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Why Stainless Steel Countertops Are Gaining Popularity?

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Linda Wong

As one of the co-founders of Vigorss, I have been deeply involved in the decorative stainless steel sheet industry for over ten years, gaining extensive knowledge of product craftsmanship. I enjoy approaching issues from the customer's perspective, so the blog posts can address many customer pain points. Feel free to leave a comment to suggest topics for the next posts.

From the cool elegance of quartz to the rustic charm of reclaimed wood, countertops play a vital role in shaping a restaurant's atmosphere. Yet, despite the changes in kitchen design trends, one material continues to dominate professional kitchens: stainless steel. While other options offer undeniable aesthetic appeal, stainless steel stands out for its unique combination of functionality and durability. Let's explore why this trusty metal remains the undisputed champion of restaurant countertops.

Table of Contents

The Composition and Grades of Stainless Steel

The most commonly used grade for countertops is Type 304 stainless steel. This grade is an austenitic chromium-nickel alloy containing at least 18% chromium and 8% nickel, which provides excellent corrosion resistance and durability.
Another important grade is Type 316 stainless steel, which includes 2-3% molybdenum for enhanced corrosion resistance, particularly against chlorides and industrial solvents. While more expensive, it’s suitable for environments requiring higher resistance to chemicals and salts.
This composition gives stainless steel some unique properties, making restaurant stainless steel countertops a top-notch option.

  • Corrosion resistance
  • High Tensile Strength
  • Durability
  • Require low-maintenance
  • Environment friendly

Choosing the right grade of stainless steel ensures the longevity and functionality of your kitchen countertops, with Type 304 being the most versatile and widely used option.

Stainless Steel Chemical Composition

Comparison Of Stainless Steel Countertops with Other Materials

Let’s compare stainless steel countertops with granite, quartz, and wood to understand why stainless steel is a superior choice for professional kitchens.

FactorsStainless SteelQuartzGraniteWood
CostHighMediumMediumLow
DurabilityHighHighHighLow
ResistanceHighMediumMediumLow
MaintenanceLowHighHighVery High

While granite and quartz offer durability, they require high maintenance. Granite, for example, absorbs liquids and requires periodic sealing, whereas stainless steel is nonporous and needs no additional maintenance. Quartz countertops are not heat-resistant, requiring heat protection to prevent damage, unlike stainless steel, which can withstand high temperatures.

Wooden countertops, while aesthetically pleasing, are high-maintenance and less resistant to wear and tear. They need to be replaced frequently due to susceptibility to bacterial growth, making them less hygienic.

Two Types of Stainless Steel Countertops

The two widely-used stainless steel countertops are composite stainless steel and solid stainless steel. Among them, the anti-scratch solid stainless steel countertop has been particularly popular in the recent two years.

Stainless Steel Composite Countertop

A composite stainless steel countertop consists of three layers: a stainless steel sheet on the front, a filler in the middle, and a bottom galvanized steel sheet. The filler typically includes multi-layer boards, PVC, or an aluminum honeycomb core. From an environmental perspective, we recommend using the aluminum honeycomb core.

Advantages:

Cost-effective and widely used in both home and commercial kitchens.

Disadvantages:

  • Requires glue to bond the middle filler
  • Cannot be produced in one piece; gaps at the corners need to be welded and polished during installation

Solid Stainless Steel Countertop

Popular thicknesses include 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, and even 20mm.

Advantages:

  • Durability: Produced from a single sheet without welding, contributing to its current popularity.
  • Environmental Friendliness: No middle fillers and no glue.
  • User-Friendliness: The full edge can be polished to smooth rounded corners, which is safer for the elderly and children.

Disadvantages:

Higher cost compared to composite countertops.

Choosing the Thickness of the Front Panel for Stainless Steel Composite Countertops

The common thickness of the front panel varies according to different uses, generally ranging from 0.8mm to 3mm. The selection should be based on the actual situation.

1. For Home Kitchens: Stainless steel sheets with a thickness of 0.8mm to 1.5mm are generally used. Thinner sheets are easier to process and install but are prone to stress and deformation. Thicker sheets are more durable but harder and more costly to work with.

2. For Commercial Kitchens: The thickness typically ranges from 1.5mm to 3mm. The harsh working environment of commercial kitchens demands stronger and more durable stainless steel countertops.

Contact VIGORSS Team for More Information

What are the Types of Finishes Used in Stainless Steel Composite Countertops?

Different finishes can offer unique visual appeal, enhance certain properties, and even hide imperfections. Here, we explore four popular finishes used in stainless steel composite countertops:

Hairline / Satin

The hairline and satin finish, features fine brushed lines onto the surface of the stainless steel. This creates a smooth, matte appearance that is less reflective than polished finishes.

Vibration

The vibration finish is created by applying a random, non-directional pattern to the stainless steel surface. This results in a distinctive, swirled appearance that diffuses light and minimizes glare.

Vibration finish countertop
Vibration Finish Countertop

Sandblasted

The sandblasted finish is achieved by using high-pressure air to blast abrasive particles at the surface, creating a uniform, matte texture. This process gives the surface a slightly rough, frosted appearance.

Embossed

Embossing involve pressing patterns into the stainless steel surface, creating a raised or recessed design. Two popular patterns for countertops are linen and sand grain.

Embossed Countertop Designs
Vigorss-anti-fingerprint-stainless-steel-sheet-test

Anti-Fingerprint (AFP)

Anti-fingerprint(AFP) coating refers to the coating of a protective layer of transparent or yellowish liquid on the surface of stainless steel.

After selecting the surface finish, we will usually apply a layer of AFP because the countertops can be prone to showing fingerprints and smudges without AFP.

Anti-Scratch

Better than the anti-fingerprint is the anti-scratch, because the processing cost is relatively expensive, we usually apply it to solid stainless steel countertops. Of course, the stainless steel composite countertop can also be anti-scratch treated if you have such requirement and enough budget.

During daily use, sometimes it is easy to scratch the countertop by a knife/something sharp or in contact with a hot pot or kettle, so we recommend you consider anti-scratch coating as no obvious marks will be left on the countertop.

Final Thoughts

Stainless steel countertops offer a combination of durability, hygiene, and low maintenance that is hard to beat. Their resistance to heat, stains, and corrosion makes them ideal for the high demands of a professional kitchen. Additionally, the variety of finishes and the ability to choose between composite and solid stainless steel allows for customization to fit both aesthetic and functional needs.

While the initial cost may be higher compared to other materials, the long-term benefits and savings in maintenance make stainless steel a wise investment. Whether you’re outfitting a busy restaurant kitchen or a stylish home kitchen, stainless steel countertops provide a versatile and reliable solution that stands the test of time.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about stainless steel countertops, please feel free to reach out to Vigorss team at [email protected] or call us at 0086-13715484114.

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