Stainless Steel Countertop Review
Stainless steel countertops are comprised of alloy steel, which is a combination of iron and other metals. It is at least 11% chromium which makes it resistant to rust. It is usually attached to a plywood sub-top to provide added strength and deaden its sound. Choose stainless steel if your looking for the contemporary, commercial look.
There are several benefits to using stainless steel countertops for both residential and commercial kitchens. First and foremost it is a completely nonporous surface making it impervious to bacteria and stains. When considering a stainless steel, be sure it contains a high content of chromium and nickel. This increases resistance to corrosion. Also, a thick gauge steel (16 or lower) will not dent as easily. Remember; the higher the gauge the thinner the material. The thinner the material, the more apt it is to dent.
Stainless steel is impervious to water and will not damage due to heat exposure. It is also relatively light weight and is approved for use in hospital and commercial food prep areas. It can also be fabricated with integrated sinks and backsplashes to eliminate seams.
There are a few drawbacks to stainless steel countertops however. It does not lend itself to a wide array of design options due to its highly contemporary look and feel. It can scratch and/or dent, and can be noisy to work on. It also has a tendency to show fingerprints and smudging, although a brushed finish can help avoid such problems.
Stainless steel countertops are generally a better fit in commercial as opposed to residential design, unless the homeowner is trying to achieve a very industrial look. However, due to its non porous nature, ease of maintenance and resistance to corrosion it has become a more popular choice in residential settings.
Stainless steel countertops are relatively easy to repair if damaged. Most common damage are surface scratches, which can be buffed out. However, a brushed finish is highly recommended for ease of maintenance.
STAINLESS STEEL COUNTERTOP MANUFACTURERS:
PROS – Seamless, non porous and extremely heat resistant. Unique look and feel. Integrated sink and cove splash options.
CONS – Scratches and dents. Shows fingerprints and smudges easily. Color selection limited.
CARE & CLEANING – Glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner or a specific cleaner for stainless steel.
WARRANTY – Dependent on the local fabricator.
COST – The installed price for stainless countertops can range anywhere from $80 – $200 square foot. However, the addition of integrated sinks and backsplashes can increase installed prices.