From the builder and designer process, stainless steel appliances and finishes have almost cornered the present market because of their modern look that coordinates with almost any other aspect of a lab. And not only does stainless equipment easily match, but it helps create a unifying design, is easy to maintain and clean, and won’t rust or oxidize like most other metals.
Some of the other big reasons schools, government institutions, and even homeowners are switching to stainless steel include the following:
- Counter tops can be covered in stainless steel sheets that are easy to install and can be acquired with a relatively low budget and minimal time.
- Backsplashes can come in stainless steel. Just like the sheets that can be used on a counter top, it can be used on the backsplash to add extra protection from acids, grease, food, you name it.
- And to match the million dollar stainless testing equipment, a fume range hood comes in stainless steel—usually further accessorized with measuring devices, weigh scales, etc.
Maintaining stainless steel is a straight forward process. This, coupled with excellent corrosion resistance and longevity, make it a popular material for everyone from architects specing skyscrapers to industrial wash-down facilities, to homeowners looking to spruce up their homes. Keeping it looking great is also relatively easy using commonly available products.
- The most notable malady to stainless steel can be the superficial scratches that come from daily wear and tear of someone scratching up against the appliance. Those scratches can be buffed out with a SOS pad.
- If the appliance starts to look dingy (a dog shaking dry next to my stainless steel dishwasher comes to mind as a weekly occurrence), alcohol based cleaners can be used to bring back the shine and sanitize the surface.
- When there are some deeper scratches that an SOS pad might not be able to handle, sandpaper can be used to with a little vegetable oil.
So when looking for something easily matched to the existing theme in your workplace or what have you, as well as a surface for appliances that can be easily maintained, ask your general contractor and designer about what options are available for your new build or redesign with stainless steel in mind.
There are some great resources as well as suppliers for stainless. GSA.gov has a great resource for cleaning tips. A good resource for a stainless backsplash is Commerce Metals, and NASA has some good information on the corrosion of stainless steel.