If you are craving the ultra-modern, hip, post-industrial look that is ever so popular in many big cities around the world, a stainless steel backsplash might be just the thing for you. Steel is relatively non-traditional as a decoration material, but in recent years it has become very popular in a sleek and contemporary way. A stainless steel backsplash can add a touch of modern industrial flare to your loft, apartment or home at little cost to you.
Because stainless steel is commonly used as a building material and should stand the tests of time, it will never rust, fade, chip, crack or stain. This makes it a very practical material for a backsplash in the kitchen, as well as a stylish one. It is durable, heat-resistant, water-resistant, and cleans quickly, although you must make sure that you only use certain types of cleaning products made for steel so that they do not tarnish. Stainless steel is also a non-porous material, so it doesn’t get bacteria and germs deep inside it like tiles and mortar.
A shiny stainless steel backsplash reflects a lot of light, which can maximize a very small kitchen space. It is especially good for apartment or condo life, where kitchen sizes are generally smaller. Steel makes the room look strong and very large, even if it is small, so a stainless steel backsplash is well suited for a kitchen of any size.
Unless painted, stainless steel only comes in one color: silver. Silver is a very neutral color, so it complements almost any color scheme in the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are a great match, but many appliances have exposed chrome or steel trim, so a steel backsplash will fit into your decor seamlessly. No matter what your decorative style is, stainless steel is likely to complement it well.
Stainless steel backsplashes come in a variety of finishes, such as polished (high gloss), matte (dull), or Satin (for a “brushed” look). Different patterns can be printed on the steel, such as diamond coating, harlequin, and checkerboard printing. Steel can also be etched for a very sophisticated, elegant and beautiful breath-taking look that adds style, flair and creativity to your kitchen space. It is also possible to have the counter, sink, and backsplash all formed from one solid piece of metal. This it adds continuity to the room and makes it easier to keep clean and hygienic because there are no gaps for water and germs to enter.
Cost of stainless steel backsplash
Stainless steel is, however, quite expensive. It can start as high as $50 per square foot and go up from there. Installation is usually not included in the price either, so be sure to ask first. The price depends on many different factors, such as the design and size of the tile pieces, the quality of the metal and the amount of alloy, and the manufacturer. If you are looking to reduce the cost, stainless steel can be integrated with ceramic or porcelain tiles, making a unique and more cost-effective look. Also, instead of one solid piece of steel, the tiles will be less expensive, although they require more work and maintenance to keep them clean. There will be gaps, no matter how well the tiles fit together, and water, food and bacteria can get into these gaps, making them difficult to clean.
Tips for buying a stainless steel backsplash
In order to get your money’s worth, be sure to buy high-quality stainless steel for your backsplash product. Quality pieces are lower gauge and higher grade. The better the grade of the piece you buy, the higher the resistance to stains and corrosion. Good quality steel pieces are usually 18 gauge or smaller, and have a grade of 304 or higher. Your stainless steel backsplash can be purchased in prefabricated pieces that have been manufactured in certain sizes, or you can order a custom piece that is made just for your kitchen. With custom pieces, you can choose your style and design, but this option is much more expensive.
The last thing to keep in mind when looking for your materials for your stainless steel backsplash is that plain polished steel (without any pattern) will show even the smallest smudges, splashes, water or oil brands. Therefore, choosing a patterned/etched design will reduce this problem. Otherwise you will find that you have to constantly wipe down your backsplash to keep it clean.
Installing a stainless steel backsplash
It would be wise to hire a contractor who has installed stainless steel backsplashes before. It would be better if the contractor uses a strong base to which he attaches the stainless steel pieces. Such an arrangement prevents chipping and also minimizes the noise made by objects coming into contact with the steel. People generally prefer to use plywood for the base.
A stainless steel backsplash made of tiles is easy to install. However, the average homeowner who has never laid tile before may also want to consider hiring a professional to help with the project. Many people prefer this option for installing their stainless steel tile backsplashes since they are not familiar with how to lay tiles.
Stainless steel backsplash maintenance
Do not use harsh chemicals to clean the backsplash. You only need mild soap and warm water. Wipe the backsplash dry with a soft cloth. Therefore, cleaning stainless steel backsplashes is easy and simple.
You can always ask the manufacturer for suggestions on how to maintain your stainless steel backsplash and improve its life.