Flatware Buying Guide

To complement your flatware selection, you can also choose from a variety of dinnerware, table linens and glassware which will make your dining table a stylish, functional, comfortable and inviting space where people gather to enjoy food and linger longer for conversation.

Flatware Basics & Settings


How to Buy Flatware
First, decide on how many family members or guests you will regularly entertain at your home and determine the flatware sets that have the correct number of pieces. Then, decide on the material, style and color of your pieces, and voila – you’re ready to entertain in style! 

Basic Place Setting 
Dinner sets range in size starting with 3 pieces and up. Basic 5-piece set will consist of a dinner knife, dinner fork, soup spoon, salad fork and teaspoon. 

Hostess Set 
A must have for entertaining, hostess sets include serving spoons, slotted serving spoons and serving forks.

Flatware Sets

Flatware sets ensure you have enough eating utensils for your whole family, as well as guests. Here are some popular flatware set choices. 

12 piece flatware set

A basic set that includes 4 forks, 4 knives and 4 teaspoons.

16 piece flatware set 

Includes 4 dinner forks, 4 dinner spoons, 4 teaspoons, 4 dinner knives.

20 piece flatware set 

Includes 4 dinner forks, 4 salad forks, 4 dinner spoons, 4 teaspoons, 4 dinner knives.

Service for 8 or 12:

For extended family dinner or party gathering, it may be necessary to shop for larger size sets. You will find a variety of sets with 40, 42, 53 and 65 pieces which will help you serve 8 to 12 guests at the same time. These sets will often include the serving pieces, such as two serving spoons (one regular and one pierced), a serving fork, a butter knife and a sugar spoon.

Flatware Materials & Finishes

Flatware comes in different metal types and color finishes to suit your lifestyle and entertaining needs. Stainless steel flatware is very popular due to its combination of durability and style and is generally dishwasher safe. Modern flatware also comes in a variety of colors and patterns to complement your dinnerware patterns. Some flatware styles come with wood or color handles.

Stainless Steel

This metal is your best choice for affordability and durability. Stainless steel comes in every imaginable pattern and style, making it a popular choice for everyone. Often you will see numbers such as 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0 next to a description of stainless steel flatware set. Those numbers indicate the quantity of chromium (first number) and nickel (second number) in the set. Chromium helps fight corrosion and increase durability of your dinnerware, while nickel adds luster and sheen. 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel is a popular choice.


Flatware made of sterling silver (925) used to be very popular and often passed down in the family from generation to generation. It is usually much more expensive than stainless steel, or silver-plated flatware. Most silver pieces require high maintenance: they need to be washed by hand only and polished at regular intervals; otherwise, the pieces will darken and lose their shine quickly.

Color: Gold or Black Trimmed

For an elegant and different look, these colorful utensils are great for special occasions and holidays.

How to Set Silverware on the Table

How To Set A Formal Table Setting

A. Napkin 
B. Salad Frk 
C. Dinner fork 
D. Bread plate 
E. Salad plate 
F. Dinner plate 
G. Dessert spoon 
H. Cake fork 
I. Placecard 
J. Water glass 
K. Wine glass (red) 
L. Wine glass (white) 
M. Dinner knife 
N. Dinner spoon 
O. Teaspoon

Holidays and other special occasions are the perfect time to get out your beloved china. Knowing where to place each item will let you concentrate on other things - like dessert!
Tip: Add individual touches like napkins folded in a creative way, or placecards so there's no dancing around the table trying to figure out who sits where.

How To Set A Casual Table Setting

A. Napkin 
B. Salad fork 
C. Dinner fork 
D. Bread plate 
E. Salad plate 
F. Dinner plate 
G. Water Glass
H. Wine Glass
J. Dinner Knife
K. Dinner Spoon
L. Teaspon

A casual place setting is about function and putting everyone at ease. If you don't need a particular item (like a soup bowl when you're having salad and lasagna), don't put it out. Simple as that.
Tip: Placemats and napkins are a great way to add more pop to your table. Plus, placemats help keep your table clean.