Increasingly at DSM are supplying our stainless steel kitchen worktops in domestic spaces where their neutral aesthetic lends themselves to a variety of styles and design objectives; looking sleek and contemporary in a modern loft apartment, or solid and timeless in a traditional farmhouse.
Stainless steel has a chameleon-like quality that allows it to bring out the best of any kitchen design and blend seamlessly with the adjacent materials – it looks as good next to natural wooden base units, as it does against gloss painted ones. Stainless steel is the most durable and easy to look after countertop material currently available, requiring very little ongoing maintenance. It's tough enough to take the regular knocks and bumps of a bustling commercial or home kitchen, and the only material capable of taking hot pans directly from the oven – it will not crack, warp or discolour from doing so. Because of these qualities, stainless steel will outlast all other worktop materials, and can literally give a lifetime's service. There is a reason why professional kitchens only use steel worktops!
A number of our customers are professional installers themselves, but many are also new to stainless steel worktops, or keen DIYer’s looking to make the most of their renovation budget by performing the installation themselves. We, therefore, decided to put this step-by-step guide together to assist the uninitiated, and hopefully even provide some useful tips to the experienced.
We will look firstly at the initial measurement stage and provide some guidance on taking accurate dimensions and preparing a basic drawing. We’ll then move on to looking at the process for installing stainless worktops, before wrapping up with our recommendations for ongoing maintenance and care for them to ensure they stay looking their best for a lifetime's use.
Stainless worktops are incredibly easy to install providing a few basic steps are taken, with no cutting or adjustment required on-site as might be the case with many other worktop materials. All of our stainless steel worktops are bespoke and completely made to order, so providing the initial dimensions taken prior to manufacture are correct, the finished work surfaces should slot snugly into place.
There are a few key points to be aware of before you attempt to install your stainless steel worktops:
To view more details on our worktop range, check out the dedicated product page
When you come to DSM to discuss your project and provide a quote for stainless steel worktops, you will need to provide us with some basic approximate dimensions to allow us to quote against. This is best provided in the form of a drawing to ensure everyone is clear on the overall design.
Once the order is placed, we will require accurate dimensions, including overall dimensions for each worktop, sizes of any cut-outs, and positions of any integral bowls, drainers and hob cut-outs etc.
Again, this most easily achieved on a plan view ‘layout’ drawing clearly showing all the necessary dimensions. Whilst this might sound daunting, it is actually relatively straightforward, as long as you follow some simple rules:
Once the worktops are complete, we will arrange delivery to you. If there are a small number of worktops this might be on a next day pallet service. If the worktops are particularly large, or there are a number of them on the project, delivery will more likely be on a dedicated A to B delivery van.
Either way, you will need to provide assistance at the delivery location, in unloading the worktops and getting them to the installation area. When doing this there are a couple of key points to bear in mind:
Stainless steel worktops are usually bonded to a moisture resistant MDF sub-frame on the underside, in order to strengthen the worktop further whilst also providing a substrate to screw into during installation.
This results in the finished tops often being very heavy - for example, a simple 2000mm x 600mm worktop can weigh upwards of 40kg. If the worktop is longer, contains bowls, and has a second additional layer of MR MDF, this weight can start heading towards 100kg.
Precautions, therefore, need to be taken to ensure the tops can be unloaded, unwrapped, carried and lifted into place safely without causing injury. Many hands make light work, so ensure there are enough people available to help lift the worktops into position and ensure that proper manual handling procedures are used.
Whilst stainless steel is a very strong material, it can flex and bend. On very long worktops, particularly those with very thin edge profiles, precautions should be taken to prevent the worktop from bending in the middle, or around any potentially weaker areas such as around hob-cut-outs.
If the top is allowed to bend too far it can result in a permanent crease or dimple in the work surface which cannot be removed, so it is worth taking extra care with longer and thinner stainless worktops.
In such cases, we recommend carrying the worktop sideways – so that its surface is vertical – and having someone support the central, or weaker sections (for example around a hob cut-out) whilst it is lifted into place.
As you can see, these installation steps are very straight forward, and the average stainless countertop can be installed in around half an hour.
Stainless steel is a very strong and robust material, but it will scratch over time, and the factory polished finish will gradually change into a natural and attractive patina. However, scratches should be avoided during installation, particularly where the site has to be handed over to a client or end-user. Scratches will occur if sharp or metal objects are dragged across it, so never place tools on the work surfaces unless they are covered with dust sheets or cardboard etc.
Scratches can't be polished out on site, and normally require the worktop to be returned to the factory for re-polishing. This can be costly, so it is a better option to take the necessary precautions and protect the surfaces during the installation of the complete kitchen.
As with the installation, the ongoing care and maintenance of stainless steel worktops are extremely simple, and if followed correctly and performed regularly, will ensure your new worktops look good and last for a lifetime.
Strong chemicals are unnecessary, and abrasive cleaning compounds should be actively avoided as they can damage the polished finish. All that is required is clean, warm mild soapy water to wash the worktops down, followed by a rinse with clean water, before drying with a soft cloth.
Stainless steel has natural anti-bacterial qualities that resist the growth of bacteria and germs much more than other worktop materials, so even cleaning with anti-bacterial solutions is often unnecessary.
For more information on cleaning stainless steel, see our Stainless Steel Product Care Brochure
If you're interested in a new kitchen worktop, take a look at our kitchen worktops page for more information.
You can give us a call on 01159 255927 whenever you'd like to ask questions, get advice and even ask for a free, no-obligation quote!
Please take a moment to read our product care brochure to help you look after you new stainless steel units to ensure they look as good as the day they are installed.Download
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