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Archive for February, 2014

Why Stainless Steel Has Enjoyed So Much Staying Power

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-27-2014

If you look back on the past 25 years, it’s pretty clear that stainless steel sheet has had a remarkably long run as the material of choice for kitchen appliances. There are some rumors that the impressive reign of stainless steel kitchen appliances is coming to an end, as alternate materials like white ice plastic are starting to make some inroads in the kitchen appliances market. However, before jumping to any conclusions, it’s helpful to look at why stainless steel has enjoyed so much staying power for the past quarter century.

To begin with, think about what a homeowner demands from home appliance materials. Some of the most important factors to consider include:

  • Sales price
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Cleaning requirements
  • Durability and lifespan
  • Aesthetics

Prices can be high when you buy stainless steel products, but if you consider value for the money, these other factors come to the fore.

Clearly, one of the biggest benefits of stainless steel is its low maintenance. The fact is, having a resistance to corrosion and other elements means that stainless steel will rarely sustain serious damage. The same cannot be said of competing materials like wood, plastic, and other metals. In addition, stainless steel is easy to keep clean, as implied by the “stainless” in its name. These two factors provide plenty of incentive to go with stainless steel kitchen appliances.

However, there’s more to it than just those factors. Stainless steel has a lifespan of multiple decades, which means you won’t have to replace your appliances because of poor quality material. Aesthetically, it has a universal appeal that works well in a wide range of kitchen décor schemes.

Some Cons to Stainless Steel Kitchen Appliances

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-25-2014

With the ubiquity of stainless steel kitchen appliances these days, it might seem like they can do no wrong. While there are plenty of huge benefits to having stainless steel as the material of choice for your appliances, counters and backsplashes—as opposed to plastic, granite, wood, etc.—you still have some cons to consider before you decide to go all-out on stainless steel for your kitchen. As a refresher, here are some of the main benefits of stainless steel sheet metal:

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Resistant to corrosion and damage
  • Easy to maintain
  • Stainless
  • Looks great
  • Works with different types of decor

On the other hand, here are some of the downsides or cons to stainless steel kitchen appliances. Perhaps the biggest downside is price. It can be expensive to equip a kitchen with stainless steel backsplashes, refrigerators, counters, and other pieces. You might be able to find lower quality stainless steel appliances for less money, but the ones that offer all of the benefits you’re looking for can be a bit pricey.
Another issue to be aware of is the potential for scratching. While stainless steel is impressively resistant to corrosion, damage, stains and a range of other eyesores, it can be vulnerable to scratching. Fortunately, as long as you don’t do a lot of cutting near these surfaces, that probably isn’t a big issue.

Aside from showing scratches, the other major eyesore would be fingerprints. Unlike competing materials, stainless steel shows fingerprints pretty readily. You’ll have to wipe them off, sometimes, and it helps to have some cleaner on hand when you do. On the whole, though, the cons for stainless steel sheet are fairly minor compared to the many enticing benefits it gives you.

Protecting Yourself from Shoddy Stainless Steel BBQ Grills and Cookware

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-20-2014

You might not realize it when you go to buy items like stainless steel BBQ grills or stainless steel cookware, but it can be risky to trust a label that advertises their product as stainless steel. The reason is because some companies exaggerate the quality of the stainless steel in their products. Remember that you want high quality stainless steel for everything, from stainless steel grills to pans, because great stainless steel sheet metal offers strong corrosion resistance and it’s easy to clean.

How can you determine whether a particular stainless steel item is worth the money? If you’ve already bought it and have it at home, there are some tests you can try to see if the stainless steel is up to the quality that was promised. One is called the vinegar test, used for pans. You pour a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar into the pan. After a couple minutes, taste the vinegar you poured in the pan. If it tastes metallic, the stainless steel is not very good quality. If it tastes like vinegar, then you’ve got a pan made from quality stainless steel sheet. If you’re not sure, compare the taste of the vinegar from the pan, to the vinegar from the bottle.

Of course, this test doesn’t necessarily apply to every stainless steel product you want to buy, and it’s hard to use in the store. That’s why your best bet is to do some thorough research before you buy any stainless steel product. Find customer feedback and reviews, look up the history of the brand, and get a sense of the company’s reputation. This ensures you can find great stainless steel products.

The Various Finishes Available for Stainless Steel

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-13-2014

Did you know that even within the category of stainless steel sheet metal, you can find a variety of different grades, gauges and finishes to customize the material for your home or office? Most people tend to think of stainless steel as a monolithic category, but you might discover a particular finish that appeals to you and offers the type of style or aesthetic quality you need. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the different options out there for stainless steel sheet finishes.

First of all, if you have the interest, you can purchase stainless steel sheet metal to construct any stainless steel items you are interested in having. For example, a brush polished finish is perfect for a stainless steel kitchen backsplash, a cookie sheet, a refrigerator, and more. As for a mirror polished stainless steel sheet finish, this goes particularly well with vehicle accessories, such as truck and pickup grills. Another finish to consider is the Type 2B matte-gray finish, which is designed for a range of DIY projects. What’s the common denominator here? It’s that all of these stainless steel finishes are made from the same underlying material, but can be customized to meet the requirements of whatever your next project turns out to be.

The Value of Stainless Steel Sheet Metal in Buildings

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-11-2014

Popular consumer products like stainless steel BBQ grills and kitchen backsplashes benefit from stainless steel, but stainless steel has broader applications beyond these products. The main thing that distinguishes stainless steel sheet metal from other metals is the presence of an element known as chromium. This element helps naturally form a thin layer on the surface of the stainless steel sheet, protecting it from corrosion and damage. However, the benefits go even a step beyond this, as the layer works well to insulate heat.

The ability to repel solar energy is a factor of stainless steel that doesn’t get talked about as much as it should. Stainless steel works very well as a surface for roofs, being a fairly lightweight material that isn’t bulky and which achieves excellent insulation for the building. You save on installation costs upfront, as well as energy costs in the long run. When you add in the lower cost of maintenance, due to the fact that stainless steel isn’t prone to degrading or corrosion like other metals and materials, you find a fantastic choice for building exteriors.

Have you ever wondered how it’s possible for some stainless steel in older buildings to still be so pristine? It’s because of the presence of this chromium layer that acts as a shield to protect the integrity of the metal. It’s definitely worth looking into stainless steel sheets for any building or project that could benefit from these unique properties of stainless steel.

Why Stainless Steel Is Stainless, and How That’s Good for Your Kitchen

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-06-2014

At this point, you’ve probably heard people toss around the phrase “stainless steel” for at least a few decades. Stainless steel sheet metal is commonly used in all kinds of applications, including the stainless steel backsplash, the stainless steel grill, and all kinds of kitchen appliances. It’s touted as being a great material for the kitchen because of its unique properties, including the fact that it’s “stainless.” Where did stainless steel come from and why is stainless steel so good for your kitchen?

Originally, the creator of stainless steel was trying to develop a better metal for barrel rifles, but he accidentally created stainless steel in the process. The secret ingredient is 12% chromium. By including this, a very thin layer called the passive film formed on the metal. This film prevents rust and stains by acting as a shield or armor against damaging elements like wind and water or cuts and scratches. In fact, the film can repair itself because of the nature of the chemistry in stainless steel sheet. All of this translates very well to your kitchen, which has plenty of elements that could damage your appliances and counters. Everything from grease, to water, to food, to steam, to fire can damage your kitchen, but stainless steel kitchen appliances shrug off both stains and damage better than other materials. If you want an aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance kitchen, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel.

Why Your Coat Rack Should Be Stainless Steel

 :: Posted by MelW on 02-04-2014

Why Your Coat Rack Should Be Stainless Steel

Coat racks are a great feature for any home. They fulfill a useful function by making it possible to hang up your own outerwear after you come home from work, as well as providing a place to hang up coats when you have guests over. However, they aren’t just handy as a place to put clothing items like hats, jackets and sweaters. Coat racks can also provide aesthetic value for your home, lending your entryway or mudroom greater elegance and style. It’s not just how the coat rack looks, but also the fact that simply having a coat rack can keep the area tidier. If your home doesn’t already have a coat rack, and you’ve decided it would be a great accessory to have, then your best bet is probably to go with a stainless steel coat rack.

Why would you want to use stainless steel coat racks in particular? First and foremost, you can count on stainless steel sheet metal to be a durable material for your rack. Even if you pile on some very heavy jackets, you can be confident that the racks won’t break or snap. It’s also going to maintain an attractive appearance, which isn’t automatically the case if you get coat racks in wood or plastic or another material. The fact is, stainless steel can withstand dirt, mud, sweat and grime without staining, so it’ll look nice for decades. Plus, if you ever did get it dirty, it’s a breeze to clean. In the end, coat racks are a convenient way to give yourself a place to store your outerwear, and stainless steel sheet is the way to go if you want your coat rack to be both attractive and long-lasting.