For a while now, stainless steel appliances have been distinguishing high-end kitchens from standard kitchens in homes across America. For homeowners seeking the best design and highest quality in refrigerators, ovens, ranges, and even microwaves, there is no substitute for stainless steel. It can transform an ordinary kitchen into a restaurant-style work of art and make the everyday cook feel like a five-star chef.
But is stainless steel really all it's cracked up to be? Some say it is, and some disagree. Consider the pros and cons of stainless steel appliances versus conventional appliances, and decide for yourself. In the end, all will be determined by your specific needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences.
The Pros of Stainless Steel Appliances
There are many reasons why homeowners are installing or upgrading to stainless steel appliances in their kitchens.
- Looks: Perhaps the number one reason why homeowners are switching to stainless is that it's "in". However, unlike the almond and avocado green appliances of the past, the stainless look is timeless, and isn't as likely to look dated. While black appliances are an alternative to stainless, many interior designers consider black a poor color for smaller spaces.
- General Durability: Stainless steel is known for its corrosion resistance, and this is appealing to those concerned about the long-term durability of their appliances.
- Upgrade: Stainless steel finishes do not detract at all from the mechanics of appliances, so upgrading to quieter, more energy efficient models is always a good idea.
- Resale Value: Stainless steel shows well, and that is very important when it's time to sell your home. When upgrading a kitchen, adding stainless steel appliances can help you get more from your investment when it's time to sell.
The Cons of Stainless Steel Appliances
Despite their overwhelming popularity, stainless steel does have a few drawbacks. Here are some things you should know before you buy.
- Fingerprints and Scratches: Many owners of stainless steel appliances will tell you that the brushed surfaces fingerprint and smudge easily. Some are also prone to surface scratches. However, newer models make it possible to get the same great look of stainless steel with less smudging and scratching.
- Price: Stainless appliances are generally more expensive than standard appliance finishes. If you are trying to outfit a kitchen within a tight budget, stainless is not the best options. Popularity and durability do come with a higher price tag.
- Special Cleaners: In order to protect the finish of stainless steel refrigerators, ovens and other appliances, you made need to purchase special stainless steel cleaner.
- Matching Finishes: Not all stainless finishes across brands look exactly the same. Matching appliances across brands may prove difficult if you are upgrading appliances one at a time. If you do purchase appliances one a time, you may find they do not match when installed.
- No Magnets: It's a minor inconvenience, but mothers and grandmothers with stainless steel refrigerators have to come up with new ways to display their family photos and favorite artwork. Magnets don't work with stainless steel.