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Are Stainless Steel Appliances Going Out of Style?

Jason, 09/02/2016

There are very few interior design trends that have truly stood the test of time and remained popular longer than a few years. Think about it: It wasn’t that long ago that people were saying that granite countertops will never go out of style. But after a quick Google search, you are bombarded with pieces saying that granite is out – it’s all about quartz, marble, and wood countertops now. It’s safe to say that interior design trends fluctuate pretty often. However, there is one exception to this rule – stainless steel. Homeowners have been using stainless steel appliances and fixtures for over two decades now. A design trend lasting that long is almost unheard of!

But, there have been a few mentioning’s as of late that stainless steel is on its way out. Many of the largest and most respected appliance manufacturers are now marketing alternatives to stainless steel. For example, Miele recently came out with unique “truffle brown” ovens and G.E. developed its “Slate” finish. Other manufacturers such as Whirlpool and Bosch have also released appliances in a wide range of colors. This has caused interior designers and smaller appliance manufacturers to wonder: Could this be the end of stainless steel?

… Not according to a recent report from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. The report shows that the market shares of stainless steel appliances have increased from 2010 to 2015, while shares of other finishes (black and white) have continued to decrease. The information is staggering:

● From 2010 to 2015, stainless steel side-by-side refrigerators grew from 36% of units shipped to 61%

Stainless steel range and dishwasher shipments both increased by 23%

Bottom-mount fridges with a stainless steel finish saw the greatest increase from 43% to 75% of shipments

These numbers speak for themselves. Stainless steel is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon. If you are currently in the process of designing (or redesigning) your home, this news should come as a huge relief. Designing your dream home is no small (or inexpensive) feat. It requires months of planning and strategic decision making. You don’t want to choose appliances that can’t endure the wear-and-tear of daily use or go out of style before your home design (or redesign) is even complete. Choosing stainless appliances resolves both of these concerns.

ADVANTAGES OF STAINLESS STEEL

Anyone who has outfitted their home with stainless steel appliances and fixtures can attest to their many advantages. However, for those who have not yet taken the stainless steel route, it may be hard to understand the hype surrounding it, especially when stainless steel appliances tend to have a higher price point than other finishes. It’s not like stainless steel make you cook better or cleans itself, so what is the reason behind its popularity? There are actually a few reasons:

EASY TO CLEAN

While stainless steel does not clean itself, it is one of the easiest surfaces to keep clean because it doesn’t absorb dirt. It resists smudges, fingerprints, and scuff marks, making it very easy to maintain. On the rare occasion when you do have to clean stainless steel, it can be wiped down with a damp, soft cloth. The surface can also be protected with special stainless steel cleaner polish to uphold its sleek and shiny look.

GERM-RESISTANT

Stainless steel is non-porous, which means that it resists germs and bacteria more effectively than other surfaces like wood or plastic. This is one of the main reasons why restaurants and professional kitchens have always used stainless steel appliances. When you must keep your kitchen as clean as possible, stainless steel is a smart choice. Because stainless steel is non-porous, it is a very attractive option for home with young children or pets. It will help prevent food-borne illnesses and make the surface much easier to clean. Simply wipe down your stainless steel surfaces with a disinfectant wipe to keep your kitchen and home immaculate.

LONG LIFESPAN

It isn’t called “stainless” steel for nothing! Stainless steel is virtually rust-proof, is scratch-resistant, and will not become discolored over time. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about it losing its shine as the years pass by. Your stainless steel fridge or dishwasher will be just as shiny 10 years from now as it was the day you bought it. Not only is stainless steel aesthetically durable, but it is also functionally durable. While it isn’t as strong as titanium, stainless steel is the next best thing. Fun fact: While it varies by product, stainless steel typically has a 75-year lifespan.

STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES

You have a lot of freedom when outfitting your home with stainless steel appliances. Some people choose to go all stainless with stainless steel refrigerators, ranges, ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers. Others opt for a more minimalist approach and choose to use stainless steel appliances as an accent to their existing kitchen theme. Below are some great ideas for implementing stainless steel appliances and fixtures in your home.

UPCOMING TRENDS IN STAINLESS STEEL PRODUCTS

Look out for more black stainless steel appliances next time you do some interior design research. The largest appliance companies, including Samsung, and LG, have recently released new lines of black stainless steel kitchen appliances and they have been pleasantly received by consumers. The black stainless finish is still metallic so it matches most cabinet and flooring styles just like traditional stainless steel. While it is not remarkably different from traditional stainless, it is a great change of pace for anyone looking to mix and match their kitchen appliances for a more modern look.

SAMSUNG:

Samsung released its Built-in Cooking in October of 2015. The luxurious finish is available on a select line of premium-priced ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves.

LG:

LG’s Black Stainless Steel Suite is a bit lighter than the shades that Samsung came out with. They describe it as “stainless steel coated with a darker hue and topped with a protective coating”. This lighter finish is available on LG refrigerators, double-oven ranges, dishwashers, and microwaves.

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. Whether you use it solely for cooking and baking or as a gathering place to spend time with family and entertain guests, it is important that it is effectively serving its purpose. In order to do that, it must be equipped with the best appliances. Choosing a stainless steel finish is a great choice if you are looking for a durable, clean appliances with a timeless look.