Stainless steel countertops

dms1973September 4, 2013

Has anyone here done stainless steel countertops? I am thinking of a kitchen remodel with robin egg blue cabinets, stainless tops and Carrara marble backsplash. The appliances would be stainless as well and the floor would be hardwood. The overall feel would be somewhat of a professional kitchen at home. Would love to hear if anyone has done anything similar or seen photos of anything similar. Thanks!

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bpathome

Here is an open house I went to recently, these are the original countertops from, I think, early '60s when the neighborhood was developed. They look fabulous, they do have some "swirl" it looks like just from being wiped down, maybe with steel wool? over the years. Very cool.

It seems to me there used to be something besides drywall above the backsplash; I used to drive past the house (and love it). But for the resale from the original owners a lot was redone. Fortunately, not the stainless steel!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 8:35PM
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dms1973

Thanks for sharing. The photo is a little blurry on my iPad. Do those countertops have a really thick "lip" on them. Is it stainless all the way down to the top of the drawers?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:37AM
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gayl

I have stainless on the counters flanking my range. I love it...so easy to care for. Yes, it does get some scratches, but that is just part of the look. I don't have any lip on mine.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:44AM
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bpathome

Sorry for the blurriness. Here is the link, there are two pictures of the kitchen that are sharper on the link than my upload. Yes, it is stainless all the way down to the cabinet. It's a 1958 house, doesn't it look like tailfins on a 1950s car?. (Behind the sink where you see little vents, that's the heat vent! I would hate that!)

By the way, even the door to the garage, between the sink and the refrigerator, is clad in stainless. The rest of the house is more natural materials to offset all that metal!

Here is a link that might be useful: Stainless counters in this house

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:45PM
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dms1973

bpathome, thanks for sharing the link. Very interesting countertops with the big bullnose. The more I research satinless countertops the more I like it. I think I'm going to go for it. Thank you both for your input.

Steve

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 2:43PM
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rococogurl

Had them for a decade. Love. Very happy. Pix on the link

Here is a link that might be useful: My SS counters

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 3:32PM
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rosie

So handsome, Rococogirl. I don't have them now, dms, but my favorite counter of all time was stainless steel. I may still get to copy it. BTW, commercial counters are available in 30" depth, but not 25", should you be interested in shopping that market.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 3:44PM
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crampon

Yes, we have stainless countertops in our mostly-done kitchen remodel. We did an integral sink as well, which turned out fantastic.

There are some pictures here: http://forums.thathomesite.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0517363630476.html?13

Note that we repainted our walls since these pictures were taken, they're now a light blue-gray, not too far from a robin's egg blue, and I think the color combination you're describing would work well. Our backsplash is white subway tile, and we have a refinished Doug Fir floor (the original 1914 floor!), so we definitely have a similar palette to you -- I applaud you on your excellent taste ;-)

We got a pretty wide range of prices - I think the highest quote we got was something like 2.5 x the lowest quote (and the one that we eventually went with). The highest quote was from an architecture / interior design firm, the lowest quote was from a company that primarily does stainless steel fabricating for commercial/industrial applications (ducts, hoods, stainless tables, counters, etc.). We got less hand-holding with them, but were very happy with the product.

Only bobble was that I told the fabricators that the subtop would be two layers of 3/4" plywood, which of course is actually less than 3/4" thick. They made the lip maybe 1/16" less than 1.5", and because plywood is thinner than its nominal thickness, the lip obstructed the top drawers. I fixed it by adding another layer of thin (1/4") plywood on top of the subtop, but could have saved that step if I had just explicitly specced the dimensions of the lip as 1.25" or whatever.

As far as how the counters are working for us, we've had them in place for about 9 months or so, and we love them -- they're pretty much bulletproof. Having said that, they are prone to water spots and you do need to accept that brushed stainless will show scratches. Lots of restaurant kitchens use brushed stainless -- see if you can get a look at some of their counters, that should give you a good idea of what to expect.

I have a friend -- an architect -- who has stainless counters and he said once they got pretty thoroughly scratched up, he did a pass with a random orbit sander to change them from brushed stainless to a more matte finish. He said they turned out well -- I haven't seen them in person, so can't comment. Possibly something to think about though.

Anyway, I'm happy to answer any other questions you might have, just let me know.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 3:47PM
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youngdeb

We have them as well, this is the second kitchen where we've installed them. We plan to be in this house at least another 10 years, so putting them in was a big decision.

We love them...they scratch, but it all blends and they wind up looking great. From a practical perspective, they are fantastic for hot pots, acidic mess, etc.

Contemporary Kitchen

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 3:54PM
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rosie

So handsome, Rococogirl. I don't have them now, dms, but my favorite counter of all time was stainless steel. I may still get to copy it. BTW, commercial counters are available in 30" depth, but not 25", should you be interested in shopping that market.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

I've done it in two kitchens so far and the only problem can be finding someone to do it. It's not that common everywhere. Get an integrated sink for bonus awesomeness.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 4:38PM
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rococogurl

Thanks rosie.

Gorgeous kitchen deb! Love it.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 6:42PM
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dms1973

Wow, thanks for all the feedback and photos! Crampon, can you tell me a little bit about how the process worked for the installation? We're the wooden subtops installed by a carpenter on top of the cabinets and the fabricators installed the stainless over top of them, or did you deliver the subtops to the fabricator and have them install the stainless on the subtops at their shop? I'm not sure I understand the installation process. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 8:12AM
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crampon

Hi DMS, the installation is pretty much the same as it would be for granite: the carpenter puts the plywood subtop on top of the cabinets, and the fabricators/installers put the stainless on top. It is pretty DIY-friendly, though I did have to measure and remeasure carefully to get the sink hole in the right spot.

The stainless tops are just glued down to the subtop, rather than being wrapped around the subtop. The subtop needs to be maybe an inch shallower than the stainless countertop to allow room for the bottom lip of the countertop, which makes a 90 degree corner back towards the face of the cabinets. It's more or less the same thing that you would do if you were installing granite with a laminated edge.

I hope that's clear. I don't have any really useful pictures of my installation, but there's a good overview here.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 6:44PM
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