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Healthy Home Basics - Stainless Steel

By HHI Staff

Stainless steel makes an excellent countertop material because it’s durable, non-toxic, non-staining and easy-to-clean. Widely used in commercial kitchens, it’s also popular with homeowners. Stainless is also generally regarded as a very healthy countertop surface.        


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Sometimes, thin 18-ga. stainless steel is used, but it needs a backing of plywood to add rigidity. Heavier 14-ga. material is stiff enough that no backing is necessary, but sometimes a few stiffening ribs are added.


If a backsplash is desired, it can be extended all the way up to the bottom of wall cabinets. Countertops and backsplashes are routinely made in one easy-to-maintain piece. Sinks can be welded into the top for a completely seamless installation, however this can add considerably to the cost because welds must be polished until they are invisible.        


Stainless-steel countertops must be custom fabricated for each installation. Look in the telephone book under Restaurant-Equipment Suppliers, or ask at a sheet-metal shop for a nearby fabricator. Most sheet-metal shops can work with stainless, but they often don’t have the facilities to properly weld and polish corners and seams. Occasionally, fabricators apply a soundproofing material to the back side of the stainless steel, but where sensitive people are involved, this should generally be avoided because of its outgassing potential.



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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


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Healthy Home Basics - Stainless Steel:  Created on June 27th, 2008.  Last Modified on February 28th, 2011


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