When most people think about kitchens, the first things that spring to mind are wooden cabinets and furniture; and who can blame them with the amount out there. However, perhaps they should be thinking about a different material. Stainless steel is, in my opinion, an ideal kitchen material, and looking at commercial kitchens, it seems business does too. Can we, in the real world, use Stainless in the kitchen to our benefit? I believe so, and here is how.
Stainless steel is used around the world in situations where hygiene is vital, and that includes surgical theatres and kitchens. Keeping stainless steel clean is incredibly easy, and as it is so durable and hardwearing, you can clean it over and over with no effect; though you should avoid scratching the surfaces too much. Stainless steel is non-porous too, which means that it helps to prevent any bacterial growth that can take place below the surface of materials such as wood. This makes it one of the best surfaces to work with, as well as making it an excellent material for food storage
Good quality stainless steel in a kitchen could last you as long as a century; if looked after properly. High nickel content stainless is extremely resistant to corrosion, and in a high moisture content area, such as a kitchen, resistance to moisture is incredibly important. It is no coincidence that things like cutlery and pots and pans are usually made from stainless steel (even copper saucepans will incorporate some stainless), and its high resilience to heat and wear and tear make it perfect in the kitchen; and these properties can be a benefit to cabinets and kitchen furniture too.
Any kitchen you walk into will have metal in it somewhere, but now, designers are starting to use steel to add a little style and substance too. Brushed and satin finished cabinet doors and appliances are adding a clean (though some would say sterile) feel to homes around the world, while fixtures like steel lintels, girders (available made to measure from companies like Cannonsteelsltd.co.uk), are adding some extra style and design finesse. From designer cutlery and top end pots and pans, to bespoke faucets and light fittings; metals such as stainless steel, copper, brass and bronze are adding a metallic style all of their own.
One of the greatest things about using metals is their ability to be used over and over. Unlike wood, metal can be melted down and formed into another product. According to the Bureau of International Recycling an average stainless steel product contains 60% recycled steel, and 90% of end of life steel products become recycled. It seems that, the more stainless steel you use in your kitchen, the more you are helping the sustainability of the planet.
If you want low maintenance, then steel is what you want. Good quality nickel steel alloys only require cleaning, and their corrosion resistance is not just skin deep; it runs through every molecule. No painting or treating with waxes and polishes; stainless steel is as low maintenance as it gets.
It is clear to me that stainless steel is perfect for any kitchen; what do you think?