The HTML 3.2 and HTML 4.0 specifications allow only integer values (representing a number of pixels) for the WIDTH attribute of the TD element. However, the HTML 4.0 DTD allows percentage (and other non-integer) values, so an HTML validator will not complain about <TD WIDTH="xx%">.
It should be noted that Netscape and Microsoft's browsers interpret percentage values for <TD WIDTH=...> differently. However, their interpretations (and those of other table-aware browsers) happen to match when combined with <TABLE WIDTH="100%">. In such situations, percentage values can be used relatively safely, even though they are prohibited by the public specifications.