Many kitchens don’t have enough countertop workspace but it’s easy to significantly improve their functionality by adding a kitchen prep table. Whether you own your home or just rent, a kitchen prep table can solve lots of problems by adding not only workspace but also storage. Even better, many are easily moveable or even come on wheels for convenience. They are available in many sizes and shapes, so even the smallest kitchen can probably incorporate one.
Most prep tables come in the form of a kitchen island because you can position them in the center of the room and they look attractive from all angles. If that doesn’t work for your particular space, you can also put it in front of a wall as well. Either way, kitchen prep tables are a very budget-conscious way to add a great deal of utility to kitchens of all sizes. Before choosing one, however, there are few things you should decide.
Kitchen prep tables come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes, so the first thing to do is measure the space where you want to place it. If you’re placing it against a wall, make sure there is enough room between the existing elements for it to fit. You also don’t want the depth of the table to be so great that it sticks out far beyond the surrounding cabinets. As we already noted, most people use prep tables as kitchen islands, but you still need to make sure there’s enough room. For it to function properly, the island should have at least 36 inches of space around it so that you can move freely, otherwise, it might be more of a hindrance than a help. And, if you plan to use bar stools on one or more sides, the amount of space you’ll need grows to at least 54 inches.
How Will You Use it?
Are you an avid home chef and just don’t have enough room for chopping and food prep? Or do you love to bake and need lots of space for decorating cakes and cookies? Or, do you just want a little more workspace, some extra storage area and a drawer or two? Does the top of your kitchen prep table need to function as a butcher block or just a multipurpose work area? Finally, are you planning on using this for extra seating too? All of these are considerations in choosing a kitchen prep table because it will ultimately determine some of the features along with its size and material make-up. Also, will you need to move the prep table frequently? If so, make sure it comes with wheels or casters so that you can roll it out when you need to use it and push it aside when you don’t.
If the kitchen prep table will be used for lots of chopping and food prep, it’s important to consider who will be using it and whether the table is the correct height to be ergonomically comfortable. While it probably won’t be the optimum height for everyone in the household, it should suit the main user. If you can comfortably work at the kitchen counter, you’ll want to look for a prep table that is 36 inches tall because that’s the standard height for a counter.
Table Surface Material
Once again, the main way you plan to use the prep table will determine what kind of tabletop you should choose. If being able to chop right on the surface is important, it will need to be a butcher block. If your choice is more about style and coordinating with your existing surfaces, it might be wood or marble. Yet another option is stainless steel which is used in professional kitchens because of its non-porous and easy-to-disinfect nature. If you love the base of a particular prep table, it is sometimes possible to swap out the top for something that better matches your needs.
The base of each kitchen prep table has a different configuration and style of storage, so it should be relatively easy to find one that has what you want. From those that let you stash your kitchen tools behind closed doors to others that provide for stylish open baskets on shelves, a wide variety of options are available. In fact, storage is one of the main factors that drive people to purchase a kitchen prep table. Depending on what you want to store under the table, be sure to choose the right type for your style and kitchen needs.
Ready to buy? Then check out these great kitchen prep table for your own home:
This versatile kitchen prep table is part workhorse island and part stylish bar cart. With a design that lends itself to multiple uses, it’s ideal for small space that cries out for multifunctional pieces. Made from solid fir wood, the natural finish has wood knots and purposeful distressing that gives it a bit of a rustic touch. The Adelbert 2 Drawer Kitchen Island features two fixed slatted, cast iron shelves that can certainly be used as storage shelves, however, the slats are also the perfect design for serving as a wine rack. Above the shelves, the prep table has two drawers for smaller items and two handy towel bars, one on each end.
Another great feature is that the table has wheels so that it can be moved to the most functional spot: You can use it to prep all the party food and then roll it over to the living room and set it up as a bar. Two of the wheels can be locked, which keeps the table securely in place while you are working. Caring for the table is easy and it can be wiped clean with a dry cloth. The manufacturer covers the table with a 30-day limited warranty against any defects in workmanship or material. Full assembly is required and some buyers noted that it was difficult to do.
With a style and flair that would make this kitchen prep table feel at home in a chic cafe, the Dadler Kitchen Island with Granite Top is as gorgeous as it is functional. It has a modern farmhouse look and a slightly weathered finish that make it feel just casual enough. Made from a combination of solid and manufactured wood, it’s topped with granite for extra style and durability. The versatile gray color also makes it easy to blend with existing cabinetry and furniture.
Two full-length, fixed shelves underneath give you great flexibility in storing items. From your cookbook collection to small appliances or baskets of pantry items, it’ll fulfill whatever storage needs you might have, up to 75 pounds in weight capacity. Full assembly is required for the Dadler Kitchen Island and the product is covered by a 30-day limited warranty. However you decide to use this kitchen prep table, it has a super stylish look that will add sophistication to your kitchen along with the extra functionality.
For a basic worktop and plenty of open shelving, you can’t go wrong with the Lockard Kitchen Island. This kitchen prep table features clean lines that make it easy to blend with existing kitchen decor. Underneath the generous worktop, two shelves have plenty of space for display and storage and there’s still room for seating. One side features two shelves, and the bottom of the two is split into two equal sections. All that space is versatile for storing all kinds of goods. On the other side, there are no shelves, which creates legroom for counter seating. Whether you use this as a breakfast bar or a temporary workstation is entirely up to you.
Made from manufactured wood, the base is painted a bright white while the top has a natural wood grain color that varies due to the wood knots and other factors. The top can hold 88 pounds while the other shelves can accommodate 33 pounds and the other one 17 pounds. With 87 percent of the reviews being four and five stars, buyers love this island, which they call pretty sturdy and very functional. Full assembly is required for the Lockard Kitchen Island and some reviewers note that it is time-consuming.
Large and solid, the Pineville Kitchen Island has a generous worktop and a versatile cottage-inspired style. The two-toned piece features two shelves, a drawer and a pull-out shelf for even more space to set things down. Made from both solid and manufactured wood, this kitchen prep table has a slightly weathered finish and a neutral aesthetic that makes it easy to pair with a variety of kitchen designs. The serving shelf that pulls out has a black finish.
Perhaps the best feature of the Pineville Kitchen Island is that it arrives fully assembled. Just place it and start using it. The fixed open shelving underneath lets you stash just about anything down there, whether it’s decorative or functional. The manufacturer covers this island with a one-year warranty. Buyers love this piece and note that the top is not wood but is covered with a laminate which makes it easy to wipe clean and disinfect. That said, the top is removable and could be replaced with another material if desired. Ninety percent of the reviewers give this island four or five stars.
Serious home cooks and chefs alike with love the Reck Prep Table because it’s made from stainless steel, which is the standard for professional kitchens. Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, stainless steel is easily cleaned and disinfected because it is not porous. The material also makes it durable enough to use outdoors or in a garage for other uses. The solid, heavy-duty gauge stainless steel elements go together quickly with no tools required for easy setup.
Underneath, an adjustable shelf is made from the same stainless steel. Another fabulous feature of a stainless steel kitchen prep table is its ability to hold a great amount of weight. The table can hold up to 1,100 pounds and the bottom shelf can support 250 pounds. Stainless steel is also easily cleaned with soap and water as well as quality stainless steel cleaners. You’ll need to avoid abrasive cleansers and scouring pads to prevent scratching the smooth surface. Manufacturer Orren Ellis covers this prep table with a one-year limited warranty. Cooking enthusiasts will love this table and buyers say it is super solid and sturdy.
If you need extra workspace along with all types of storage, the Fernando Kitchen Island is for you. This one packs a lot of features into one compact kitchen prep table. Underneath the worktop, three drawers, five shelves and a wine rack shelf have just about all your needs covered. Plus, a towel rack on each end is super handy. All of these features keep you well organized with all your necessities at hand. Crafted from solid and manufactured wood, the island has a finish that is purposefully distressed with wood scoring, rub through and artificially created wormholes.
The base of this kitchen prep table has drawers that are spacious and easy to use, with hand cut-outs instead of hardware. They are also pass-through drawers, which means that they can be opened from either side of the island. Four square cubbies can hold a wide variety of items and the larger section is ideal for bowls or pots. Across the bottom of the island, there’s a rack big enough to hold up to ten bottles of wine. Partial assembly is required for the Fernando Kitchen Island but it mainly involves the towel bars all the tools are included. Buyers love the height of the island for prep work.
With style details typically found on serious furniture pieces, the Zula Kitchen Island with Granite Top is a very attractive and very functional addition to your kitchen. Highlighted with molding and slatted details, the solid wood base is sturdy and the granite top is beautiful and on-trend. The stone is also a great work surface that’s easy to clean and disinfect. Underneath there’s plenty of closed storage space in the drawers and cabinets and two cubbies with baskets keep things attractively tucked away but still within easy reach. Even better, the drawers are a push-through style that lets you access them from either side of the island.
Made from both new and restored timbers, this kitchen prep table has the look of an antique treasure. While assembly is required, buyers say that it only requires screwing in the knobs, attaching the towel bars, and adding the wheels if desired. Happy reviewers report getting lots of compliments and enjoying the extra prep room and storage that the island provides.
Versatility, portability and a great rustic look is what you get with the Kourtney Rolling Kitchen Island with Stainless Steel Top. It is essentially a classic three-tier kitchen cart that features a base made from sustainable engineered wood, finished off with a stainless steel countertop. The base features two drawers and two full-length open shelves that can be used for storage and can also be set up as a bar and rolled into the living room for service. Two of the wheels have a locking mechanism so that the trolley is positioned securely while you work. it’s also sturdy with a weight capacity of 150 pounds.
Super useful yet small and compact, this rolling kitchen prep table is ideal for smaller spaces where you might want to roll it out of the way when not in use. Full assembly is required and some buyers report that it takes as long as a couple of hours. Some have also noted difficulties with mislabeled parts, which can complicate assembly. Overall, reviewers love the attractive look and versatility.
Solid wood construction and a rustic look are just two of the great feature of the Uli Kitchen Island with Butcher Block Top. If you want to be able to chop your veggies right on the surface of your kitchen prep table, the butcher block top lets you do so. Crafted from solid oak, it’s the cook’s choice for easy prep. More than just a storage unit and workspace, this island has a drop leaf section that flips up on one side, allowing you to have counter stool seating for two.
Underneath, the base of the island has three fixed wooden shelves, and one side can be closed at a time by the sliding barn-style door. The shelf has a weight capacity of 35 pounds and the island itself can support up to 200 pounds. Moving the piece is no problem because it comes equipped with wheels. Also, caring for the island is easy because it can be wiped with a dry clean cloth, although the butcher block will require additional cleaning if you use it as a chopping surface. The Uli Kitchen Island comes fully assembled and is covered by a 30-day limited warranty from the manufacturer. Buyers love the quality and sturdiness of this island and some say it is better than they expected.
Classic details, a hefty appearance and handy features make the Collette Kitchen Island a grand choice for any home. Made from solid hardwoods along with engineered wood, the durable kitchen prep table is also beautiful enough to serve as the centerpiece for entertaining at any party. It has gorgeous bun feet and turned legs and the entire base has a velvety dark finish. Beyond the looks, the island has plenty of storage: A top drawer, six small exterior facing shelves ideal for display and two interior shelves hidden behind attractive cabinet doors. The cabinet is accessible from both sides of the island, making it super convenient and the drawer is also a push-through style with access from both sides as well.
Full assembly is required for this kitchen island and buyers say that it comes with great directions for easy assembly. Happy reviewers note the excellent quality of the piece and its functionality. Some say that the antique white option has more yellow undertones than they expected, and some have successfully repainted the island to match their kitchen color scheme.
Large or small, most kitchens could use some extra prep space and storage space. Whether you want a kitchen prep table that sits in the middle like a permanent island or one that you can move around for entertaining, there’s a style and size to fit your needs. Just be sure to check the size of your space and think about how you want to use this versatile piece before you go shopping.