does anyone regret buying SS appliances?

airedale4momJune 9, 2009

My DH and I are going back and forth about black vs SS appliances. We have darker brick flooring, want med. cherry cabs and possibly venetian gold or NVG granite (or in that color family). One north facing garden window over the sink. I'm leaning toward the SS to keep the room from looking too dark. DH wants black and his sister (interior decorator but doesn't live in our state) thinks we would regret SS due to scratches, dings and just the overall SS look of a refrigerator, DW, range and OTR MW. We do have teens, 2 of them boys and they are careless as can be. I also remember my appliance repair guy telling me several years ago that he wouldn't get SS for the same ding/scratch reasons since he has seen many with those problems.

Has SS improved any in the last few years in terms of hardiness?

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I have ss appliances and two young kids that are pretty tough on things.I really don't find them hard to keep clean. Once I gave up on all the cleaning products that left them smudgy I found that a damp microfiber with water followed with a dry microfiber is all I need. I do that at the end of the day.

As for dings and scratches not one big one yet, but it's only been 6 months. There might be a few small scratches, but I don't even notice them. It's funny what you obsess about when things are brand new, after a while you move on to something else.

BTW I love the way they look! Good luck with the decision. Don't let someone talk you into something you'll be unhappy with.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:18PM
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This is my second kitchen with them, and I love the look. If I didn't have stainless, then I'd have panels - that's how much I don't care for anything else. (My PA kitchen has white appliances.)

I don't find them hard to keep clean either. I have a microfiber cloth that you use dry that I bought at the RH outlet - and it works really well. I also have the Method SS wipes, and they work REALLY well.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:24PM
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We have stainless steel appliances and love them. I would definately NOT get black appliances they show dust horribly and IMHO unless you have a very sizable space, they tend to make a room look smaller.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:48PM
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love SS. never going back to black or white or avacado or bisque.

Maybe a stone veneer ;)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:57PM
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No regrets, I love our SS.
I had the same fear you have. I agree with kpaquette they
are far easier to keep clean than people realize

There are other options out there. JennAir makes this
neat floating glass and they also have this nifty Bronze
finish. Black might be disappointing as it does indeed
show dust.

Best of luck

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:00PM
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I purchased all black for our kitchen and I'm wondering if I will regret not getting SS.
We purchased black because my mom has a new SS fridge and my kids kill it when they go over there. I just couldn't imagine having to deal with it on a daily basis.

I love the look of SS so I'm hoping when the kitchen is done and I have all my black in there it won't be a let down.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:22PM
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I have had black appliances; now have SS. I have never, not one day, regretted my SS. The black shows fingerprints and DUST horribly. I was always wiping it down, then you have to dry it so it doesn't show the water marks. I used a microfiber cloth and water during the week, go over it with stainless cleaner when I really clean or just before company. And I love the look. You are right, it does brighten things up.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:29PM
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What about a textured black fridge? Doesn't that help a lot with the dust and fingerprints?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:58PM
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My stainless steel Fisher & Paykel fridge has something called an EZ-Kleen surface and it's true to its name ... doesn't show fingerprints and stays nice and shiny looking even with water in the door. I did panels on my dish drawers though because my old Bosch SS DW was very hard to keep looking clean.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:02PM
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We're not using SS because it's overdone. Who doesn't have SS? When we got them in the Cottage 10 years ago, they were cool. Now, they've become common. You even see SS in Wal-Mart ads. This time, we went with an LG line that has a glasslike black finish but does not leave fingerprints.

People have misconceptions about dark colors. Done strategically, dark colors can actually make space look bigger.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:21PM
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I'm definitely the odd person out on this one. I've had black appliances for awhile now and I have no problem at all with dust, etc. Sure I can see fingerprints but nothing a quick wipe won't fix. They are a textured black, so maybe that's what make shte difference. I absolutely love them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:27PM
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IMHO, it doesn't matter what color you buy, you won't escape cleaning it, and often, or risking it look grimey.

I currently have a SS dw and a white fridge. I clean them equally. Maybe even the fridge more because all the 409 and elbow grease I can muster isn't enough to clean off those grimey handles and stained water dispenser area. YUCK. I'll never do white again - at least not with kids in the house!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:33PM
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So nobody has any dents or dings yet? Anyone have their SS appliances with kids for more than a year or so?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:28PM
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I have a 48" stainless fridge/freezer, stainless ovens and a stainless range top, even 2 stainless sinks -- all of which have had heavy use in a family kitchen complete with 2 large dogs, 2 teen boys and lots of friends -- even science projects, for the last 2-1/2 years. The part of the range top that sticks out in front of the burners has a couple of small scratches that I could buff out but have not. Nothing else has any signs of wear - not even the large fridge that has been less of a cleaning issue than I expected.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:56PM
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I've had mine for exactly one year, and I have two kids ages 5 & 9. The only scratch that has occured was caused by me, when I was putting a heavy pan in the drawer at the bottom of the stove, I scraped it against the oven door and left a tiny scuff mark. No one can see it but me, but I hate knowing it's there. But do I regret going with ss? No, not at all. I love the way they look and I like knowing that they are clean--with my old bisque appliances, it was hard to tell they were dirty until they were really dirty. And the handles stained horribly, all the Mr. Clean magic erasers in the world wouldn't get the ground-in grime off the handles. Love my shiny clean ss!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 10:06PM
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I agree with the majority here. Stainless Steel! Friends tried to talk me out of it and i was waffling back and forth but decided to just do what I wanted and if I had to clean more then so be it. This has not turned out to be the case. SS is so easy to keep clean, even with DH being the messy cook that he is. We are very happy with our SS appliances.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 10:23PM
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We've had our ss appliances for 4 years and they've held up well. I would make the same choice if I had it to do over again.

Not all stainless surfaces are the same. Our Electrolux Icon fridge has a no-smudge surface which is extemely easy to keep clean--a lot easier than our old white fridge that collected gunk in the texture. Our f&p dd's are also easy to maintain---a lot easier than our old black dw. We have a black range and black & ss mw and they are no easier to maintain than the ss. The only mishap with the ss is a scratch on the fridge that is not normal wear and tear--it involved contact with an airborne metal spatula. I can't blame this one on the kids.

I consider ss to be a 3rd mainstay along with white and black. I like it because of its mid-tone neutral color. I never consider it "overdone" in the same way that I never consider white or black overdone. Since I think it will remain as popular as black and white I don't think it will ever be considered dated.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 11:26PM
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Old house: My Kenmore fridge and DW, Fridgadaire (sp?) stove and SS hood were great. No dings or scratches to speak of.

New house: Only have a Samsung FD refrigerator in SS (hoping to replace more appliances later). Has 3 dents on it. Dents more easily than anything I've ever owned. STill love the look of it, though. It's like having a piece of jewelry instead of a color to complement the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:14AM
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I have an LG French Door Stainless Steel Refrigerator that I bought 2.5 years ago that rarely needs to be cleaned with no finger prints since I live alone and my little dogs do not bother the refrigerator. It is much easier to clean than my old almond refrigerator that died on me. I am saving to have stainless steel in all my appliances. NOW, my kitchen can is another story. I have learned that not all stainless is the same and I wish I bought a wood kitchen can with a liner or even a plastic black or white kitchen can.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:21AM
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Personally, we think stainless steel has been way over rated. We remodeled about 16 years ago and went with classic white. We remodeled again 4 years ago and went with integrated refrigerator and dishwasher, and black cook top, oven, and microwave. I still kind of miss the white for those items, but do love the integrated fridge and DW. I have always thought SS looked a little like an industrial kitchen. Many of our neighbors have SS and it is holding differently for each. One neighbor's cleaning lady scoured the Sub-Zero refrigerator with a scour pad. She now has a swirled, sort of brushed SS finish!! Anyway, buy the SS if you must, but realize it is a fad (just as the coppertone was in the 1960's).



    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:48AM
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I am sort of on the fence here because I love the look of the SS on many things but in my new kitchen I would only consider fully integrated DW and fridge because I hated the water drips on the DW and the fingerprints on the fridge.

I disagree that it is a fad - SS has been around for a long time and is a very sharp look - it dominates the professional lines of appliances and I would be very surprised to see it ever go away - variations or stainless look without the upkeep are more likely.

I also swear by method wipes and a microfiber mitt. I keep both next to the wall oven and M/W and it is an easy way to keep them looking nice.

In our old - somewhat narrow - kitchen we had all SS and I never had any dings or scratches and I have two young kids and had two big dogs. Until I saw the question I never thought about it being especially vulnerable to dings.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:38AM
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Was white a fad? I think appliances are an integral element of any kitchen reno and they should have a significant impact on your design direction. My Mom went SS and it was rough going at first, she tried Method and Stainless Steel Magic wipes both of which were not that great. I finally decided to give consumable mineral oil (which was recommended here) a shot and not only is it streak free but it actually helps make her stainless appliance more resistant to smudges and drips (and it's cheap!). I'm working on a kitchen now that will have white appliances (homeowner has a small budget and a decent white fridge he wants to keep) but it has had a significant impact on the overall style of the kitchen (he is going cottagey and casual with oak and painted cabinetry, painted beadboard and cvt tile floor). I don't think you can just drop one or the other finishes into your design, you really need to plan the kitchen with the appliance finish in mind to get a cohesive final look.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:12AM
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My SS fridge has a scratch from the dog, thanks to one of the kids roughhousing with him in the kitchen. Other than that I find the finish on the Bosch refrigerator and dishwasher to be very easy to keep clean. I can go weeks without wiping down the dw and even then it's out of habit, not visible crud. My range gets some direct sun that shows every dust mote, but that would be just as noticeable with black I'm sure.

My step-mom, however, really dislikes cleaning her ss appliances. I think she has GE. Some finishes are "rougher" and hold greasy fingerprints more easily. I wiped my hands on all the display fridges at the store and found the JennAir and Bosch were the best finishes in my price range.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:20AM
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Around here (Washington, DC) white has been considered out of style for a while (probably because it is the cheapest) and is outsold by stainless, following by black (built-in looks are also very popular in high-end kitchens here). BUT someday that will probably change just as it has cycled around in the past. Just get what you think you'll enjoy seeing and using in your kitchen. (Easy for me to say, after I've sweated out the decision already!) No matter what you get, you might be ready for another kitchen facelift in 10 years anyway, since the manufacturers are always tweaking the form and function to entice us to get something new. Even my friends who got SS several years ago (at the beginning of the trend) want the newer SS styles and appliance features, even if they're not ready to move on to another color/finish. Good luck!

PS - FWIW, we decided on stainless, and we're getting the "ultrasatin" for the fridge, which was especially resistant to fingerprints when we took all our kids to try them out! I was told that they don't make these less "fingerprinty" finishes for the ovens because they don't withstand the heat as well... Hopefully it will all be coming next week!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:02AM
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I really appreciate everyone taking the time to post their experience.

Does anyone have experience with whirlpool SS? We're planning on WP gold CD sxs fridge and whirlpool velos OTR MW, ge profile gas range, and bosch evolution 500 DW. Will the SS from different brands look weird?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:18AM
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I've had my SS appliances for a year and I LOVE them. I find that a little lemon pledge works beautifully on preventing smudges.

BTW I disagree that SS is a fad. SS workw with just about any color scheme and nothing looks better with white or cream cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:32AM
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I also consider SS a basic along with white and black, and it does dress up so many kitches.
For me, the plain, full overlay, slab front cabinetry with no design features, plain nickel finish pulls with SS appliances looks way too industrial. I'd rather a cottage look and white appliances than that. Another look I don't like is what should otherwise be a "cottage" look, or Victorian and there are SS appliances.

I'm choosing black, but who knows, when I go into the appliance stores I love the SS! I just can't see paying almost $200 more per appliance. I do cringe when I see the ones with all the smudges though.
I have a black Kenmore elite fridge that has the textured sides, but a special front that does not take any fingerprints at all. I have to remind myself to wipe it down. However, it's metal, and it does take dents! Has one already, much to my disgust. If it were SS and had dented, I'd be even more disgusted, because I'd paid more for that finish, and damaged it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:31PM
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We have SS in our current kitchen. They came with the condo which we bought in 2004, and had been put in around 1999. So, they have a good 10 yrs of use under their belt. I just went into the kitchen to inspect, bc I have never noticed a scratch, ding, dent, and sure enough nothing! We are pretty hard on the appliances, I've been known to kick the fridge door shut when my hands are full. The dog has definitely run into the freezer draw and dishwasher while playing in the kitchen.

Mine do get smudgy, but they are also stainless from 10 yrs ago and stainless has improved a lot since then. We are getting Sub Zeros for the new kitchen and they do not smudge as easily as my appliances do.

I love the way they look, and they make my craptastic builder's grade kitchen look a whole lot better!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Nope, no dents, no dings, and some time ago, someone posted a tip here in the forum that if you wipe a very very very thin layer of mineral oil on your ssl appliances, it prevents finger prints and smears. I bought the mineral oil and never got around to applying it, so I don't know personally if it works, but I still plan on doing day. :c)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:01PM
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We used to live in a house built in the 60's, and it had SS appliances - the exact same oven that the Brady Bunch had! anyway, when we built 12 years ago - I wanted something different and got white. Now I wish I had SS again. Maybe something a little more updated than the Brady Bunch's tho LOL! My white appliances look fine with my white cabinets, and since they are all working great - I'll be sticking with them for some time. I am looking into the possibility of getting cabinet panels for them tho.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:09PM
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I am in the minority here too. I have a Whirlpool SS fridge and mine scratches really easy. I can't wait to get a black fridge. The rest of my appliances are black and I wished my fridge was too. If I did get another SS fridge it would be the brushed and not the shiney like I have.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:11PM
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I've never had SS so I can't comment on them, but I do have all black appliances & I love them. No issues with dust or fingerprints, other than the usual bits on the edge of the DW, but a quick swipe of the cloth and its gone.

My kitchen is 17' x 12'. Black appliances, Dark Cabs & an island in the middle and it does not look small at all! In fact it looks much larger than my old kitchen that had less cabinets, no island & mostly white appliances.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:06PM
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Katie, would you be able to post a picture of your kitchen?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:18AM
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Just want to add my 2 cents to the "is SS on the way out?" debate. Basically, anyone currently in the market for a kitchen appliance (as I just was) can't help but recognize that there is no more ubiquitous element in late 20th/early 21st century kitchens than SS appliances. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that its days are numbered, that it will soon be rejected en masse, thus rendering all those SS-featuring kitchens out-dated, even the one I am just redoing now, dang it!

But here's what I decided. It seems like the trend right now is toward "classical" -- i.e. least ornate, least pretentious, least gimmicky, most functional, timeless, etc -- hence the proliferation of elements that have been in kitchens for decades, even centuries -- white subway tile, straight-edged soapstone counters, hardwood floors, no-nonsense appliances (metal), etc. So if you go with any of those choices, you are basically joining a trend that is about rejecting trendiness! Paradox!

All that to say that I don't think you can put those things, including SS, in the same category as avocado or harvest gold. The former have no pretensions other than functionality, and that is what makes them so super-cool-looking. And that is what makes them timeless.

End of speech.

As far as scratches and dings go, my 3-year-old well-used JennAir fridge has none, but the fingerprints and smudges are ever present. FWIW.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 1:29PM
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airedale4mom, I've added a link to a previous thread that shows the black appliances & dark cabs in my kitchen. I'll see if I can find a better one of the FD fridge and will post it.
The kitchen doesn't look large in the photos as it is very hard to get a decent distance back to get good pics, but everyone who comes in to the house comment on how much larger it appears than what I had before. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: katienics black appliances &dark cabs

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:06PM
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I'm not sure how i feel about the SS being a fad thing. On the one hand, you can't argue that it's everywhere now - if it IS a fad I have no doubt people will look back and say "oh, that's definitely a late 20th/early 21st century kitchen." But what else is there? I don't think white is out, as much as SS has supplanted it in popularity. SS is so neutral - and it's been used commercially for a lot longer than it's been used in homes and it didn't look weird or dated there.

I could see it going out if new surfaces all together are invented or become popular (like glass is becoming) - advances in that material, for instance, could be the kitchen of the future - who knows.

It's not like mauve toilets or avocado appliance suites, since it is so neutral. JMHO.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:11PM
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We have a textured black Kenmore fridge in our temporary house that will go in our new house in the downstairs kitchenette area. It seemed to make sense as we plan to use some distressed black cabs down there. It seems to look good most of the time and is right by a Southern exposure bay window. As for the stainless do you think the brand matters? As in the higher end appliances have a better, easier to maintain finish? The ones I have seen have been Amana, Kenmore etc. and they always look smudgy to me even after they are cleaned. Though I had never been a big fan of stainless it began to grow on me and I really liked the look of the GE finish...until my kids put their hands on it. :) We decided to go with a paneled fridge due to the overall look of the kitchen and the maintenance concerns of stainless.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 5:06PM
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don't regret it at all, one small scratch on the Wolf range that hurt like the first scratch on a new car but as DH says "It adds character" I keep telling myself that!

it's been 5 years since we put them in, cleaning is no big deal not even with the grandkids

ss is a neutral, it will never go out of style in real working kitchens, it is not a trend

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Love my SS. At first, I had a hard time keeping the REF looking good...especially the freezer drawer (for some reason). But my friend told me about Lemon Oil. It works wonders!

NO Regrets!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 6:24PM
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