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Stainless Steel Countertops

Restaurants have long recognized that stainless steel makes the ideal countertop. It is durable enough to with stand constant use, will not stain or rust, is easy to keep clean and sanitary, and can withstand the temperature of hot pots. They are almost maintenance free, as they only need cleaning with a mild detergent. As more homeowners are choosing stainless steel for their kitchen appliances, these countertops help complete the popular “restaurant look.” When selecting stainless steel, it is important to buy those made with a high grade chromium and nickel content. Look for a thick gauge that will not dent easily. Quality countertops are usually 304 stainless steel with a #4 brushed finish. The length is often limited to 10 feet and the width to 4 feet.

Here are some things to consider when buying stainless steel countertops:

  • New stainless steel countertops will show fingerprints and water spotting, especially on highly polished surfaces, so it is best to order a matte or satin finish. This problem will diminish as the surface gets more wear and develops a patina.
  • Pay particular attention to the installation of stainless steel countertops to avoid denting and unwanted noise. They should be bonded to plywood or particleboard.
  • Sinks can be seamlessly incorporated into stainless countertops either by welding them in or manufacturing them as part of the countertop. Wide stainless drain boards on one or both sides of the sink can also be seamlessly included.
  • Acidic foods or juices can cause some discoloration of stainless countertops if they are not promptly cleaned up, but these stains can easily be removed by rubbing

    them out with a kitchen cleaning pad.

If an entire kitchen of stainless steel countertops seems too institutional and “cold” to you, consider installing the stainless steel countertops in a high use area and using a material such as wooden butcher block in other parts of the kitchen.

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