Brand new. Up-to-date. Cutting edge. Different.
These are the aspirations of most of our clients have and these aspirations spur creative thinking about the look they want in their new kitchen. Black stainless steel appliances can be part of the dream but if you’re building or remodeling, remember to balance aesthetics with long-term value. Since appliances are an important visual factor in a kitchen, our experienced designers at Carolina Kitchen & Bath came up with some pros and cons for black stainless appliances.
- Cleaning black stainless appliances is easier than cleaning traditional stainless. KitchenAid says to clean their black stainless finish with soft, damp cloth and mild soapy water, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth. These guidelines are pretty standard across the industry. For traditional stainless, most manufacturers recommend a special cleaner.
- Fingerprints and smudges don’t show as much as with traditional stainless, a big plus if you have a family.
- Black stainless has cachet. LG, Samsung and KitchenAid offer black stainless at a higher price than traditional stainless, classifying it as an upgraded finish. Kenmore has priced it as a standard finish, no more expensive that traditional stainless.
- It gives you a newer, more modern look and works well in any contemporary kitchen.
- It’s getting more popular. Polling indicates that two-thirds of respondents would consider black stainless steel appliances for their kitchen remodel or new home, which indicates growing popularity.
- It meets the consumer demand for a new finish choice.
- Black stainless appliance sales are still small, with most sales being full suites for kitchen remodels and new construction; consumers aren’t buying them one piece at a time.
- It is not scratch resistant like stainless. Black stainless is a coating so when it’s scratched the silver below can show through.
- It has limited availability. Samsung, KitchenAid, LG and Kenmore are the only brands that currently offer it, however, it is likely that other brands will introduce black stainless finishes.
- Matching products like faucets, sinks, door and drawer pulls hard to find.
- Color and texture vary across brands so it’s hard to mix and match brands. With traditional stainless, that’s less of a problem.
- If it turns out to be a fad finish, black stainless appliances may hurt your home’s resale value a few years from now.
Consider what’s popular locally. The staff at Hart Appliance Center in Greensboro sees black stainless as a growing trend in the Greensboro market. They’re expecting at least one more manufacturer to introduce black stainless before year end and that it will become a widely available finish across most models within a brand.
As popular as a black stainless finish may be big right now, Consumer Reports says that traditional stainless has more staying power, so picking a finish comes down to longevity. If you plan to sell your house within five years, go with the traditional stainless look; it’s offered across all manufacturer’s lines and will remain so. Choose it and you won’t be trapped if black stainless goes out of style. If you plan to stay long term, buy what you love.