When it comes to installing new benchtops in your kitchen you have an enormous amount of potential materials to choose from, but very few are more desirable and sought-after than stainless steel. As such, many kitchen owners choose to have stainless steel benchtops fabricated to order; however, while this remarkable metal comes with many advantages, there are also a few disadvantages to choosing it that you should be aware of.
What are the advantages of choosing stainless steel benchtops?
- Durability: As far as benchtop materials go, stainless steel is practically unparalleled in terms of strength and durability. It does not chip or dent as a result of impact damage, does not suffer from moisture damage, and is thoroughly resistant to heat, allowing you to place hot pans and pots directly on your benchtops.
- Ease of maintenance: Stainless steel is also a breeze to maintain, with its smooth surface easily wiped clean of food waste and other detritus. As the name would suggest, it does not stain and is resistant to even the harshest cleaning chemicals.
- Sterility: This smooth surface also gives bacteria and other dangerous pathogens no place to hide, and the inorganic nature of stainless steel means it does not provide a food source for microbes as organic materials (such as timber) can.
- Accentuates natural light: Stainless steel is also quite reflective (unless you choose a textured, matte finish for your benchtops) and can be buffed to a mirror sheen. This serves to increase the amount of natural light in your kitchen, and can help cramped kitchens appear larger.
- Customisable: Having your benchtops fabricated by a stainless steel fabrication company allows you to create suitable benchtops for practically any size and configuration of kitchen, including isolated kitchen islands and angled galley kitchens. By contrast, benchtops made of timber, PVC and other materials are often only available in pre-cut sizes.
What about the disadvantages of choosing stainless steel benchtops?
- Price: Unfortunately this top-of-the-line benchtop material comes as a similarly steep price, and stainless steel benchtops can cost as much as other premium materials such as granite. Custom fabrication can help you cut costs by eliminating waste and ensuring easy fitting, but you should still see stainless steel benchtops as a serious investment.
- Vulnerability to scratching: Stainless steel can suffer surface scratches, and the smooth, reflective surface of the metal can make them particularly visible. Use of simple cutting boards and other benchtop guards can help minimise scratching.
- Weight: Stainless steel benchtops can be remarkably heavy, especially when cast in large, individual shapes. As such they can be difficult to fit without professional assistance.