

Laminated moulded tabletops

These are built from a resin composite material which is moulded into specific shapes and sizes as a single piece with no joins making them extremely strong and stable. The resin composite substrate is laminated with a highly durable decorative laminate that is heat resistant, scratch resistant, stain resistant, moisture proof, and weather resistant making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Priced with affordability in mind these tabletops offer a great bang for your buck and are available in a wide range of pre-manufactured sizes and colours like solids & pastels, textures & patterns, and solid & light wood grain colours.

Melamine laminate tabletops

Like laminated moulded tabletops, melamine tops stand up well to heat, scratches, are easy to clean and maintain, and available in a wide range of colours.  But unlike laminated moulded tops, melamine tops have an MDF (medium density fibreboard) core that is susceptible to moisture and weather exposure. So, if you are looking for the extra durability factor, or for outdoor use, then laminated moulded tops are your best choice

Melamine tops can be manufactured on order in a wide range of sizes and colours like solids & pastels, textures & patterns, industrial/rustic decors, and solid & light wood grain colours.

High Pressure Laminate (HPL)

HPL tabletops are a great choice when it comes to indoor commercial applications. High on durability and design, they have a harder wearing surface than melamine tabletops and will handle the rigours of commercial use better. They are also available in a wider colour range and can be manufactured to a greater thickness, with either a plywood or MDF substrate.

An additional contemporary design feature that can be incorporated into these tops, when using a plywood substrate, is to leave the edges exposed (not laminated) so the layers of ply are visible. These exposed edges are normally sealed in a commercial grade finish to protect the substrate.

HPL is similar in durability to laminated moulded tabletops with the advantage of being able to be manufactured in custom sizes and in higher thicknesses with various edge profiles like square edges, bevelled, or bullnose (in comparison laminated moulded table tops feature a small radius on the edges).

However, price is a factor to consider with HPL as these tabletops are costlier than both laminated moulded and melamine options.

Compact Laminate

Made by compacting layers of laminate sheets with resin under high pressure and high temperature, these are one of the most durable options for commercial furniture and tabletops. They are extremely hard wearing, scratch resistant, heat resistant, impact resistant, weather resistant, anti-bacterial, fire retardant, and likely to outlast all other laminate options by many years in both indoor and outdoor environments.

However, colour choices are not as wide ranging as the other laminates, and standard thickness is 13mm with a distinct black edge when machined. And they are right up there in the price range so it is important to give your budget a second glance when considering this option, although it is a long term investment as you won’t need to change these tops for a very long time.

Compact laminate tops can be manufactured on order in a range of sizes and decors.

Choice of materials for commercial and hospitality use tabletops is not limited to just laminates and other options can include real wood and stone. However stone and good quality hardwood tops are costly. Additionally, wood needs more maintenance but if your interior décor demands the warmth, look, and feel of real wood then it is important to choose a good quality hardwood in a durable finish as these will serve you longer than a cheaper softwood.

At CFI we can help guide you to the best solution for your needs so come talk to us and we’ll be glad to help.


By | Restaurant, tables

Every seat in a restaurant is dollars and it is in the best interest of every restaurateur to maximise seating within the confines of their limited space, without compromising the comfort or privacy of diners by having their tables too close together.

Consider the following factors when choosing the right size and number of tables for your hospitality establishment.

Table height – consider whether your table is for casual dining, formal dining, or drinks. Generally there are three heights to choose from.

• Casual/low – usually below 650mm in height these tables are for casual snacking and drinks only and not very common in restaurants with limited space.

• Dining – A standard restaurant dining table height is usually around 725-750mm. When choosing your table base make sure it is the right size for your table top and offers enough support for stability as there is nothing more annoying than a rocking table in a restaurant.

• Bar table – Usually around 1100mm in height, these tables are used for casual drinking and snacking, and can either be used for leaning on with drinks or sitting with a standard 750mm (approx.) high bar stool.

Table size – As a general allow approx. 600mm width for each diner (for a standard width chair of about 450mm). That would mean four diners per table on a 1200mm long table, two on either side. For the table to not appear too cluttered it is best to allow 750-800mm in width, so in this example the table size would be 1200x800mm to be able to seat four diners. Similarly, a square table 800x800mm in size will be able to seat between 2-4 diners (depending on the type of dining) and a 700x700mm square table would suit two diners in most environments.

For more casual settings like a cafe these dimensions can be reduced , for example, in a cafe setting a 600x600mm square table will suit two diners as a general rule.

Along with the size of tables, also consider the space to leave between tables. Leaving too much will work against maximising seating, and too little will leave diners feeling cluttered. As a general rule allow a little under 1m (anywhere between 700-900mm) of space between tables.

Most restaurants, cafes and hospitality establishments will use a mix of table sizes – as opposed to relying solely on one or larger sizes – as this allows them the flexibility to join tables to cater to varying group sizes.

Before you decide to go ahead it is recommended to make a scaled plan on paper as it’s much easier to make changes as opposed to changing after the furniture has been purchased. Calculate the total seating space available to you and use the general dimensions listed above to work out your seating plan. Do take into account that every restaurant is different so please consider your specific environment as these are general guidelines only.