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Would You Steel Your Household Appliances
Would you steel your appliances? That is a question many consumers are now
The in style -----------------------
Stainless steel household appliances are the in style right now.
People are being drawn to the clean look of stainless steel for their kitchens.
Stainless steel has become the fastest growing sector of household appliances.
Not only for major appliances such as refrigerators and ranges, but even
for small items like toasters, kettles, and bread makers. There seems to
be no end to the demand for the steel look.
So if a kitchen-remodeling project is in youre near future then steel
may be something you are considering.
Pros and cons ---------------------
Steel can provide the consumer with a feeling of strength, simplicity, elegance,
and durability, all at the same time.
Part of its appeal is the commercial or professional look it suggests to
people. We are fascinated with, and drawn towards, all things shiny and metallic.
To this generation steel suggests: expensive professional -- status.
Consumers like the idea that stainless steel appliances always appear clean,
when properly maintained. Also stainless steel is a very durable product.
Hence, the reason it is the standard in the commercial area, including
Stainless steel is becoming the new white. That is, it will go
with just about anything else in the kitchen. It will match most finishes
of cupboards, countertops, and flooring you have chosen. You can match a
classic design kitchen with an ultra-modern looking stainless appliance.
This is a positive feature that has been discovered by both consumers and
One negative about stainless steel is that it is very expensive to produce.
So if junior decides to scratch the appliance door you should be prepared
for a large repair bill.
Also, some people dislike the idea of having to work to maintain the clean
look. Stainless steel does require persistent cleaning.
Fingerprints have always been a problem. Special cleaner is used to alleviate
this problem. It leaves a light oily residue on the steel, which resists
Rumors say that General Electric and Sears are both about to introduce a
new stainless finish they claim will resolve this problem. It will involve
the bonding of a transparent vinyl coating to the steel panels. If true,
this will be a major marketing advantage for these companies, and a boon
Steel, chromium, and nickel ------
Stainless steel is steel to which has been added chromium and nickel. This
results in steel with a very hard surface that will resist both pitting and
The chromium gives it the characteristic shiny surface layer and the nickel
gives it the non-magnetic character. So when your refrigerator magnets do
not stick, blame the nickel.
If scratched, stainless steel can in fact self heal. A new layer of oxide
will be produced that can cover over small scratches. But, since the surface
layer is extremely thin rust can result if the scratch pierces this layer
and exposes the base steel.
Stainless considered high end -----
Most manufacturers offer stainless steel appliances as part of their high
end product lines. General Electric calls their stainless series Profile
or Monogram. Frigidaire calls theirs Pro Gallery. Maytag, Whirlpool, and
LG also offer stainless steel versions of their products.
Frigidaire has recently upped the stakes with the introduction of an even
higher priced series called Icon. The Icon is an all steel finish that stresses
clean and contemporary lines while maintaining all necessary functionality.
Other manufacturers will be responding.
Fad or functional --------------------
Do you remember green, yellow, or brown refrigerators? How about turquoise
stoves, or black washing machines? At one time these were all considered
the in thing.
So is the stainless steel appliance just another fad?
I dont think so.
Stainless steel appliances are a style that has captured the public attention
and will continue to do so. A style of appliance that continues to attract
consumers in ever increasing numbers each year. So, whatever the reason that
people love stainless, it would appear they will remain on consumer wish
lists into the foreseeable future.
Copyright 2005 by Donald Grummett. All right reserved. In the trade over
30 years as a technician, business owner, and technical trainer. For more
information about appliances including FAQ, Stain guide, Recycling, and