Stainless steel is an alternative countertop material that is quickly growing in popularity due to the distinct material characteristics that it possesses. Understanding the advantages and drawbacks of choosing stainless steel when choosing to install new countertops can help you determine if stainless steel is able to fulfill your needs.
Advantages of Stainless Steel
Durability: The most obvious advantage of stainless steel is its ability to withstand damage and food exposure. It will not easily be dented or break, and it won't rust, stain (hence the name), or otherwise become visually marred, since it is completely non-absorbent.
Natural Light: A more superficial but nonetheless important benefit of stainless steel countertops is that they work very well to reflect light that comes into your kitchen, which can help visually expand the space. This is extremely important for kitchens that are relatively small, as more natural light can help reduce the feeling of claustrophobia and make it more enjoyable for you to spend time in the kitchen.
Cleanliness: Another major advantage of choosing stainless steel countertops is the fact that they are very easy to clean and are non-absorbent. This means that you can lay food like raw meat right on the countertop without worrying about staining, and can wipe down the surface in a matter of minutes with soap and water to clean all food residue and bacteria off. Unlike natural stone countertops, you won't have to worry about periodic sealing to keep stainless steel non-absorbent.
Disadvantages of Stainless Steel
Cost: The largest disadvantage associated with using stainless steel as your countertop material is the fact that it is a fairly expensive choice. While cheaper variants exist, they are usually thinner and more prone to denting, which makes them a poor choice for kitchen use. This makes stainless steel less than ideal for budget conscious homeowners.
Nicks and Scratches: While stainless steel is extremely durable and can withstand high temperatures, pressure, and physical trauma without breaking or denting, it is susceptible to developing scratches if exposed to knives and other sharp objects. This can ruin the finish on your countertops, and can provide enough texture to allow food particles and bacteria to become trapped on the surface of your counters, making it harder to clean them. While you can avoid this issue by making extensive use of cutting boards and being careful while working with sharp-edged objects, it is still something that you should take under consideration.
Contact a countertop service for more help.