Stainless steel combines elegant beauty with outstanding practical benefits for the kitchen or bathroom. With so many large kitchen appliances now featuring stainless steel finishes, you can select countertops to blend seamlessly with your refrigerator, range, dishwasher and more.
This stainless steel countertops guide gives you information you can use to evaluate this countertop material for use in your home.
What Are Stainless Steel Countertops?
While everyone is familiar with the material, you might not have considered it for use as countertops. Stainless steel has been trending for a few years, but home decorating experts expect it to remain in high demand for kitchen remodeling and bathroom renovations for the foreseeable future.
Stainless steel countertops are used when one of two design schemes is being sought: Retro or contemporary. Stainless steel sinks were introduced in the 1940s and became the rage in the 1950s along with stainless backsplashes. Stainless steel tiles are now being produced for use in backsplashes and countertops that are clearly inspired by past decades.
Contemporary kitchens are the second ideal choice for this countertop material. Stainless produces a clean, efficient yet beautiful appearance. It blends well with contemporary accents, lighting and fixtures.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Stainless Steel Countertops
What are the pros and cons of stainless steel countertops? Here’s a look at why you should consider them and also why they might not be the right choice for you.
Strengths: It starts with beauty. Stainless steel looks gorgeous on any surface. It complements materials such as wood cabinetry and natural stone flooring. The material comes in a number of different finishes, so you can select one that works well with your overall design, whether retro or modern. Stainless is also very durable and should give you 15-25 years of dependable service at minimum.
Kitchens and bathroom surfaces need to be clean, and stainless steel is one of the most sanitary materials you can use. Unlike wood, concrete or natural stone, it is not porous, so bacteria and viruses are easy to remove. Cleanliness and durability are among the top reasons stainless is used in so many professional kitchens.
Weaknesses: Stainless steel isn’t cheap – at least the quality of countertop you’ll want to use. Avoid thin material; choose a beefier grade that will hold its shape better. You’ll pay upwards of $80 per square foot for good stainless steel countertops. Secondly, some homeowners don’t feel it is “warm” enough to meet their design goals.
Who Should Consider Stainless Steel Countertops?
This is a very good choice for gourmets who love to prepare their own meals, especially using raw meat and vegetables. The material is so easy to clean. For those with young children, it’s an ideal bathroom choice for the same reason. For appearance, consider metal surface like stainless steel if you’re working to achieve a 1940s-1950s retro look or one with a cutting-edge contemporary feel.