Stainless steel or black stainless for modern kitchen?

Karen Muchow Heisick
15 November 2018

For a modern scandinavian style kitchen like this one, would you suggest stainless steel or black stainless steel? The fridge will be perpendicular to the main wall by itself with a little landing area countertop so doing integrated does not seem worth it.

Comments (16)

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    I would do regular stainless steel. Black SS is known to scratch off (and under it's just regular SS). Black SS may also not be made anymore in a few years (remember all the avocado green appliances from the 70s?), which means replacing with a match will be hard in the future.

  • PRO
    Create Good Sinks

    Personally, I think stainless steel is timeless -- whereas I can see black stainless being a trend that comes and goes. For bigger investments and more permanent appliances, I would stick with the tried and true stainless steel :) I also feel like it balances the black and the white a bit.

  • Karen Muchow Heisick

    Oh I didn't really think of that with it balancing out all of the black. Do all stainless steels pretty much go together from different brands?

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    Yes, SS is pretty consistent across brands another great reason to use it.

  • K R
    I was just in Lowe’s yesterday helping my mom pick out a new fridge and every single black stainless fridge in there was completely scratched up and peeling...
  • Sue Mcgrath

    I agree with plain stainless, although I like the look of black stainless. But first of all, it's notably different from each manufacturer, so you would have to buy them all the same brand, and second, it severely limits your choices. Not to mention if they stop making it or something. My regular stainless appliances are different makers and look perfect together.

  • M

    Alternatively, if you do want it to all look seamless, you can always get cabinet panels for most of your appliances. The only thing that you can't really hide would be ovens (or ranges). But if you are willing to pay for it, there are several options for ovens that are painted in a color of your choice. This is something that has to happen in the factory though; you can't really paint it after the fact.

    This is all just in order to give you more options. IMHO, there is nothing wrong with stainless steel. So, if you want to save money and if you want the lowest risk with regards to future repairs/replacements, then just stick with stainless.

    And as others have said, don't to "black stainless". It's just coating on the steel that can get damaged and that will be really hard to match in the future.

  • PRO
    Create Good Sinks

    @Karen Muchow Heisick

    There are different finishes on stainless steel that you can get, so that can affect things a bit. Our sinks are made with a #4 brush finish which I think is always nice. Super shiny/reflective stainless steel can be a bit flashy in my opinion. Plus a brush finish hides hairline scratches well.

    I think as long as you get a similar finish of stainless steel across the board, you should be good to go!

  • M

    Most appliances manufacturers seem to use some sort of brushed finish. And in practice, the differences between manufacturers tend to be not overly glaring.

    Sinks are a bit more of a wildcard. There are a couple of different finishes that you can get. But then, a sink is in a very different place, and accumulates scratches with use anyway. I personally don't feel it has to 100% match the look of the stainless appliances.

    If you are really anal, you could always have your contractor redo all the grain with a sander and some 3M pads. It's labor intensive though and does take some amount of practice to get a uniform finish. Most people wouldn't really go down this route -- and if you do, make sure you get samples of their workmanship first; it's easy to make things worse instead of better.

  • Karen Muchow Heisick

    Stainless certainly does open up doors of using different brands. I am thinking a samsung fridge because I love the recessed handles they have on a model. A kitchenaid dishwasher with 3rd rack. A GE Cafe induction cooktop 36", and a Whirlpool microwave/wall oven combo.

  • PRO

    If you want a kitchen like your inspiration photo, do cabinet panels for your appliances. It's the only way to achieve this look. black stainless is not going to last - it scratches and just looks "wrong". Stainless is timeless and I don't see it going anywhere in the future. But it won't give you the look in that picture.

  • M

    Read up on all the horror stories about Samsung fridges on this site first, before pulling the trigger.

    Refrigerators are a tricky appliance to purchase, and there are plenty of threads on that topic.

  • Karen Muchow Heisick

    I might have budgeted out a way to get a fischer and paykel integrated fridge so we can add a custom panel on it!

  • PRO
    Chi Renovation & Design

    We think SS is the way to go.

    Luxury Open-Concept Kitchen Remodel · More Info

    Luxury Mid-Century Modern Remodel · More Info

  • Boxerpal

    I love the look of black stainless. It is really pretty! When we were appliance hunting we fell in love with the Kitchen Aid Black stainless but then... we thought about the longevity. What if, 5 years down the road the refrig, or dw or range died. Would we be able to find black SS to match? So we started to look a the practical side of SS.

    If you can afford it get panels to cover plain black appliances. You will save money and you will have panels that can be used on any color appliances. You can create that gorgeous inspiration photo.

  • tallmum

    We have a black stainless refrigerator, oven and dishwasher (all KA) and I love the look. We also have a stainless cooktop and range hood, and a stainless counter. They all play well together and I wouldn't have any problem with replacing any one of them with a plain stainless down the line if black stainless doesn't stick around. We've had them 6 months and they don't show fingerprints and drips nearly as much as plain stainless does.