Whether you’re remodeling an old kitchen or building one from scratch, the countertop plays a big role in changing the area’s entire aesthetic appeal. But choosing which material to use can be overwhelming and daunting because of the myriad of options you have on the market nowadays. Some of the most popular countertop surfaces you can choose from include:
- Solid Surface (made of acrylic and polyester)
- Stainless Steel
Out of all these materials, stainless steel proves to be the most durable. Although it is found mostly in restaurants and other high-traffic kitchens, it is starting to slip into vogue in the last few years.
If you’re still on the fence about using a stainless steel countertop, take a look at its pros and cons to know whether it is the right one for you.
List of Pros of Stainless Steel Countertops
1. Virtually Indestructible
What makes stainless steel countertops widely used in almost all commercial kitchens is that it is extremely durable. You don’t have to worry about heat, stain or even bacteria. Metal is a nonporous material, so no liquid of any kind will be able to seep through it or damage the surface. For places that need to comply with health and safety standards, like restaurants, using countertop surfaces made of stainless steel will help them keep their cooking areas free from germs and microbes that can spoil their food. Therefore, you can say that keeping them clean or hygienic won’t be a problem at all.
2. Easy to Clean
In restaurants, spillage is very common. Some substances can stain countertops. But with stainless steel surfaces, you won’t have to deal with hard-to-get stains from oil, juice or wine. In fact, wine stains look harmless when spilled on top of stainless steel. All you need to do to get rid of dirt is to wipe it with a damp cloth.
3. Cool to the Touch
This is very useful in high-traffic kitchens where lots of fresh-from-the-stove pans and pots are scattered on every counter. With all the people using such cooking areas, getting burned can’t be avoided sometimes. But stainless steel surfaces do not conduct or spread heat to other parts of the counter. Because of this, you also don’t need to worry about damaging your counter with hot cooking equipment.
4. Elegant with Tailored Look
Stainless steel counters may look cold and unappealing, but it you have them custom-made, your kitchen can look elegant and professional. This is because steel is flexible enough to be designed any way you like. Stainless steel counters can also be perfect for a contemporary kitchen. They can be sleek and fashionable to complement a modern home.
Another advantage of stainless steel over other materials is that it can be bent into shape so you can fit it into any surface. It can be made into a backsplash for a unified look, or an integral sink.
6. Create the Illusion of Space
Because steel is shiny, it reflects different parts of your kitchen, making the room seem bigger and brighter. Thus, it makes your cooking area cozier and more inviting.
List of Cons of Stainless Steel Countertops
1. Dent and Scratch Over Time
If not used with care, or if you drop something heavy on top of your counter, which can have a substantial thrust, then the steel surface can have dents on it. Sharp objects can cause scratches and dents, too. Also, you should be careful in dragging heavy or pointy objects over your steel counters. These are normal, though. Even marble, quartz and especially, tiles can have dents and scratches the longer you use them.
2. Increases Noise Level
This is especially true if you do a lot of cutting, chopping and handling many appliances and utensils on top of your kitchen counter. The noise may be a concerning factor. But if you use protectors or pads underneath your electronics when dragging them across the counter or chopping boards when slicing or cutting food, then you can minimize the noise. Nevertheless, noise isn’t unique to stainless steel counters; other materials can have the same problems.
3. Retain Fingerprints and Other Marks
When cooking, your hands will always be wet, which can leave marks and prints on your counter. But a simple wipe can get rid of them instantly.
4. Have a Cold and Uninviting Appeal
For some people, steel can look cold and unappealing. Mixing and matching steel with other materials, like resin, natural stone and wood will do the trick. In fact, it can give your kitchen a modern vibe.
5. Can Be Expensive
Normally, stainless steel counters will cost you $75 – $150 per square foot, plus, a few hundred more for professional installation. And if you prefer to have one custom-made, you should be prepared to shell out more. But for something as durable, low maintenance and resilient as stainless steel kitchen surfaces that can last a long time, you’ll get great value for your money. In other words, steel counters are a good investment. Just make sure to buy them from a reliable vendor to get your money’s worth.
Aside from that, stainless steel countertops are also quite in-demand nowadays, which means that they can add significant resale value to your home. Besides, any kitchen that has been painstakingly designed and maintained will make any homebuyer want to have it right away.
There are many advantages of stainless steel countertops. In fact, they overcome the disadvantages. As for the price, any homeowner would want to invest in something that will not only last for a long time, but will also improve the look and feel of their home. However, stainless steel isn’t for everyone. But if you want a kitchen that’s not only functional, but also very stylish, then steel countertops are for you.