Everything You Need To Know About Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops
It’s quite a modern look to use stainless steel countertops in your kitchen. It’s exciting to have a room that’s not only stylish, but incredibly practical. After all, professional kitchens have been using stainless steel countertops for years now – and for good reason. They’re durable, resistant to rust, and really make a kitchen look sleek (although we imagine this isn’t the top of people’s priorities in the restaurant industry). But what do you need to know? We’ve put together this helpful guide to tell you everything you need to know about stainless steel kitchen countertops. Ready to find out more? Then let’s get started!
Images: Franzon Du Rietz
Benefits Of Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops
Before we talk about all the boring bits like installation and costs and keeping them well maintained, let’s just focus for a little bit on the good bits. The reason why you probably want to install the kitchen countertops to begin with. We’ll talk more about the style of them in a separate section. But for now, here are some of the benefits to having stainless steel kitchen countertops in your kitchen at home:
- These countertops are incredibly durable – scratching, denting, or ruining them in any other way is near impossible. Near impossible, not completely impossible, though, and they will scratch and dent if you misuse them
- STAINLESS steel sort of gives you a clue, but it’s resistant to stains. Meaning any spills won’t leave a lasting mark. This is important from a practical standpoint. Spills and mistakes will happen, but it’s good to know these countertops can handle them
- As a result of being stainless steel, they’re also really easy to clean and keep looking great. Something which can’t be said of all kitchen countertops which can often end up looking old, tired, and worn after a few months of regular use
- From a food safety perspective, it’s the very best countertop you can get. Natural countertops are porous and can hold on to bacteria from food much longer. Anything else that touches it can easily make you sick, but not with stainless steel
- They’re environmentally friendly. If you change your mind about your stainless steel kitchen countertops after a few years, you can take them out easily and somebody else will be able to reuse them because they last so well
- And finally, the big one – they add a chic, modern appeal to any kitchen. So can be a great way to refresh your kitchen using a material that transforms spaces easily
Stainless steel kitchen countertops
As you can see, there’s a lot to love about stainless steel countertops. Also it’s actually a lot better for your kitchen, as well as looking incredible, too. Really, you can’t ask for much more than that. Practical and stylish, it’s no wonder you’ve been thinking about having them installed in your home. But there are other things you need to think about, such as installation, cost, and maintenance. We’ll cover all that below so you have the full picture of what installing stainless steel countertops in your kitchen really means for you.
Installing kitchen countertops can be a bit of a complicated project. Obviously, you can opt to do it yourself if you have the skills, but most often you’ll need to pay somebody to come out and do it for you. When this happens, the business you employ to do the work will need to come to your house a few times. First, they’ll need to come out to measure your existing countertops.
They start by doing this because every stainless steel section of your countertops will need to be custom made to fit your home. This is the case whether it’s a simple replacement of old countertops, or you’re having stainless steel installed as part of an entire kitchen renovation. All kitchen countertops made of stainless steel need to be cut from larger pieces of metal to form the countertop, so precise measurements are key.
After the measurements have been taken and the stainless steel is ready to be installed, the business that is taking care of the countertops for you will return to your home to install them. This is usually a pretty straightforward job, but can be made more difficult depending on the shape of your kitchen and the amount of countertops that are being installed.
Of course, there are lots of decisions you need to make about your countertops and how you want them to look etc, but these all affect the cost. So let’s take a look at what the factors affecting cost are below.
The cost of everything, all in, including the initial measurements, cutting the material, fitting it into your home, and all the hours that takes a business, should mean that you’ll be able to get stainless steel kitchen tops for around $50 to $150 per square foot. Why the large difference in price? Well, that comes down to a few choices you’ll need to make:
- Gauge: the gauge of your countertops refers to the thickness of the steel, the thicker it is (14 gauge) the more expensive it will be. Most homes opt for 16 to 18 gauge, as it’s thick and durable, but not restaurant standard like 14 gauge steel is. You can also get 20 gauge countertops, which aren’t as thick or durable, if you’re looking to cut costs.
- Finish: you can have brushed, stain finish, and antique matte to name a few. Brushed is the most common because it hides scratches and fingerprints well, and it’s also thankfully one of the cheapest. Still, if you opt for another finish, the price will increase again.
- Customization: you can have stainless steel backsplashes by your countertops, have different edge finishes for decorative purposes, and even suggest weird and wonderful places for your countertops to be installed. All this will, again, increase the ultimate cost.
Shopping around for the best price is always recommended before starting the project. However there’s no denying that stainless steel countertops are some of the more expensive countertop options.
Keeping your stainless steel tops looking great won’t take a lot of effort, but cleaning and maintaining them will need to take place more frequently. Why? Fingerprints. You can, however, deal with them easily with just some soapy water and a sponge.
Cleaning your stainless steel countertops is much easier because they don’t stain, meaning you won’t need bleach or any other special cleaning equipment to keep them looking their best. You could buy stainless steel cleaner specifically if you want to, but soap and water will get the job done for any mess.
To make your stainless steel shine, you can always pour a little olive oil on to the surface and buff it in using a clean cloth. Use the oil sparingly though, or else it’ll make the surface too slick. A little goes a long way, and it’ll also make the surface of your countertops gleam.
You should also avoid using any abrasive cleaners, brushes, or sponges as this will scratch the surface over time. Opt for softer sponges and cloths instead. You should also NEVER cut directly on a stainless steel countertop as this will scratch it. Besides these few dos and don’ts, maintaining your countertops ought to be a breeze.
Stainless Steel Countertops: A Style Guide
To finish today’s guide, we just had to talk about these countertops from an interior design perspective. We’ll cover the basics today, just so you get an idea of how you might be able to make stainless steel kitchen countertops work in your kitchen at home:
- Color Scheme: When thinking about paints, cabinets, and walls – keep things neutral with stainless steel. It doesn’t always have to be white or black, either. Grays would work well, pale colors, and even dark navy blues would also look great. Just try to avoid anything that clashes too much with the shiny metal.
- Appliances: Do you match the stainless steel? If so, should they be silver too? Well, that’s up to you. Stainless steel appliances would certainly work well, and they’d look great in silver. But black can often be chic too, and the appliances will be a pleasant contrast to the silver worktops above.
- Accessories: Any little accessories around the kitchen should have a pop of color. Otherwise, you risk taking the heart out of your kitchen and leaving a soulless industrial kitchen that’s lacking any love. Think red toasters, blue microwaves, and other odds, ends, and trinkets that match your color scheme.
- Furniture: If you have a breakfast bar and stools, you might be tempted to go for industrial-vibe, black metal barstools, and whilst this works. We’d recommend updating your stools to softer ones. Opt for ones with curves, soft furnishings, and a bit of color. It’ll make the place feel a lot more exciting and take some of the edge off your sleek kitchen.
You can already tell we’re a huge fan of stainless steel in kitchens, right? They’re the perfect way to modernize a kitchen and get them looking great. With a few splashes of color, some softer curves to break up the industrial vibes, and the proper care and maintenance once installed, stainless steel countertops can transform your kitchen into a sleek, chic, modern space, perfect for cooking and entertaining your guests!