Granite has become such a universal benchtop material that homeowners often fail to consider anything else. However, there are lots of other options that are becoming increasingly popular, and not without reason. One of the best is stainless steel, and here are just a few reasons why you should use it for your kitchen benchtops.
Probably the most compelling reason to fit stainless steel benchtops instead of using granite is that stainless steel is completely non-porous. With granite, very small channels can be infiltrated by bacteria, as well as by spilled foods and drinks. This means that stains can be made quite easily, and obviously, a porous surface is going to be less hygienic. Of course, you can treat your granite, but staining can only go so far in terms of overall protection. It's a lot easier to simply use stainless steel, which is both antibacterial and stain-resistant.
When you're dealing with kitchen benchtops, it's important to consider how well they can handle the heat. Granite is not combustible, but it can be marked when you place hot dishes right onto the surface. If you take a pan off the grill and then accidentally leave it right on the benchtop, you could be left with a nasty mark. As you might have guessed, stainless steel is extremely heat-resistant; after all, many of your pots and pans will be made out of it.
Added styling options
If you're dealing with more of a period kitchen, you might prefer the look of granite. However, most homes contain quite modern kitchens, and stainless steel tends to accent such styles better than granite. Additionally, the flexibility of stainless steel provides some added design options. You can even have a benchtop that is made with the sink inbuilt, or you could extend the stainless steel surface up the wall to create a backsplash. As well as looking pretty sharp, such options make cleaning easier since there aren't any edges or join to deal with it.
Superior weight-to-strength ratio
Both granite and steel are strong, but steel can be made a lot thinner than granite while still holding the same weight. This means that stainless steel benchtops are generally a lot lighter than granite ones. In turn, this will mean that installing granite benchtops will usually be a lot more time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, the cabinets right beneath your benchtop will not need to be designed to hold as much weight if you go with stainless steel.
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