Most kitchen appliances are black, white, or stainless steel. Many people like stainless steel because of its shine and shimmer, as well as how aesthetically appealing it is. While the idea of using stainless for residential applications came into practice in the 1980’s as a design idea, largely to bring “bright, shiny objects” into a ho-hum kitchen remodel, the actual benefits they now provide will mean we won’t see a return to kitchens without them.
But there are other reasons you might want to consider stainless steel when designing a kitchen – mainly its ability to last years beyond the other choices, and be the better choice for cleaning.
Today, the popularity of stainless steel appliances has continued to grow and now, according to industry sales figures, almost 40% of new appliance sales are with a stainless steel finish. While a number of factors are responsible for this, the predominant factor continues to be the attractiveness of the steel finish, along with the ease of cleaning, coupled with the long life span of stainless steel.
- Like its name suggests, stainless steel does not stain. Food, spills, or accidents do not leave stains on stainless steel appliances, and cleaning the appliances calls for little more than a quick wipe (including finger prints).
- It does not absorb dirt, grime, or other materials that would lead to other health-related problems.
- Stainless steel is completely rustproof and will maintain its shine for as long as it is used. It also can be scrubbed and cleaned more vigorously than a black or white finished appliance. If you knick or dent a white appliance, you risk showing the black metal underneath, which will look bad PLUS expose the metal underneath that WILL rust – a health problem with food. If you ‘dent’ a stainless appliance, it just looks like a ‘dent’, which doesn’t affect overall appearance and certainly doesn’t affect performance.
- Durability in terms of “style” – this sleek new metallic finish now tells everyone you now have a new kitchen and are ready for the future.
- Stainless steel does not absorb anything, including germs, viruses, or bacteria. This is especially advantageous in a kitchen where foods like eggs and raw meat can leave behind dangerous bacteria. These bacteria can be cleaned off stainless steel in seconds just by using a clean cloth and disinfectant. This is the main factor in restaurant cooking, and why it is the chosen metal for these places.
- Health issues are a factor that has driven sales. As more people become more conscience of everyday health and sickness issues, they look to products that can make the task of maintaining a healthy home easier. Stainless steel appliances fit that niche perfectly as they provide ease of cleaning and a barrier against rust and other contaminates that can be the harboring ground of germs and bacteria.
- Stainless steel does not clash with most design patterns or colors, so it can work with already established appliances and decors. While a white appliance might stand out in a room full of black appliances, a stainless steel appliance will usually blend in better without looking out of place.
- According to the stainless steel appliance website Stainless Online, stainless steel appliances can last considerably longer than their less expensive counterparts. Scratches and gouges in a stainless steel appliance do not incubate rust, as the metal and alloys used in these devices is not susceptible to oxidization. White appliances that become dented often have pock-marked black dots/marks showing the metal substrate underneath, with rusting occurring over time – stainless appliances will never have these worn looking marks or rust. Much like a commercial setting where stains are not desired, the same is true in the home. Refrigerators and other items show their age in their appearance long before their mechanic life span has been exhausted. Stainless steel helps preserve the aesthetic qualities of these appliances, thus expanding their usable life.
- Regardless of brand name, higher end, pro-level appliances manufacturers such as Viking, Sub-Zero, and Wolf will continue to use this durable metal in their lines. With that in mind, owners wanting a “pro-look” will always have this “association in perception with stainless appliances. They will “look” high-end, even if they are not!
Although a number of attractive alternatives exist and carry somewhat lower price tags (black, aluminum, or carbon steel finishes), homeowners who want an appliance with a durable finish that will neither rust nor stain may find stainless steel worth the extra money. If it means you get an appliance with double the life span (Go Green!) over a black or white appliance, why wouldn’t you go for it?
Today, many new homes come standard with stainless steel appliances despite their higher cost. After all, a few extra dollars spent upfront can save money down the road when appliances can be used for longer without replacement.