Kitchen Countertops / September 24, 2018 / Darold Davis.
Countertops are typically fabricated from 14- or 16-gauge material, which is then glued to a substrate of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to form a rigid surface. Type 304 stainless steel is commonly used, due to its higher chromium content (and therefore corrosion resistance) and ability to be welded without affecting its durability or strength. Most common is a number 4 brushed finish, but stainless steel is also available in satin (smooth), antique matte and any number of specialty patterns.
The basics: Stainless steel is a steel alloy that includes at least 10.5 percent chromium, which makes the steel resistant to corrosion (unlike conventional carbon steel).
Disadvantages: The material is heat resistant only to 350 degrees, so — as with many kitchen surfaces — it’s best to keep trivets nearby. The color palettes tend toward medium to dark hues, though Kliptech (the maker of RecycleTop) has solved that in its similar recycled paper and bamboo product, EcoTop, which comes in lighter colors, including Snow White.
Stainless steel is made of 60 percent recycled content and, because it can be recycled again and again, has an extended useful life. This product offers top-notch durability that stands up to even commercial kitchens and their rigorous standards for cleanliness. Perfectionists take note: Keeping stainless steel free of smudges and watermarks can be a chore.
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