Help & FAQs

Help & FAQs

DSM’s stainless steel products are strong high quality fully welded units, and with the correct regular maintenance should provide years of trouble free service and maintain the very high quality finish throughout.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How hygienic are your worktops?

All of our worktops are manufactured from the highest-quality, 304-grade or 316-grade stainless steel. Scientific studies have shown that, due to its natural chemical composition, stainless steel is inherently resistant to the build-up of bacteria, inhibiting its growth more than any other work-surface material.

Finally, all DSM worktops have bent or fully welded seams, ensuring clean edges and a lack of dirty traps that might harbour dirt and bacteria. Indeed, our worktops are often supplied with sinks and sink bowls welded flush into the work surface, guaranteeing a complete absence of any dirt traps – something that is simply not possible with any other worktop material.

What is the environmental impact of your stainless steel?

Stainless steel is typically produced from a mixture of 40% new material and 60% recycled material. So, even a brand new sheet of stainless steel used in our manufacturing process would contain mainly recycled material.

In addition, our finished products are of such high quality, they last a very long time. Even in hard-wearing industrial environments, our sinks and worktops can last for decades, making their long-term environmental impact minimal.

Finally, stainless steel can be 100% recycled, so when our products reach the end of their useful life, they can be melted back down by the stainless-steel mills and used to produce fresh stainless steel sheets for remanufacture.

It is hard to imagine a worktop material with less environmental impact – even wood cannot be recycled in this way.

What if I want something that’s not shown on your website?

Our website shows only a very small proportion of the products we can produce. Everything we manufacture is made to order, and is therefore, in one way or another, unique to the project for which it is being supplied.

The vast range of items we manufacture could never be shown on one website, so please contact us to discuss your project and the stainless-steel items you require. Even if you cannot find the exact item on our website, there is a good chance, in over 50 years of manufacturing, that we have made something very similar before.

What if I want just one bespoke item – do you carry out small orders?

Absolutely. We undertake any project, from a simple, small item, such a splashback, to an entire worktop-and-sink scheme for a new laboratory or hospital.

Every order placed with us is undertaken with the same level of care, and supported with the same level of personal attention and customer service, irrespective of size.

Our reputation and 50 years’ history are founded on repeat custom, borne out of a desire to provide the best level of service and highest quality of products to our customers.

What are your lead times?

Our lead times can vary throughout the year, and are determined by how many orders are currently being processed through our factory. Typical lead times can be in the region of 3-4 weeks, with larger projects taking up to 4-6 weeks. During quieter periods, however, this can reduce down to less than two weeks for smaller orders.

We always quote manufacturing times from the date of receipt of final dimensions or drawing sign-off, so it is important to bear that in mind if an order is placed before full dimensions and specifications are know – we cannot start manufacture until all variables are known.

We pride ourselves on always meeting agreed deadlines, and we will always be upfront and honest about how long an item will take to manufacture. We see it as our responsibility to work with our customer to ensure schedules are met, and our products are delivered when they are needed.

Can I just have a chat with someone, to discuss my needs?

Absolutely: we welcome that and encourage our customers to speak to us about their requirements as early as possible in any project.

We much prefer to be involved with our customers from the outset, to help them develop and specify the items they need. That allows us to offer advice and possible solutions to meet the needs of the project before final decisions about the design have been made. This ultimately results in a better final product, designed to best meet the needs of the owner/end user, delivered on time, and on budget.

What do the numbers ‘304’ and ‘316’ mean, when you talk about grading?

Stainless steel is available in a variety of different ‘grades’ – these ‘grades’ differ as a result of the composition, and the other alloys used in the manufacture of the material. This results in a slight variation in physical properties between the different grades.

Each grade is given a different reference number to identify it. In the UK, there are three main grades of stainless steel that you will find used in manufactured products: 304 grade, 316 grade and the inferior 430 grade.

304 grade is a high-quality food grade of stainless steel that is widely used for worktops and sinks. It is stain resistant in normal use, and will not rust, and is therefore suitable as a surface for direct food preparation. It also has limited resistance to chemicals. It is used widely in the catering, healthcare, washroom and veterinary sectors.

316 grade is a high-quality grade of stainless steel, with added alloys in the material that increase its resistance to acids and other corrosive chemicals. Products produced from 316-grade stainless are generally installed in laboratories or industrial settings, where the use of acids and other corrosive chemicals is more commonplace.

430-grade stainless is a low-quality stainless steel. It is commonly used because it has a low content of the more expensive alloys, and is therefore significantly cheaper for manufacturers to purchase.

430-grade stainless will eventually discolour and corrode in damp environments. At DSM, we never purchase or use 430-grade stainless steel – we only ever utilise high-quality 304-grade or 316-grade material in all of our products, and purchase only from reputable, industry-known stock holders. Each sheet we buy is backed by a full industry standard test certificate from the stainless-steel mill at which the sheet was produced.

It is always worth checking with other manufacturers what material they are using throughout the item being ordered. Many will substitute 430-grade stainless steel if the exact grade has not been specified, to save costs; this will always be to the detriment of the final product’s quality. At DSM, we have founded our 50-year reputation for the highest-quality products by NOT cutting such corners, so you can always rest assured that any products we supply to you will be manufactured from the highest-quality materials.

Do you have fitters? If not, can you recommend anyone? How easy is it to fit a worktop? Can I do it myself?

No, unfortunately we don’t have fitters, nor are we able to offer on-site measuring or templating. The reason for this is that: a) this service would add significantly to the cost of our products, and b) it is a task more easily, and competently, carried out by other contractors on the project. It is far more cost effective to have staff already on-site perform any measuring, templating and installation, than to have the product manufacturer travel the length of the country to complete the task.

Stainless-steel worktops and sinks, in particular, are very easy to fit and install. They will be delivered to the exact sizes ordered, so there is no need for any site adjustment. In addition, our worktops and sit-on sinks are supplied with a moisture-resistant MDF subframe bonded onto the underside as standard. They can therefore simply be placed on the support frames or base units (or into the cut-out in the worktop for inset sinks and bowls), packed up to the correct height with wooden shims at the fixing points, and screwed down into the subframe. Any seams can be finished quickly and easily with a metallic-finish silicon sealant.

In most cases on commercial projects, builders or joiners on-site can perform this installation, with the minimum of effort. Likewise, in domestic kitchens, the kitchen-fitting company, or on-site builder or carpenter, will also have more than enough competence to complete the fitting –indeed, it is not beyond most competent DIYers to fit simple worktops, sinks and splashbacks.

How should I care for my stainless-steel worktop or units?

Stainless steel is incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Usually a simple wash down with warm soapy water, and drying with a clean cloth, is sufficient for stainless steel to maintain its hygienic properties and attractive sheen, eliminating the need for more aggressive cleaning chemicals.

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