There’s a good reason why stainless is used in most of the restaurants across the country: it’s virtually indestructible!
Now homeowners can receive all of the benefits that come with them in the convenience of their own home. Of course, as with anything else, stainless does have some drawbacks to them that we’ll be going over here along with the benefits.
The pros of owning stainless
As a proud of these countertops owner you’ll have bragging rights to the following benefits:
Durable and resilient to almost anything
Not only are steel counters aesthetically pleasing but they’re resistant to water, heat, stains and just about anything else! Stainless steel has a non-porous surface, which means that no type of liquid or substances can penetrate into the material at all. Bacteria, mold and other common household germs don’t stand a chance with stainless. You are being given the opportunity to enjoy a completely hygienic surface for preparing meals as long as you practice regular cleaning habits.
You don’t have to fear oils, beets, acids, wine, grape juice or even working with food coloring any longer. This countertop does not stain. This makes it perfect for families with young children that are aspiring chefs and love to work alongside mom and dad to prepare the evening meal. When accidents happen you can put your worries aside as a parent and simply clean up the counter without a second thought about any stains setting in.
As far as heat goes, feel free to put down all of your pans and pots without having to worry about any damage occurring. The countertop will heat up in the area where the pot is placed, but this heat doesn’t travel along the length of the counter. As an added bonus, it will stay cool during the hot summer months.
An elegant tailored look
These worktops are custom-made to perfectly fit your kitchen. You’ll end up with a tailored and elegant countertop that looks absolutely perfect once it has been laid down.
The metal is flexible enough to make it a joy to work with. You can come up with interesting designs and may opt to incorporate a backsplash with it. Many people also have a counter that is made complete with sink attached. This makes cleanup a breeze since there doesn’t have to be any edges between the sink and the counter.
Perfect for contemporary kitchens
Steel offers a distinctive feel and look that blends perfectly into modern contemporary kitchens. When you need something sleek with a shiny modern look to it, look no further than stainless countertops. Because the metal is also neutral in color, it can be used in any type of kitchen. Even the most traditional kitchen decor can accept a stainless steel countertop without a problem.
Create a larger kitchen
This is absolutely brilliant! By working with steel you can reflect the various surfaces in your kitchen to create an illusion that makes the room appear much larger and brighter. You may want to consult with a design specialist if you’re interested in achieving this end effect in order to see optimum results. Proper lighting will be key if this is your goal.
The drawbacks of steel counters
Don’t rush out and purchase a steel countertop just yet! Although the benefits listed above are far and wide, there are some cons that you should know about first. Be sure to find a countertop installer on Angie’s List that is willing to discuss these drawbacks with you.
They will scratch
When you first purchase your countertop it will be shiny and free of any scratches. You need to be aware, however, that this effect is not going to last very long at all. After some wear and tear your first scratch is going to appear and if you’re not prepared for it you may feel like crying. Don’t worry though, it’s going to be the first of many and should be completely expected.
In fact, this should be recognized as one of the defining features of your new countertop. As it scratches, it starts to patina and in the process it becomes much better looking. If you’re at all worried about what this scratching and patina affect will look like, take a trip down to Home Depot and look at the counter that is being used in the paint department.
That counter sure gets a lot of wear and tear – a lot more then you’d be giving yours through regular use! You’ll want to visualize that type of look in your kitchen.
After you receive your first set of scratches you won’t even worry about scratching the counter any longer. The scratches seem to miraculously blend together and look natural after a while.
Warning: You can dent it if you’re careless
You can expect it to acquire some dents after a certain amount of time. The best way to avoid these is to have a professional install your counter that has had a lot of experience with stainless steel. The metal is put over wood to keep the denting and dinging effect to a minimum.
With hardwood used and a tight installation, there is less risk of dents forming. As well, the gauge of the metal will affect the amount of dings that appear on the counter. If you decide to go with metal, make sure that you talk to an expert about your various gauge options. Remember, the higher the number the thinner the material.
For some people, it’s a cold look
Some people work in a profession where they have use a steel counter on a daily basis. A nurse, for example, working in a hospital setting, may not appreciate the look of it in her home. The same may apply for kitchen workers that spend 8 hours working at these and would sure like to see granite or quartz countertop at home instead.
Others that don’t even have to work with metal counters in their profession just don’t like the look of steel and consider it too cold to appear in a home.
These counters are noisy!
Remember when you were a child and you were bored and your mother would take out some pots and pans and a wooden spoon and allow you to bang away? Now you have the idea of what you can expect when you have this type of counter in your kitchen.
Although you can keep the noise down to a dull roar, the sound level can take some getting used to. If you’re the type that doesn’t like clanging noises, this is one type of counter that you may want to stay away from.
Low maintenance yet high maintenance
Stainless steel countertops will maintain themselves and you’ll never have to worry about stains for as long as you own it. They does tend to show smudge marks and fingerprints though and some counter owners say that you’ll be able to notice small crumbs more.
If you are the type of person that would be bothered by a few fingerprints or smudge marks, be prepared to wipe the counter more often than you would another type.
You’ll find it’s an incredible material for both household and commercial use. When it comes to inviting this metal into your home, it will all come down to personal preference.
Now that you know both the pros and cons of steel countertops from Countertop Investigator, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. Is stainless the right fit for you? For many, the answer is a resounding yes based on its look, durability and sanitary benefits.
Can you buy prescratched… brushed stainless steel so you see less scratches and less fingerprints?
There’s one more disadvantage of having Stainless Steel Counter tops and a cautionary one! Make sure all of your outlets have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), also called Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) circuit protector. My Aunt had an old electrical appliance that she reached to unplug in a non GFI outlet directly above her circa 1950’s steel counter top. My baby cousin was sitting on top of the counter, 6 feet away at the end, they both got a shock and my cousin was zapped and flew off the counter 4 feet and caught by my uncle. Both survived and my cousin? Well…he still freaks out and shakes – refusing to step into any kitchen that has S/Steel counters…and he’s now 24 years old. But,oh they sure look “classy”on top of dark Java base cabinets with a S/S toe kick trim with white wall cabinets with S/S trim!
I would love to know the pricing per square foot! Scratches on metal never bother me anyways, my brothers who are mechanics live with me, so everything in the house is either scratch, stained from oil, or has a dent from them rough housing. It’s definitely never been an issue ha! But I still would love to know the pricing, would love it for my own home, I’ve had regular tiled counter tops for as long as I can remember, and I hate that the grout blackens or stains from anything, and it never feels clean no matter how much I clean the surface.
I just put my new kitchen island together with a stainless steel top 4 or 5 days ago. I put a pottery vase with flowers in the middle, then moved it a few times (adding water, etc.) I noticed a bunch of small scratches where I had put it. I read how to try to get them out, but when I do is there anything (coating or something) I can put on the stainless steel to try & prevent more scratches?
Laurie Mark I know you mentioned after the 1st set of scratches they start to patina & look nice, but I was just wondering if I can still prevent it from scratching somehow.
I have formica countertops now, is it possible to have the these installed directly on top of the formica?
I am interested in stainless steel back splashes to compliment my granite countertops. My kids are all union sheet metal journeymen and think I am crazy. I don’t have any idea as to the cost per foot. They think that the first time I fry bacon I will want to rip them out. I think it would look sleek and elegant and I will eat breakfast out. I have a dracor range, and other upscale stainless appliances so to me it is a given. Does anyone else have thoughts on this.
PFE I’ve had a stainless steel backsplash for over 14 years and it’s fabulous. Looks like new – and I am a cook. Everything cleans off easily as long as you can reach it. I’ve fried a lot of bacon and never had a problem. gina I love your “I will eat breakfast out” comment… :-).
First time having granite countertops in this apartment we are renting and I ABSOLUTELY 100% ABHOR THEM! Yeah they look great but u can not tell how clean they are. The one thing that might drive people nuts, (showing the dirt), is the one thing I want back. Granite is for people who don’t cook 🙂 Who the F cares what your kitchen looks like? I’ll remember the food you cooked for me, or didn’t.
My husband is a sheet metal fabricator and he made us a countertop for our kitchen island (the absolutely busiest counter in the house). It looked great when he first put it in, almost like a mirror. Th n my OCD started to kick in and it drove me crazy to see the scratches. I also felt like I had to clean the counter 10 times a day or day, maybe more. It shows everything. I am hoping that as it gets more and more abused I won’t be so frustrated with finger prints and scratches. It is a dream to clean though, just a damp cloth and done. It is also great to not have to worry if the chicken my son just out to cook got on the counter and I would get sick from salmonella poisoning.
Steve I wonder if you could scratch design the steel like they do in elevators and restrooms. This way scratches become obsolete Luke I’ve seen a hammered stainless used as a countertop – appears you can use a pattern. There’s a photo on this page: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/3739-countertop-care-101/ Luke Here’s a link to lots of patterned stainless — check out the other patterns this company has. https://www.stainlesssupply.com/order-metal-online/docs/stainless-steel-polished-patterns.php
Hi there, Is there such a product, that is a single unit of counter (8 ft), and stainless sink (single bowl)? If it exists, is it a high cost item? Thanks!
The Sandman Stainlesssupply.com Steve Yes! Great link thanks
Should I be worried about having electrical appliances on stainless counter top ?
Neil Nope, nothing to worry about with that.
Iam trying to do this countertop on the cheap, originally planned tile over 2 1/2″ dence foam on top of 3/8″ ply, what issues will I have placing a heavy gauge stainless sheet on the foam with wood trim, what gauge would be best.
i would not recommend zinc or copper counter tops the material is very malleable and will dent very easy. They are also usually prohibitively expensive for the average homeowner.
As far as making a stainless counter I recommend 1″+ thick MDF as a backer material. 16 gauge is the standard for a home kitchen counter. Thicker than 14 gauge is wasteful, thinner is asking for denting. Cheap commercial kitchens are typically 18-16 gauge with no backer material. For adhering the MDF to the stainless I recommend 3M scotch weld contact ahesive. If you go to your local box store buy liquid nails.
How does the cost compare to quartz or other stone counter tops?
André Meyer What is the answer to Susan’s question of 25 June 2015 Anthony Greer You’re going to have to get a couple quotes, Susan. Prices can vary regionally, mostly for installation.
Could you do a pro/con on some of the other metal countertop options. I’m particularly interested in zinc and copper kitchen counter surfaces.
I believe if one would have swirls put in it, it would be less likely to show finger prints.
I love the look of stainless and don’t mind most of the negatives but I’m not sure I could handle the fingerprints. That’s one reason I don’t have steel appliances.
Anthony Greer They definitely aren’t for everyone, Patty. Once they get their patina the fingerprints don’t stand out as much.
If you are looking for the best kitchen countertop than you should go with granite because it looks extremely beautiful and can compliment your home in general and your kitchen in particular. Granite is made up of layers of quartz and feldspar so it provides very shiny and smooth surface.
Anthony Greer Hi Mike. I love granite too. I cover it a bit here. /category/granite-countertops/ Pyewacket I hate granite. It is high maintenance and low-creativity. Boring, same-old-same-old. Ugly. Weird looking. Expensive. You can have all the granite. Finding granite or marble or any other so-called “natural” surface used for countertops in the kitchen is a big minus when I’m house-hunting. Often its an outright “move along immediately” because so much of it is so dark and all of it is hideous.
A lot of people (myself included) actually like to see crumbs and fingerprints. Otherwise, it is difficult to determine where your counter is dirty unless you have perfect natural light. Do you have any pictures of the patina? Nice to have a clean looking kitchen that has signs of use.
Do you think an oak plywood backing would be better than plastic? What about a thicker gauge of steel?
Anthony Greer Hey, nice to see you here. I can dig some up and get them posted for you. The denser the backing the better, that’s for sure. Same goes for the gauge. I think for most homeowners the cost becomes a factor but the heavier gauge is definitely worth the investment. Andy Avoid partical board at all costs. Any real wood ply( oak,pine,fir) with stainless properly installed will last a lifetime. 16 gauge minimum.
Great option for a real working kitchen. It will stand up to any abuse you can dish it without batting an eye.
Anthony Greer I could not agree more, Adam. It’s probably the countertop option that can take the most abuse.
Updated: August 24, 2018