Black Stainless Steel: Appliance Finish of Choice
Black stainless steel is gaining in popularity as the kitchen appliance finish of choice. Are you considering this finish for the appliances going into your newly remodeled kitchen? It may even be edging our traditional stainless steel.
Kitchen design professionals have been predicting for years that black stainless steel might replace regular stainless as the most popular finish for appliances.
And it’s not just stainless appliances that are getting replaced. Anything shiny in the kitchen has fallen out of favor. Polished granite, chrome faucets and cabinet hardware and shiny stainless have been the favorite finishes for years. However, people remodeling their kitchens are loving matte finishes now. And matte finishes are available on a wide array of fixtures and appliances.
Transitional is the most popular style in kitchen design. The black stainless contemporary-but-classic finish is the perfect accompaniment to custom cabinetry, subway tiles and honed countertops.
If you’ve read any articles about what’s trending in kitchen design, you’ve read about the idea of mixing textures in a kitchen. Matte black stainless provides the ideal texture to go with tiled backsplashes, stone countertops and painted cabinets.
Black appliance finish is an option for homeowners who don’t like the industrial look of conventional stainless steel. It’s also perfect for people who are tired of constantly cleaning fingerprints off the refrigerator door.
Black stainless steel has been available from some manufacturers. But now it’s being shown across all appliance lines by LG, GE, Samsung, Frigidaire, Bosch and Meile.
Black Stainless Steel Color/Finish Reference by Brand
- Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, GE, Bosch call their finish Black Stainless
- LG, GE. Frigidaire – Black Matte
- Obsidian Black – Miele
- Black Slate – GE
All black stainless steel is more fingerprint resistant than regular stainless steel. However, the finish has a lot of color variation between brands. You might be able to mix and match regular stainless appliances from several manufacturers. Each manufacturer offers its own take on black stainless, making it tricky to mix brands.
In general, the black color is achieved in the same way on most brands. A black oxide coating is applied on top of stainless steel.
An Overview of Manufacturers that Offer Black Stainless Steel Appliances
Bosch introduced its black stainless kitchen suite collection at KBIS 2019. They use the same black stainless material in all their products, including refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges and wall ovens.
Their black finish is durable and scratch-resistant because they “bake” the black coloring into the stainless steel. Compare this to other manufacturers that apply a coating on top of stainless steel.
The low gloss finish has a horizontal grain to it that gives it texture, depth and a shine with a subtle sparkle.
GE has the most appliances in the black family. Their line includes Black Slate, Black Matte and Black Stainless.
The GE Café line offers matte black appliances with a smooth, low gloss look. This color can act as a nice contrast to whites in your kitchen. It will also help to bring out colors in wood and stone.
Their black stainless is a dark graphite with matching handles. Black Slate is a deep charcoal color that blends well with contemporary cabinet styles.
Miele, the German appliance manufacturer, offers Obsidian Black appliances. According to the company, “Obsidian Black offers a stunning, yet understated, elegance in any kitchen.”
Samsung Black Stainless Steel is available on its refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, and microwaves. The manufacturer was one of the first to offer black stainless, debuting it in 2015.
Their Black Stainless has a shiny, reflective and fingerprint-resistant finish with matching handles. This black stainless has more of a metallic steel look to it when compared to other manufacturers’ options.
Samsung reports that homeowners are mixing and matching finish materials. For example, they are doing the range and microwave in black. And the refrigerator and dishwasher are in traditional Stainless Steel.
Frigidaire wasn’t the first to offer a black stainless finish. In fact, they did not begin producing black stainless steel appliances until 2017. However, now they have many models across all of their lines of appliances.
Their black stainless steel collection offers a smudge-proof and fingerprint-proof finish (as do all the others). In addition, it has a shiny, reflective finish with a matching handle. The color looks like a graphite gray metal.
LG Black Stainless Steel is described as “satin-smooth”. Further, it’s “the perfect combination of classic meets contemporary.” Their black stainless finish is coated with a dark tone. Consequently, it’s not really a “true” black. The result is a shade lighter than the blacks of Kitchen Aid and Samsung.
Their Matte Black is equipped with “Print Proof technology”, which means the appliances are smudge- and fingerprint-resistant. Their tag line is “cook more, clean less.”
LG also has a Matte Black finish that features black handles, knobs and ice dispenser for a solid black exterior.
Their appliances aren’t just nice to look at. The Matte Black appliances are a part of LG’s SmartThinQ line. They can be controlled via smartphone or Amazon Alexa. This means you can turn on your oven on to preheat for dinner or start your dishwasher, even when you’re not home.
KitchenAid calls their Black stainless finish “a softer, warmer alternative to traditional stainless.” Their finish is less reflective, with more of a matte look.
Whirlpool, the parent company of their high-end line KitchenAid, introduced the color in 2017. Their version of black stainless is darker, like a brushed black metal rather than a smoky stainless steel.
The Kitchen Aid finish has a more of a matte satiny sheen. Their handles are contrasting stainless steel bar handles.
Also Available in Black Stainless Finish
Zephyr offers an exhaust hood in black stainless steel, called the Ravenna Island hood. The hood is a smoke-gray glass canopy that curves over the island cooktop. It’s designed with an anti-smudge titanium coating, making it easy to clean.
Samsung, GE and LG appliances offer washers and dryers in Black Stainless finish.
And the big names in kitchen and bath fixtures – think Delta, Kohler and Moen – have faucet lines in matte black finishes, which – just coincidentally — coordinate beautifully with black stainless steel.
Houzz.com conducted a poll on the black stainless steel trend. More than 60 percent of the more than 6,600 respondents said they’d consider Black Stainless appliances the next time they update their kitchens. Some said they were sick of traditional stainless and were excited to see something new. Others, however, didn’t like the dark color.
Will Black Stainless replace traditional Stainless Steel as the most popular appliance finish? That remains to be seen. However, many of today’s homeowners want something different from that which has been popular for ten years or more. This could be it.
Sources used in this article and for additional information
- Bellingham Electric | Black Stainless Appliances
- Bosch US
- Meile USA
- Taste of Home | Matte Black Stainless Steel
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