When it comes to appliance finishes, the end of Stainless Steel’s dominance as the favorite is predicted every time an appliance manufacturer introduces something different. Case in point – Black Stainless Steel. Will consumers embrace it?
Black Stainless Steel is an interesting substitute for people who don’t like the industrial look of regular Stainless Steel and/or for those tired of cleaning off smudges and fingerprints.
KitchenAid calls their new finish “a softer, warmer alternative to traditional stainless.” Black Stainless Steel has more of a matte look. And it resists fingerprints and smudges better than regular stainless with their PrintShield™ Finish. Read more here: Kitchen Aid Black Stainless Steel.
Samsung Black Stainless Steel is available on a line of chef-inspired, premium-priced refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, built-in ovens and microwaves. Customers like mixing and matching finish materials, like choosing the range and microwave in Black Stainless Steel and the refrigerator and dishwasher in traditional Stainless Steel.
Black Stainless Steel from LG is described as “satin-smooth.” Their Black Stainless Steel finish is coated with a dark tone – it’s not really a true black -- and sealed with a protective coating. The result is a shade lighter than the blacks of Kitchen Aid and Samsung. They boast about their smudge-proof finish, too.
The Frigidaire Gallery Black Stainless Steel Collection combines “timeless style with an easy-to-clean fingerprint-resistant surface.” Frigidaire introduced their Black Stainless finish at KBIS 2017 in Orlando.
Since transitional style for kitchens is the trend right now, the Black Stainless contemporary-but-still-classic finish will be the perfect go-with for translucent subway tiles, honed granite countertops, ceramic flooring, etc. And it pairs perfectly with the wildly popular gray paints seen in cabinet finishes. Designers talk about mixing textures in kitchens, and Black Stainless provides a matte texture to balance out any shiny surface, although shiny surfaces are not as popular as they once were.
San Francisco designer Ken Fulk chose Black Stainless appliances for the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Show House in New Orleans. Read about it here: Kitchen of The Year
Houzz.com conducted a poll on the black stainless steel trend. More than 60 percent of the 6,600 respondents said they’d consider Black Stainless appliances. Some said they were sick of traditional stainless and were excited to see something new. Others, however, didn’t like the dark color.
At the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Show in Orlando, it was apparent that traditional stainless steel as a favorite appliance finish is on its way out, as evidenced by the products shown by exhibiting manufacturers.
And it wasn’t just stainless that was out. Anything shiny in the kitchen is out with designers and homeowners. Polished granite and shiny chrome and stainless have been the favorite finishes for years, but the design pendulum is swinging toward matte finishes.
Will Black Stainless replace traditional Stainless Steel as the most popular appliance finish? That remains to be seen, but it appears homeowners want something different, and this could be it. Let’s keep a watch.
Dovetail Marketing is a full-service rep agency whose goal is to match kitchen and bath designers and remodelers with the cabinet manufacturers best suited to their business’ style and clientele. Owner Bob Aungst III represents Brighton Cabinetry, US Cabinet Depot, Presidential Series from Legacy Cabinets, Holiday Kitchens and StyleCraft.