Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless steel is one of the most popular types of steel, specially reinforced with a significant percentage of chromium and nickel as well as trace amounts of carbon – which not only make it largely immune to rust and corrosion, but also allow it to withstand extremely high temperatures.

Stainless steel has many applications, due to both its utilitarian and aesthetic aspects. Unlike most types of steel, stainless steel is not only tough, but it is highly reflective. To put it simply, it exudes class and poshness, while at the same time being strong and durable. It sees a great deal of use in many kitchen utensils, and lately, it has also become a premium choice of material for the manufacture of kitchen countertops.

Stainless steel countertops are excellent due to their innate resistance against stains, which can be abundant in any kitchen around the world. For best results, countertops made of 16-gauge 304 stainless steel are ideal, both in terms of durability and stain resistance. This type of stainless steel contains more nickel than other variants (used mostly in industrial environments), and is considered perfectly safe for the preparation of food.

The best part about stainless steel countertops is the fact that they can be of virtually any size. Stainless steel itself is available in rolls, and can be welded, polished and ground without any hesitation whatsoever. Soldering, however, is not recommended, since it can reduce the sterility of the steel, which is vital in areas like the kitchen where food is prepared.

While stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and stains, it is not completely invulnerable to them. Many cleaning products used in the household (e.g. bleach) can cause the surface of the countertop to become eroded unless it is quickly wiped off and washed using clean water.

Stainless steel countertops can also become subject to stains if acidic foods are left lying on top of it for extended periods of time. If the surface becomes stained, cleansers can be used to take care of the problem – however, cleansers are strong chemicals, and one should only rub the surface of the counter along the direction of its finish, so as not to distort it by accident. Scratches should be dealt with in a similar fashion, only using a nonabrasive pad instead of a cleansing agent.

Aside from dealing with special cases like the above, stainless steel countertops are very easy to maintain. They can be cleaned using a sponge in conjunction with warm water and soap, without fear of the steel becoming rusted. However, in order to prevent any residual water from staining the surface after the cleaning, it must be wiped dry immediately afterwards.

Stainless steel is the ideal canvas for creating beautiful brushed metal textures which are so much en vogue at present. In fact, stainless steel is brushed not only to add character to the metal, but also to provide a buffer for accidental scratches. However, due to the nature of certain types of custom finishes on many countertops, scratches are not even visible on it. Stainless steel countertops are available in a wide variety of different finishes to suit any modern kitchen in the world. In fact, the versatility of stainless steel is so great that it does not look out of place even in a retro-style kitchen with wood panel fittings, but forms an attractive contrast with the rest of the room.

While stainless steel countertops are very resilient against the elements, they can still age, but as long as the surface is not dented, it can be fixed easily. However, it does not come cheap, and each square foot of the material can cost as much as US$75. If you are interested in installing a stainless steel countertop, contact an experienced metal fabricator for more information.

This Stainless Steel Countertops Review is Written/Updated on Sep 2nd, 2010 and filed under Kitchen Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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