Do you regret having a Stainless Steel Backguard?

markbrDecember 2, 2009

I'm buying my first pro range, the Wolf 30" DF.

I still have time to decide on the backguard, we currently have a cermaic back splash, nothing fancy, same pattern as the rest of the wall in the kitchen area.

So installing the 30" stainless Steel backguard behind the range would require drilling through the ceramic, doesn't overly concern me.

I think it looks really professional to have that behind a pro range, and if I purchase one I think it will be the DCS backguard as it has some very nice practical shelves on it.

So what's the verdict, will I regret it, will the maintenance be too high?

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Do you mean a full stainless backsplash? There was a thread over in Kitchens about that last week that might be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stainless steel panel behind range?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:40AM
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We have a Wolf rangetop that we've been using for about 6 years now. We chose the 12 inch stainless riser. There was no drilling involved. It attaches to the stove top not to the wall.

The thing to be aware of is that keeping the backsplash clean is *impossible*. Well at least it is for us! We have a 36 inch range with the griddle in the middle. There's an exhaust or something behind the griddle and there's a nice brown, er, patina in the center of our riser.

Maybe if I were a better housekeeper we could have avoided this problem. I like to think it demonstrates that we use the stove:-)

So, I'd say if you want to keep the stainless stainless, then I think it'd be a lot of maintenance. If you're okay with that "hard-used" look, then go for it.

PS: If you get one with shelves, I'd say be sure that they are at least 12 - 15 inches above the cook top.

-- Barbara

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:47AM
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I just checked out the Wolf website and I do see their highest riser only goes up 20" and has shelves, I'm a little suprised it doesn't go 30" to blend in seamless with the hood, I don't know if that matters.

You mentioned that it actually attaches to the range itself, I like that as I really didn't want to screw the DCS in the wall.

About the shelves, are they wide enough? and does it still give you the possibility to hang any cooking utensils underneath the shelf? I like that about the DCS.



    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:05AM
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I have a SS backspash attached to the range and I find it very ugly. I will order an island trim in the near future. I would much rather have my tiled wall showing. And I found I totally hate cleaning SS. Hate it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:33AM
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I also chose not to have a SS backsplash with my DCS range. It's really a matter of personal preference and what look you're going for. I have blue pearl granite tiles with dark gray grout and I've never noticed the grout getting dirty.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:52AM
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yea my wife is terrified of the cleaning part, although we won't be grilling or doing much frying.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 12:58PM
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We've got an 8" SS backsplash on our Bluestar 48" range and it's the smallest offered aside from an island setup. We've got tile behind ours and it's very easy to clean if you use a little Easy-Off no-fume oven cleaner and let it sit (not too much so that it runs off) for about 15-30 minutes.. The grease just rubs off and you're left with clean SS.. Just my $0.02 worth..

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:59PM
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Cleaning SS is miserable. I cannot wait until SS goes out of style so we can all get back to what makes sense...enamel. SS refigerators was a major big mistake, the second SS diswashers and ranges. We all gave ourselves more work to be pro look. My dishwashwer is always messy looking on the front. I hate trendy.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Our new Bosch dishwasher has a stainless steel door with a "fingerprint rejection" surface. What surprises me is that this surface treatment (or the higher nickel content stainless steel itself) really does prevent fingerprints and other distracting reflection blemishes. I just realized that in the last month the dishwasher door has never needed cleaning. Now we don't have children in the house, but our dog leaves "nose prints" everywhere else. :-)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Mark --

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Our backsplash is only 10" and has no shelf. There's a sort of 1" or 2" lip at the top but nothing big enough to put anything on.

I looked a bit at the wolf site and they sure hide the info about the risers! Anyway, from their "design guide" it looks like the shelf on the 20 inch riser is 9 1/4" deep. The pictures don't look like they have a rod or anything to hang utensils from.

One thing to think about with the shelf is that it limits the height of the pot you can put on the back burners. If you do a lot of pasta cooking or simmering of stocks that migth be an issue to think about.

I looked again at the "patina" on my riser. It's really only behind the griddle, so if you're not getting a griddle then you should be okay. There's some kind of exhaust behind the griddle but not behind the burners themselves. Behind the burners it still polishes up nicely and looks pretty clean. It's only the center that's the real cleaning issue.

Good luck with your decision making!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 6:04PM
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I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with tom_p_pa...I find my SS easy to clean and keep clean...and I have two younger teens who are all over the appliances! I use one of two things every couple of weeks, at most...

* Weiman SS Cleaner & Polish (in a silver can)

* Pledge in the brown can

Plus microfiber cloths!

Not only is it a quick spray & swipe to clean things, but both products seem to discourage fingerprints...I'm not sure why, but they both work! My SS refrigerator looks much cleaner all the time than my white enamel one did...I was constantly cleaning it and the handle b/c every little bit of dirt/food/fingerprint stuck and showed! It's so nice not to have to wipe down the refrigerator every day or two!

Note: I found the Weiman SS wipes actually streak SS, so I don't recommend the wipes.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 6:24PM
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The shelf on the DCS backguard sits at about the 18" mark on the 30" backguard, do you think that is ok?

The DCS backguard looks to be one of the best ones becuase it has 2 removable shelves, as well you could hook utensils where one of the shelves go, I'm not sure if the utensils could actually hook to the shelves themselves.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:39PM
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I'm not sure if you mean a riser or just using SS as a backsplash, but I'll go with the former as that's what we have: a 21" riser with shelf on 36" AG (not DF) Wolf range. Shelf is mainly used for plates under warming lights and a few spices. Keeping it clean is not much of an issue, although there are some heat burns right behind one of the rear burners.

As for the other comments above: With a high riser shelf it would be impossible to bump it with any pans you'd be using in a home kitchen. The 12" space between the top of the riser and the cabinets is usually tiled and looks fine. I don't think you'd want pans hanging over the range from the shelf.. Risers screw to the back of the range and (I assume) have to be the same brand as the stove to fit--I don't know how the DF oven exhausts, but our AG does through the top of the riser, and also is integral to the range top. One issue with a riser is that it limits the diameter of rear burner pans: any pan with a top more than 10" has to be a little off center. The shelf distorts the upward airflow off the burners and grill, so a little more powerful hood than usual maybe helpful. The look is very functional; we like it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:36PM
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I was referring to a SS backsplash, so I'm thinking that would give me a little more room.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 9:09AM
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Oh saw your comment about the marks the griddle left on your stainless steel back, the Wolf DF304 doesn't have a buil-it griddle but I was looking to purchase an add-on for doing pancakes or whatever. I would really hate to see any marks left on it.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 9:18AM
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I don't know about Wolf, but on our old DCS range, we had a 12" riser, no shelf and we got awful scorch marks behind both back burners. This had nothing to do with housekeeping and as far as I know, there's no way to get rid of them. Our new range has more space between the back burners and the riser so it's not a problem. I think Bmoo's patina may also actually be a scorch. Those griddles get pretty hot.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Don't let anyone convince you SS cleaning is effortless and easy. Not.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Mark --

I think the stain issue from the griddle would only be for the built-in one. You say you'll purchase an "add-on" so I'm guessing that that means one that sits on top of the burners. Ours is integrated with the rangetop and has an exhaust. I think it's the super-hot air coming out of the griddle exhaust that causes the discoloration.

I mentioned the issue because some folks care. We don't; we sort of figure it's part of what shows that we use our kitchen a lot. But some folks do care that things remain nice looking. It's a matter of taste and of one's willingness to clean I suppose:-)

As to pan heights and such I think teachmkt answered that better than I could given that I don't have the high riser.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 9:55PM
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I have been going back and forth on if I need the backguard for my GE Cafe that is on order and will be installed as soon as the GE non-venting circulating hood arrives at the store that was a special order for my approval. I have the option of keeping the backguard on the order or taking it off. I like the way it looks on the back of the unit but it sounds like it would be easier to clean without it so I feel now I should take it off.

Thank you everyone who posted and to the poster who started this thread.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 1:16AM
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mayflower, my ss backplash is VERY easy to clean. Really! I use 409 if it's really greasy. It is much easier to clean than my ss refrigerator because it's just spatter, not fingerprints or other abuse from handling.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 8:51AM
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Thank you idrive65 for letting us know that your backsplash is easy to clean with 409.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Timely discussion for me... I just purchased a 48" AG Wolf range with 6 burners and griddle, to go into a new kitchen that will start to take shape next week (i.e. demo starts next week--still have a ways to go here). Anyway, just got a call from the appliance sales guy who asked what we were planning on doing behind the range. When I told him "tile backsplash" he suggested we should strongly consider a 5" stainless steel piece (riser? not sure what proper terminology is) to protect the wall. Is this needed? Shouldn't tile generally do the job too? Or will tile get scorched more so than the stainless?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Tile should be fine.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:59AM
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If I opt not to buy the 5" high stainless steel backguard for my new GE Cafe Gas Range and if I am not installing a tile backsplash yet (maybe next year), what should I do to protect my wall? Both burners in the back are just simmer burners. Should I paint the back wall Semi-Gloss or High-Gloss? The wall is now painted Pearl Finish BM Aqua Paint but will have be touched up when the 20 year old whirlpool range is removed with the high back since the painter at the end of year 2006 painted around the gas range.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 8:12PM
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The 12 inch s.s. backguard on our 1980's VIKING has held up extremely well.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 9:55PM
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samuel1947, thanks for letting us know how long the stainless steel backguard has held up on your Viking. I guess it depends on the quality of the stainless steel.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 11:49PM
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When I put in my Wolf range I had the 20" riser installed.
It got in the way of stock pots, and, the shelf was too low to keep things warm under the infrared lamps. I had it removed and had just the shelf mounted about 12" below the heat lamps. I already had a granite tile backsplash. I like it much better this way. As far as drilling, we did it at the granite seams with no problem, and my tiles are 12 X 24, installed real tight with no grout. The bottom of my hood is about 36" above the cook top. That 4" makes a big difference.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 1:50PM
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house_elf, do you have any pictures of your kitchen where the range, hood and backsplash is? I would love to see tiles without grout to make my life easier with cleaning. Thank you so much.

My GE SS hood arrived for me to look at tomorrow at the store for my approval and that is the only time I can make changes to the order before the range and hood are brought to my home to be installed with the old 20 year old almond range and almond hood removed.

Hence, I must know by the tomorrow if I should take the 5" backguard off the order and just wait to do a tile backsplash when I have time. For now I am stuck with my almond laminate counters that come up the side of the walls 4" everywhere but behind the sink so that is why I added the backguard initially.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:42PM
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Sorry, I was away over the weekend and did not get your post until today. I do not have photos, but I can tell you that the tiles are very large, 12 X 24, and butted against each other. You could visit HD and lay out some tiles to see the effect.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 9:26AM
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