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JulieMor 02-10-2013 10:17 AM

Why The Stainless Steel Craze?
It seems like everywhere I look, including on the TV, the must haves in kitchens are granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I get the granite, as long as your taste won't change anytime soon. But I don't get stainless steel (except cooktops).

When we were shopping for our first appliances I remember the salesman talking about fingerprints on the surfaces of appliances. Our kids were little then and we knew what he was talking about. When a friend of mine hopped on the stainless steel wagon years later, I went over to her house to see the new appliances. "The biggest problem is fingerprints," she said, "I'm constantly cleaning."

We need to replace the last of our old appliances and all I'm hearing is, "You need to go stainless! It's what everyone wants." We could be selling in the next few years. The biggest resistance I'm putting up is with the refrigerator. I hate stainless on a refrigerator! It's fingerprint central.

Other surfaces are no harder to clean than stainless and they don't show every little smudge. Stainless steel is like a black vehicle, looks great when its clean but you become a slave to cleaning it.

Can someone please explain why so many home buyers today are thumbing their noses at anything but stainless? Do they know what they are getting into?

ddawg16 02-10-2013 11:00 AM

Stainless doesn't rust....

If you get a scratch on can usually brush it out with a 3M scratch pad.

Because it does show fingerprints, you tend to be cleaner. (If you don't see dirt, you don't clean).

You don't get tired of the color....seeing how you can't change it.

Maybe it is just a fad....but I see it lasting longer than harvest gold....

md2lgyk 02-10-2013 11:03 AM

Likely just a passing trend. When I bought my first new house in 1976, the trend was bronze-colored appliances and orange shag carpet. Harvest Gold and some puke-green color were also "in" for a while. Lately, black and gray are seen more often.

We have dark granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in our kitchen. Why? Because SWMBO wanted them. Having served a number of years in the nuclear submarine service, where nearly everything that's not painted is stainless, I was well aware of how hard it is to keep clean. But with the modern cleaners now available, it's much easier. And we have no kids left at home, so prints are not a big issue.

TarheelTerp 02-10-2013 11:33 AM


Originally Posted by JulieMor (Post 1113918)
Can someone please explain why so many home buyers today are thumbing their noses at anything but stainless?

Most are clueless idiots who only "know" what the TV and magazines show them.

Once upon a time...
There have always been a few (rich) cooking obsessives who have had professional grade appliances and fixtures in their homes. In the 70's an into the 80's there were more of these self indulgent (yuppie) types and a few pseudo artisan types who would "re-purpose" old gear as they re-developed lofts and other non traditional places into homes.

Then the magazine writers took it all on and then the general use appliance makers took it all on... but they all neglected to tell anyone how expensive the real thing is. Or how to tell real from fake.

But because most of their customers are clueless idiots who only "know" what the TV and magazines show them they accept 400series S/S panels and veneering just as they accept laminate flooring... it lets them have their "look" this year (rather than having to save up and wait a few years to afford or incorporate the real thing in an overall job plan).


iamrfixit 02-10-2013 11:35 AM

It's the commercial kitchen look that everyone seems to be after. They want the viking range and sub-zero fridge look but they are stuck on a whirlpool budget.

Some stainless finishes are better than others, they do have stainless that does not show fingerprints nearly as bad. If you plan to sell soon then you are better off going with stainless and playing into the favorable odds. Otherwise just buy what YOU like. Having had avocado, harvest gold, beige and black over the years I have learned that they look nice when those colors are popular but that doesn't seem to last and they begin to look dated. Plain old white never really goes completely out of style.

Don't forget about your refrigerator magnets, they may or may not stick depending on the stainless alloy the manufacturer used. If you have a prized collection of magnets on your fridge that you can't live without, you will need to be selective on your choice. I know a couple who were really upset when their magnets didn't stick to the new fridge.

Some stainless alloys can rust!

SeniorSitizen 02-10-2013 12:43 PM

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My wife didn't want the stainless commercial look or be dubbed a commercial chef so she chose a brushed finish that looks similar to stainless but darker. Doesn't photo well does it? It is about the color of the light area. It's kind of a light gray silvery color with black sides and trim. It's carbon steel so it holds grand kids art work very well :laughing:

Larryh86GT 02-10-2013 06:31 PM

No SS appliances in our kitchen. :no: I think we are old school.

tmccasland 02-10-2013 06:46 PM

We have ss fridge keeping it clean isn't too hard. Wd40 works great. What bothers me is they dent easy and when there's a dent it really sticks out

Fix'n it 02-10-2013 07:42 PM

its because it looks good. and that it goes with nearly any kitchen design and color.

ddawg16 02-10-2013 08:01 PM


Originally Posted by tmccasland (Post 1114399)
We have ss fridge keeping it clean isn't too hard. Wd40 works great. What bothers me is they dent easy and when there's a dent it really sticks out

Our fridge is I wish it was SS....Black shows EVERYTHING.....


Originally Posted by Fix'n it (Post 1114482)
its because it looks good. and that it goes with nearly any kitchen design and color.

That ^^^ pretty much sums it up...

SuperJETT 02-11-2013 07:38 AM

Stainless has been 'in' for close to 15 years now, it's not some passing fad. The new trends are gloss white or gloss black (very hard to keep perfectly clean) and some matte colors like slate.

Personally, we bought stainless for our new (very old) house back in August though black still looks good and current in some kitchens to us. Our stainless appliances are Whirlpool Gold fridge and Frigidaire Gallery everything else and they really don't show fingerprints with our 3 kids. They still need to be cleaned like all finishes do though.

dengle 02-11-2013 09:00 AM

FYI, typically if a stainless appliance (or utensil, pots, etc) are magnetic, then they are a lower quality stainless that may rust much easier than the higher-end stainless.

The Mrs wanted a stainless fridge so we bought an Electrolux. It's not nearly as "brushed" looking as some and has a definite fingerprint, dirt, water drips, etc attraction.

The more brushed the look the less fingerprints and other issues will show, although they will show to some extent.

As to why, when it's clean, there is definitely a nice look to it that does indeed go with pretty much any decor, color-wise.

cleveman 02-11-2013 09:38 PM

Anything is better than black at looking clean. My GDW insisted on a black stove.

747 02-11-2013 09:50 PM

Actually i like quartz counter tops over granite. Stainless steel is a timeless look.

JulieMor 02-12-2013 01:20 PM

Right now we have a 26 year old cooktop that is going to kill us one day, if we forget to turn off the burner. The 120V has a direct short so we have to manually light the burners. And I'm tired of fixing it. So replacing that is a must.

Our DW has a black face and is now ten years old and falling apart. Super glue works only so long. So that's next to be replaced.

We do that and all we'll have left that isn't stainless will be the frig. Personally I never liked the frig but the ex had to have it and then left me with it. It has an almond wrinkle finish and it sticks out from the cabinet face a good 5-6 inches. But it still works fine. Only had one problem but got the part and it's worked fine since. The ex, BTW, has a SS frig now. :icon_rolleyes:

These fancy-schmancy friges today with the french doors, frig drawer and freezer drawer start around $2,500. For some strange reason, no one from Publisher's Clearing House has been knocking on our door with a big fat check so that $2,500 seems like a lot of money. But there's no doubt it would put the finishing look on the kitchen. The old frig will be the last remaining item in an otherwise totally remodeled room, once I'm done with this:
Mahogany rails & stiles and drawer fronts and QS sapele panels (that's the 8/4 stock awaiting resawing). The almond laminate doors & drawers are destined for re-purposing. :whistling2:

The new cabinet face lift is what's driving this crazy stainless steel debate here. "The cabinets and everything else will look so gorgeous but that old frig will kill it. Replace the frig and you're done!" That's the talk I keep hearing. I'll probably cave.

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