Stainless Steel Cabinets: Never Reface Again!

By HomeAdvisor

Updated August 11, 2016

Metal Cabinets

If you already have a modern kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, tile backsplashes, or maybe even a concrete countertop, your old-fashioned wood cabinetry may feel a little out of place. To maintain a sleek, industrial look that harmonizes with the rest of your style, you may want to replace your cupboards with something equally modern and chic: stainless steel cabinets. Whether it is appliances, countertops, or backsplashes, stainless steel never goes out of style. So why not complete that sharp, metallic look by installing some new high-gloss cabinetry?

Wood vs. Metal

There’s nothing wrong with wood cabinetry. It comes in many shapes and styles; it can be painted and stained to any shade; and they look great when installed properly. But there are certain benefits that come with stainless steel cabinets. First off, they’re durable. Think about why so many garages come equipped with upright, metal tool boxes: these storage devices can take a beating, look rugged and tough, and keep their contents safe and protected. The same can be said about stainless steel kitchen cabinets, which can stand some abuse yet still look good. Plus, since metal hardware (such as antique knobs and designer pulls) is in fashion, your new industrial cabinetry may already match other installations. Here are some other advantages they have over wood cupboards:

  • No Refacing, Ever: You’ll never have to reface, re-stain, or replace your door fronts, which cuts down on extra maintenance expenses and weekend chores.
  • Paint Problems: No longer will you have to worry about peeling paint. Since the kitchen can get pretty humid, this can be a common problem in wood cabinetry, whereas stainless steel cabinets always stand up to the moisture.
  • Wet Warp: Speaking of humidity, warping is a common problem amongst wooden cabinetry. Metal, of course, has no worries against the warp.
  • Easy Installation: Most metal cabinetry comes pre-assembled, which means that it comes as is and simply needs to be screwed into the wall.

Purchasing Stainless Steel Cabinets

There are some things you should be on the lookout for when buying your new stainless steel kitchen cabinets.

  • First, make sure that they open and close securely. When you shut the doors, make sure there is a solid, precise click: you don’t want these bad boys swinging open on a whim.
  • Next, since kitchens are typically humid, there is a risk for rust, so make sure they’ve been galvanized or otherwise rust-proofed.
  • Then, check out their construction. Many times the material is cut by a laser and professionally welded. But make sure that everything is square, that there are no sharp edges (the corners should be hemmed and contain no gaps), and that no screws or other hardware is protruding once it is installed.
  • Maybe you want to customize. If so, brushed or textured material is great for avoiding fingerprints. Or maybe cut stylized holes in the door to create a unique design statement.
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The Practical Pitfalls

Stainless steel kitchen cabinets are not perfect. Though they’re tough and look great, you should be aware of some possible downfalls you may encounter.

  • One, they’re expensive, and to install an entire system may cost thousands of dollars depending on the model, look, and quantity.
  • Second, they’re obviously functional, but they tend to be a fashion decision as opposed to a practical addition. They may be noisy when it comes to pots and pans and they can echo when shut. And though they hold anything, food items and other cooking products can sometimes look a little out of place in a metal framework.
  • Third, in terms of style, they can feel a bit cold, so maybe switch things up a bit. Put on glass door fronts or plastic hardware to make them feel less uniform.
  • Fourth, they can be overwhelming. Since they take up so much room, they become a visual spotlight; therefore they don’t match well with other materials. Usually they’re installed to round out other stainless steel items in the room (drawers, counters, fridge).
  • Fifth, they require maintenance. Once in awhile you’ll need to apply some special oil to keep up their sheen. And they could dent on occasion, so though this may add to their authentic appeals, they may also have to replaced, eventually.

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