Stainless steel is the material of choice in a wide range of professional spaces, from kitchens to healthcare facilities to laboratories. That’s due to a range of factors including the material’s hygienic benefits, high durability, and overall affordability.

When it comes to buying and installing stainless steel benches, there are two main options. The first is to buy a pre-made flat pack and the second is to have the stainless steel benches custom designed, manufactured, and installed by a professional.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each option to help you decide what’s best for you and your business.

What are Flat Pack Commercial Benches?

Pre-made flat packs are pre-designed commercial benches that can be put together by either a professional or through DIY. If you’ve ever bought a bookcase or cabinets from IKEA, it’s a similar concept. Flat packs can be great for a single stainless steel bench and are usually more affordable initially than custom designs.

While flat packs are available in a range of sizes and styles, their mass-produced nature means they lack the personalisation and specificity of a custom-made stainless steel bench.

What are Custom Stainless Steel Benches?

Custom-made stainless steel benches are fabricated for specific measurements, aesthetic tastes, and functionality purposes. Unlike a pre-made flat pack, a custom stainless steel bench is designed to suit your specific kitchen, workspace, or work area. Designing your own benches comes with a wide range of advantages:

  • Create benches that perfectly suit your space (especially handy for unusual corners or layouts)
  • Design an aesthetic style that suits your existing decor
  • Nail the perfect layout. This can be especially helpful in high-paced environments like busy kitchens

Our team takes care of every step of the process from choosing the best materials for your needs to designing the benches themselves. We also handle construction and assembly and have an installer come to your business to put the layout together.

stainless steel benches bar

How Do They Differ in Durability and Longevity?

Material Quality: Flat packs are often made with quality materials, but they won’t be tailored to your needs. A fabricator can take factors like the measurements of your workspace, limitations, and budget when creating your bench. Working directly with a fabricator also provides an insight into exactly what materials are being used in your furniture.

Durability: Custom stainless steel benchtops are made and installed by professionals using the best materials, which improves overall durability. Another important difference is flat-packed benches do not have timber backing making them very flimsy and giving no sound deadening to the bench.

The framework that supports the flat-packed benches is bolted together with an Allen key.

As opposed to custom fabricated benches that are completely welded frames obviously much stronger and longer lasting.

Lifespan: Due to being designed and constructed by a professional team, fabricated kitchen features usually last longer than flat-pack designs. Well-maintained stainless steel can easily last for decades.

How Flexible are the Different Designs?

Stainless steel isn’t just a great choice for its functionality, it offers a professional, sleek style for any business space. While flat packs can look fantastic, they won’t be specifically designed to suit the rest of your establishment. On the other hand, a custom-made bench is created to suit you and your business environment.

A professional fabricator will take your workspace into account when creating your new furniture. We’ve seen every type of odd corner and room shape and can design a stainless steel bench that gets the most out of your workspace.

Stainless steel benches can also be more than a reliable work surface. Our team can include shelves, sinks, kitchen cabinets, and space for appliances in the design. The flexibility to include a variety of features is much greater with custom designs than it is with flat pack designs.

stainless steel benches commercial

What About Cost Differences?

We understand every business has a budget to consider and recommend taking into account both short and long-term costs when weighing up your options. For example, a pre-made flat pack will usually be cheaper initially than having your kitchen accessories custom-made. However, despite the higher initial cost, a fabricated bench will be a much higher quality product that will likely better suit your business functionally and stylistically.

When working on a fabrication, you can talk the project over with a professional. Part of these discussions will involve discussing your budget and getting the most out of your money.

How Do Installation and Maintenance Differ?

A potential advantage of flat-packs is that someone handy could probably install the steel commercial benches themselves as a DIY project.

Custom stainless steel benches are professionally installed, meaning they’re likely to be sturdier and more durable as a result. Fabricators have experience working in a wide range of environments and can see the big picture of how everything will come together. Professional installations save you time and provide peace of mind.

For examples of our work in a wide range of businesses and environments, have a look at some of our completed projects.

A huge advantage stainless steel has over other materials is how easy it is to maintain. Usually, warm water and a soft detergent are all you’ll need to keep your stainless steel benchtops clean. Naturally antibacterial, stainless steel is a perfect addition to any commercial kitchen, healthcare facility or food processing area.

Which Is Better?

Both pre-made flat packs and custom steel benches and benchtops have their advantages. The biggest difference between the two is who puts them all together and the influence you can have on the design process.

A flat pack is pre-created to suit general needs and can be put together by businesses or homeowners. Due to the designs not being specifically designed for your space, you may need to make some compensations or adaptations to ensure the layout works.

Custom fabrication is more expensive initially, but you will be getting products specifically designed to help your business needs. Professionally designed, constructed, and installed benches are stronger and serve your needs more efficiently.

Still on the fence about the best choice for you? Martin Stainless Steel is your stainless steel fabrication specialist. With decades of collective experience, we’ll listen to what you want from your new layout and offer our expert opinion, along with some options. Whether you’re after a single bench or an entire kitchen layout, our team of professionals is here to help.

To discuss stainless steel benches for your workplace, get in touch with our friendly, expert team today.